Should You Hire a Postpartum Doula?
If you thought pregnancy was complicated, try the first few weeks postpartum. This period is where the sleepless nights, irregular feeding schedules, crying or hungry baby, and everything else come into play while you’re trying to heal.
You can quickly agree that it is too much physical, emotional, and psychological stress for one person to bear. You could go insane doing it all on your own. Fatigue, overwhelming exhaustion, or postpartum depression might occur without a strong support team.
You need help because it does take a village to raise a child. This is why, for these first few weeks or months (4th trimester), having a postpartum doula could be the help you need. You might wonder what a postpartum doula is, what does a postpartum doula do, or why you should hire one? The answers you seek can be found here in this insightful article from Motherhood Center in Houston, Texas.
What is a Postpartum Doula?
Doulas are non-medical birth and postpartum experts, especially popular in delivery rooms and birthing centers. More accurately, according to the Doulas of North America (DONA), a doula provides continuous physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother before, during, and after childbirth. This is done to help her achieve the healthiest and most gratifying experience attainable.
These experts do all these and ensure the baby has the smoothest out-of-womb transition. Doulas, primarily women, are a big hit for those considering water births or at-home deliveries. However, apart from helping to bring your bundle of joy into the world, many doulas offer their care and services during ‘the fourth trimester,’ as they often call it. These are the doulas that are known as Postpartum doulas.
A Postpartum Doula is a trained expert who seamlessly helps new mothers/parents transition into their newly ascribed roles. This expert generally assists families in different ways during the postnatal period. This is because the first three months after a baby is born, especially for first-time parents, can be chaotic.
To sum it up, the postpartum doula’s job is to maintain ease in the household. A Postpartum Doula performs different services to help integrate the newest little member into the family while allowing the family to adjust to this new addition. These services aren’t only limited to the mother or parents of the baby but extended to the family members, if needed, as well.
What are Postpartum Doula’s services?
You might be wondering what does a postpartum doula do? Truthfully, the services of a postpartum doula are so inclusive and extensive that one should be asking what doesn’t a postpartum doula does instead. A postpartum doula’s services are grouped into physical, emotional, and educational support.
Now, a lot of activities fall under each category. In the physical type, valuable services are pretty domestic. These services include everything from calming a crying infant to household organization. It also includes changing diapers, baby care, meal prep, tending to the new mother, and much more.
At the same time, the parents get their well-deserved rest. Sleep and nourishment are critical for both babies and their parents. The practical help offered by a postpartum doula gives parents access to this relief and nurture as it provides them with ample time to rest and recuperate. In this category, a postpartum doula is an extra pair of hands around the house at the most critical time for the family.
Depression and anxiety
The services in the emotional category are somewhat harder to quantify. However, a postpartum doula monitors the new mother for signs of stress, anxiety, insomnia, postpartum depression, or acclimating issues. A postpartum doula keeps the new mother grounded with motivational conversations laced with comfort and truth, helps her bond with her baby, and heal emotionally. She listens as the mother processes her childbirth experience and allows her to adjust to parenthood.
In addition, this doula helps with sibling adjustment and support for the whole family. New parents shouldn’t be isolated after childbirth, which can lead to emotional stress. This emotional stress can prevent parents from bonding with or enjoying their baby. Hence, the presence of a postpartum doula can help such parents feel supported, comforted, and heard, which can only benefit the new baby and the entire family.
Now, in the educational category, although they’re not qualified to give medical advice, postpartum doulas are experts that have invaluable experience with infants, childbirth, and overall adjustments. These are areas in which new parents may lack knowledge and experience. Therefore with plenty of information and resources, postpartum doulas can educate new parents on everything they need to know to simplify the transition.
This includes recognizing the needs and rhythms of their baby, soothing techniques, trusting their parental instincts, and so many more. In addition to this, a postnatal doula’s information on lactating, vaginal recovery, breastfeeding, baby techniques, etc., can be beneficial as parents navigate life with a newborn. With this information alongside support, mothers can immensely facilitate their healing and adaptation to motherhood, especially the new ones.
The specific services of a postpartum doula are to be decided by the parents. This is because each family might have different preferences on how involved they want their doula to be. Therefore, from meal prepping to baby care and even emotional support, it’s all dependent on the family’s preferences.
Why you should hire a postpartum doula?
The transition from expecting parents to parenthood can be overwhelming. The pain, chores, neverending questions, activities, and several other uncertainties come into play, leaving you stressed out. Attempting to do everything by yourself can be daunting and impair your physical and psychological health. However, by hiring a postpartum doula, you get help on standby.
A postpartum doula offers balance by continually helping out around the home. She also helps out emotionally and educationally during the stipulated time frame. A postpartum doula also provides support and evidence-based intervention instead of opinions that new parents will get a handful of.
Thereby equipping them with resources to make informed decisions about themselves and their newborns. She offers care and support as she nurtures both mother and child, thus helping her heal faster. Finally, she rests and enables you to find the best parenting style.
The postnatal period shouldn’t just be about survival. It should be about parents’ healing, bonding, bliss, and happiness. You should get to enjoy your baby. The experience should be primarily positive, and parents deserve to relish parenthood and not lose sight of themselves.
Hence, with a postpartum doula, the odds of achieving this are in the parent’s favor.
Who should hire a postpartum doula?
