Postpartum doulas: a helping hand (part 1)

Helping hand part 1

Discover the foundational support we offer to families transitioning to life with a new baby.

So you’ve heard of a birth doula, right? They help you out during birth, helping you to come out the other side victorious, proud, and feeling whole. They’re basically the magical unicorns of birth, right?  But what exactly is a Postpartum Doula? “Is that like, for postpartum depression??”  If a birth doula is the magical unicorn of birth, a postpartum doula is the magical unicorn of transitioning to life with baby!

In East Texas, folks are often unaware of what a postpartum doula does because there is a general belief that doulas are only for the crunchy moms. People don’t realize that what we do is for the normal, modern woman. Also, we offer some of the only postpartum doulas serving in the Tyler and Longview areas, so world of mouth hasn’t traveled very far.

But this work is vitally important. We have a cultural dynamic that ignores the needs of the family in the early postpartum time and leaves parents woefully under-supported in the weeks and months following having a baby.

So allow me to explain in three parts (parts two and three are coming this weekend!):

We foster a strong family bond with your newborn

Your new baby needs your time and attention as she adjusts to life outside of your body, and you want nothing more than to focus solely on her. Soak her in, nourish her, soothe her.  And your partner needs to bond and connect with this baby too. That will strengthen his connection to this child for life!  So let’s say you planned ahead for your partner to stay home from work for a week to help out and rest after the long birth, right? Great! He will benefit so much from that time to bond with and learn how to care for the new baby.  But as it should be, he will naturally be shouldering more of the responsibilities around the home for those first few weeks, and he is going to get worn out too, especially after he returns to work.  Let us tag-team caring for the household with your partner, (or mother-in-law, or best friend, or whoever wants to offer their assistance!) so that you can develop that deep connection to your new baby.

“But my mom is coming to stay with me for a few days. Would having a doula be overkill when she’s already helping me?”

A postpartum doula should never replace or detract from the important role your loved ones play, and our professionally trained postpartum doulas never will. Your mom can connect with you and her new grandbaby while your doula sets up the new baby swing and stroller and washes all the pump parts. Your closest friends can come snuggle the baby and listen to your birth story while the doula loads the dishwasher and folds the laundry. You and your partner can enjoy dinner together while your doula gets the baby bathed and put down to sleep.

We encourage you to receive the benefit of emotional support from those who love you most. You will transition easiest when you’re surrounded with the love of those who matter to you and know how to serve you. We’ll be here in the background, taking care of anything else you need.

If you’d like to check out more of what a postpartum doula does, check out part 2, and part 3 of this series. And to get a great visual of postpartum work in action, search the hashtag #postpartumdoulasdothat on your favorite social media platform. You’ll find East Texas Doulas on Instagram and No Barriers Birth on Facebook, as well as loads of other professional doulas sharing pics of their valuable support.

Does this sound like the kind of support you desire for after your baby arrives?  Drop us a line!

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