What Will a Postpartum Doula Do for Me?
Postpartum doulas: you've been seeing the buzz on social media about how they're the one true must-have for millenial moms. But what do they do, really? What would it look like if a postpartum doula came to your house today?
She'll Meet Your Needs
When your doula arrives, she'll check in with you and ask how you're doing. She will want to know what you're feeling - physically and emotionally - what you're stressed out about, and what your priorities are for today's shift. Whether you want to nap and shower while she holds the baby, or snuggle your own baby while she does the dishes and organizes the nursery, she'll make sure you get to do something for yourself today, with no guilt.
It's rare to find someone who is good at listening. Someone you can really talk to, without worrying that they're going to judge you or give you their own opinions or misguided advice. Your postpartum doula knows how to listen to what your heart is saying, and supports you unconditionally.
She'll Feed You
Your postpartum doula will ask you what you want to eat today. She will fix you a snack or put a nice meal in the crock pot for you, and then hold the baby so you can eat not only while it's still hot, but with both hands. No groceries to make anything yummy with? Send her to go get your grocery order.
She'll Sweep the Floor
It's hard to even think of doing any chores when you're engorged and trying to learn how to pump, sore from birth, and the baby fusses every time you put them down. Your postpartum doula will help you rest without any of those guilty “I shoulds” creeping up on you. She'll handle your basic tasks like sweeping up the crumbs, loading the dishwasher, and putting your laundry away so you can relax in a calm and organized space.
She Knows Normal
While your postpartum doula can't diagnose or treat any conditions, she is an expert in what's normal (and what's not) during the postpartum period. She knows all about how much postpartum bleeding is too much, diaper rashes, and hemorrhoids, so she can help you discern whether or not it's a good idea to call your OB/midwife or the baby's pediatrician.
What Your Postpartum Doula Won't Do...
Your postpartum doula is a support person, not a medical care provider. She won't be able to give you any clinical advice, or make any medical or parenting decisions for you. She's not a nanny, so she won't be able to babysit older kids for any extended periods of time. She's not a housekeeper, so she probably won't wash windows or toilets. She is your postpartum doula...so she will never, ever judge your parenting philosophy or force her own opinions on you.