This guest post by Alayna Spratley explains what a Postpartum Doula does. We didn't know there was such a thing until we started The Relievery, so we wanted to make sure all you wonderful parents know about this as well.
What Is A Postpartum Doula?
Short answer; a postpartum doula is a cross between your mythical, awesomely helpful mother-in-law, and an expert baby whisperer! But seriously, a postpartum doula is a trained parenting, infant, and postnatal support professional. She provides education and assistance to families during the newborn period. This type of postpartum practitioner has a wealth of specialized experience and education, to help you adjust to parenthood. Think of a postpartum doula as your personalized parenting coach. Her goal is to help your family learn about normal newborn behavior, baby care techniques, infant sleep, postnatal recovery, and breast and infant-feeding techniques. There are really two avenues of support, a postpartum doula will provide.
In the most traditional sense, a postpartum doula will help with a family-centered approach, or she can care for a growing family, by providing infant-focused care.
What is a Family-Centered Approach?:
With a family-centered approach, a postpartum doula can guide, educate, and assist you through the parenting process. She may help you learn how to breastfeed with ease and confidence, answer questions you may have about feeding, diapering, bathing, grooming, and calming baby, and assist you with babywearing tips and techniques. Additionally, she may help you with meal planning and preparation, household organization, and give you access to trusted parenting and infant resources and referrals.
What is Infant-Focused Care?:
A postpartum doula can also help your family with infant-focused care. Within this framework, your doula serves as a newborn specialist. She will be attentive to all of your baby’s needs, so you can properly rest and recover, after birth. Infant-focused care is particularly helpful to parents who are wanting assistance during the evening and overnight hours. Your postpartum doula will provide dedicated newborn care, so you can have the most restorative sleep, knowing a skilled professional is attending to all of your baby’s desires.
If you want personalized support, guidance, and resources to help you make the best decisions for your new family, consider hiring a postpartum doula! To learn more about how a postpartum doula provides practical support to families during the transition to parenthood, read this article. Also check out The Relievery’s practitioner resource directory, or Doula Match, to find a postpartum professional in your area.
Alayna Spratley is dedicated to educating and supporting families during pregnancy, birth, and parenthood. As the Ohio Director of The Nurturing Root, she provides natural childbirth education, holistic parenting classes, placenta encapsulation services, and postpartum doula care to Northeast Ohio families. Alayna is also a volunteer board member with Babies Need Boxes Ohio. Babies Need Boxes provides a safe-sleep space, perinatal education, newborn essentials, and breastfeeding resources to families and community organizations. Most importantly, Alayna is the mother to two girls. She resides in Cleveland, Ohio.