By: Meredith Stedham, RN, LPC
When I teach classes here at the Motherhood Center, I often tell parents that I have always had a passion (or maybe even an obsession) for working with babies. I absolutely love all aspects of caring for babies, especially newborns. Whether a baby is sleeping, wanting to be cuddled, or even crying and in need of a diaper change, I love it all. I just can’t get enough of being with babies.
According to my mother, my fascination with babies began when I was just a toddler and would walk up to any babies I saw in the grocery store or a restaurant because I just needed to be close to them. And now, over three decades later, nothing makes my heart sing more than holding a newborn.
My baby obsession has greatly influenced my career choices. I received a nursing degree from Baylor and then worked as a registered nurse for 14 years in various settings primarily in pediatrics. While my nursing career was rewarding and fulfilling, I always continued to wish I could spend more time with babies.
Then one day through an online search, I stumbled upon Motherhood Center’s website. I started reading about something called a “baby doula,” which to be honest was a term that I was not familiar with. As I continued to read the description of how baby doulas provide education and support in the home to new parents and babies, all I could think was “sign me up!!!!”
A few months later after I completed the training process, I had the privilege of working with several families through the Motherhood Center first on day shift, and then on the night shift. I still remember multiple occasions that I found myself holding a baby and literally crying tears of joy because I was so thankful to have found a job that allowed me to do what I loved most!
I am often asked the question, “what exactly does a baby doula do?” The answer to this question varies based on the individual needs of the family. Baby doulas encourage new parents, answer questions, help to organize the nursery, and tend to baby’s needs so parents can have time to rest.
In addition, baby doulas provide breastfeeding and/or bottle feeding support and information, teach parents how to give sponge baths and tub baths, and provide assistance with some household chores such as baby laundry and washing baby bottles and breast pump accessories. Then there is my absolute favorite duty as a doula, which is to provide and teach soothing techniques such as holding, swaddling, rocking, or singing babies to sleep.
I can honestly say that I will forever remember every family I have been honored to work with and will cherish the memories of every precious baby I have held in my arms (including the twin boys featured in the photo).
If you are an expecting or new parent interested in learning more about doula services available at the Motherhood Center, or to schedule a baby doula, call 713-963-8880 ext 105. You can also visit the Doula Page on our website. We’d love to help you find the care, help and support you need for your littlest love.