P is for Postpartum Doula
A day in the life of a postpartum doula…
We are often lumped in with nannies or cleaning services, but the support we give extends far beyond that, as does our training. We support families during the first year, and even sometimes more than that! It all depends on each family’s individual needs.
Our day starts as soon as we walk into your house. YOU are our first priority. What are the immediate needs? Have you had breakfast? Do you need to rest? Are you feeding your baby okay, or do you need some gentle assistance and guidance? Oftentimes, clients greet us with a list of things they want us to take care of, as soon as we walk in the door, and we gladly check everything off! But the bottom line is, postpartum support never has a wrong appearance…we are there to support the needs of our clients, and these needs change minute to minute.
As we tackle items on the list, they may include light meal prep, doing dishes, storing breast milk, organizing toys, doing laundry or even running errands. Oftentimes while doing things around the house we are followed by curious older siblings, who are looking for someone to talk to them and pay attention to them, and this is one of the parts of our job we love to do!
Sometimes, we may feed baby or put baby to sleep. Many parents want us only to tend to baby as their main goal is rest. Sometimes, we even wear baby (with gear provided by the clients) while accomplishing chores on the list. We are the ultimate multitaskers.
We also make it a goal to sit talk with the parents while we are in the home. We find out how postpartum life is going, and gauge if there may be anything going on in the house that could benefit from resources or referrals. There are many experts in the area we network with if a situation is out of our scope of practice. However, a huge part of having a newborn can often be isolation, so sometimes our job is simply keeping parents company. Often times this can include talking about birth stories, validating a decision a parent is unsure about or knowing when a recovery related issue may need to be assessed by a care provider.
In addition to daytime shifts, postpartum doulas are commonly being hired for night shifts. While chores don’t usually get done during this time, it can be helpful to give parents a full night’s rest without worrying. Babies are able to be cared for in the manner that the parents wish, and we are trained to tend to all philosophies. Oftentimes, we come in to get babies on a schedule, but we are also trained to soothe babies back to sleep and work with their unique schedules. In the instance of breastfeeding moms who don’t wish to pump, we can even bring baby in to nurse, and then leave the room, saving mom the added stress of putting baby back to sleep after the feeding. If timing allows, we may even be able to prepare coffee or breakfast in the morning before we slip out the door!
Does this sound like a dream in the making? Call the NY Baby Co. at 518-712-9767 today to request more information or request a consultation for postpartum care.
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