Whether this is your first or seventh baby, the postpartum period demands a transition for the mother, father, and the whole family too. The time is delicate, and all hands need to be on deck. No rule restricts a first-time parent or a seventh-time parent from hiring a postnatal doula.
If you feel mentally or physically exhausted and in need of help, go for it! Each pregnancy is unique, and some may be more physically or mentally challenging than others. All expecting parents should have the option of a postpartum doula.
Postpartum Doula vs. Baby Nurse
A postpartum doula is an in-home caregiver available for daytime or nighttime assignments. They help parents understand babies’ needs, helping them transition into motherhood/fatherhood. In addition, they take care of the newborn, mom, and the whole family by providing educational, emotional, and physical support to new parents.
A baby nurse, also known as a night nurse, postpartum doula, or newborn care specialist, is a caregiver that is trained and skilled in newborn care. While the term nurse is widely used, these caregivers are not providing medical care, nor are they registered nurses.
The responsibilities of a baby nurse, postpartum nurse, or newborn care specialist encompass the needs of the baby and mom and the family. A baby nurse is there with your family for a few days, a week, or even months, depending on your needs. As for the Motherhood Center, the terms that describe these caregivers are interchangeable; the terminology doesn’t matter as much as the quality of care offered to new families.
Postpartum Doula Certifications and Training
There are several training and certification programs that postpartum doulas may go through. For instance, the DONA Org., CAPPA, or International Doula Institute offer intensive training to intending doula candidates. In Houston, Texas, the Motherhood Center also subjects its intended specialists through in-person vetting, review, and extensive onboarding.
As a result, these caregivers are knowledgeable and experienced in breastfeeding, childbirth, hands-on support, family dynamics, physical/mental health indicators. In addition, they’re professionally evaluated before they’re approved to be part of Motherhood Center’s team of postpartum doulas.
Now, as much as these postpartum credentials are proof of education, they aren’t the only criteria one should look out for when hiring a postpartum doula. Factors like experience, availability, type of services offered, general compatibility, and instincts should also influence your hiring process. In essence, it is recommended that you ask questions tailored to the services and experience you want.
What does a postpartum doula cost?
The cost of hiring a postpartum doula differs by state, city, and region. It is also influenced by the experience and services offered. Typically, hiring a postpartum doula can cost anywhere from $25/hour to $75/hour. For example, postpartum doulas in big cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, or New York would charge about $35 to $75 an hour while smaller cities could charge less.
Benefits of Hiring a Postpartum Doula
The benefits of hiring a postpartum doula can be handpicked throughout this piece. However, to delve more explicitly, hiring a postpartum doula does wonder for one’s mental health. Reports have shown that postpartum depression affects 1 of every 8 new mothers.
Its primary triggers include excessive stress, inefficient support, and difficulty with breastfeeding. By hiring a postpartum doula, not only do you get the help that alleviates stress, you gain emotional support. Such an expert can give you the necessary resources to live a happier life even after transitioning to parenthood.
Another benefit of hiring a postpartum doula is the gift of sleep. Parents are gifted the luxury of sleep with an infant expert in the house. Also, a postpartum doula is versed with sleep-shaping for babies that help them sleep longer at night.
Multiple case studies have proven that doula care favorably impacts breastfeeding. Having a doula can increase a mother’s oxytocin levels, increasing breastmilk production. This, in turn, gives more leverage for the mother to bond with her baby.
When to Hire a postpartum doula
Many families engage in hiring a postpartum doula as early as the 2nd trimester. However, many families find themselves overwhelmed with the demands of pregnancy and realize in their 3rd trimester the importance of being well prepared for the arrival of their baby and ensuring the 4th trimester goes as smoothly as possible. In addition, many families learn about the service a postpartum doula and newborn care specialist can offer after they experience sleepless nights and the challenges which can arise from bringing home a new baby.
Postpartum doulas near me
Because of how relatively new the phenomenon of a postpartum doula is in the United States, many families find their doulas via referrals and word-of-mouth. There are also a few doula registries like DONA Org., Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA), the Intl. Doula Institute, etc., can look up postpartum doulas by state.
However, if you’re in Houston, the Motherhood Center is equipped with postpartum doulas and newborn care specialists who help ease the parenthood transition by offering expert guidance to families. In addition, with the Motherhood Center, you won’t need to worry about the quality of your doula as the doulas are handpicked after rigorous screening. This saves you a lot of time and helps you focus on more important things.
Conclusion: Should You Hire a Postpartum Doula
Postpartum Doulas are non-medical infant experts that help parents enjoy their transition to parenthood, amongst other things. These educated caregivers are all about the holistic care of the family during the delicate time after childbirth, and there’s a long list of services they render to achieve this.
From first-time parents to seventh-time parents, anyone can acquire the services of a postpartum doula; there’s no limit or preference. However, if you feel you would like the help of a village after childbirth, then you should hire a postpartum doula. The Motherhood Center has highly experienced and vetted postpartum doulas and newborn care specialists that’ll help you enjoy your baby and parenthood.
You may also be interested in the following topics related to Postpartum Doula.
Certified postpartum doula
Depression and anxiety
Please get in touch with Motherhood Center to help you get answers to your questions about Postpartum Doulas. Motherhood Center the expert on Postpartum Doulas!
3701 W. Alabama Ste 230, Houston, TX 77027 Phone: 713-963-8880