Okay, now the labor is over.
The easy part begins, right?
Oops! Did no one warn mom about her wacked-out sleep schedule or late night feedings? That dishes still aren’t cleaning themselves? That she will trade in her earrings for spit up on her shoulder? That eggs still come unscrambled and that she will grow to appreciate room-temperature coffee? Real life momming ain't easy, girlfriend.
Being a new mom is a glorious time, but it comes with challenges. Having a trained, and CERTIFIED postpartum doula there during those first days after birth can be a life saver for any new mom! Not all postpartum doulas come with all these skills - so make sure yours has the integrity of being certified and not just "trained". A woman who claims mere "training" could mean anything.
A postpartum doula wears many hats as she assists mom and dad in those early days with baby. Here are just a few of her "Hats":
1. Breastfeeding supporter. New to breastfeeding? Postpartum doulas are there for mom to assist her during those first stages of breastfeeding. It can be stressful or difficult to breastfeed at first, but mom’s doula will make the process more enjoyable. Difficulties will not faze an experienced doula who will lovingly guide mom and baby until they reach success.
2. Health coach. Is mom getting enough to eat and drink? Postpartum doulas make sure that the mother is having well-balanced meals and plenty of liquids to keep her energy up and health in prime condition. This in-turn will ensure baby has a well energized mommy to care for him or her.
3. Home Care Management. Remember those dishes that are piling up in the sink and those eggs that can’t seem to scramble themselves? A postpartum doula will feed you and make sure that the kitchen is tidy before the next morning. Mom will wake up smiling when she walks into the kitchen to find dishes done, countertops clean, and a hot breakfast on the table. A postpartum doula can also do the other things that pile up, like laundry and basic nursery organization tasks. You will wonder at how one little person can produce so much dirty laundry every 24 hours! A doula isn't a maid, but can take care of those light housekeeping chores that add up.
4. Chef. Speaking of eggs that don't scramble themselves. A new mom is a hungry mom. Particularly if she's breastfeeding! A postpartum doula will make sure mom has something to drink every time her baby feeds. She will prepare snacks to keep mom nourished which helps with recovery as well as milk supply.
A postpartum doula wears these hats as well as many, many others!
Stay tuned for Part 2!