Provided by Donna Ford, Postpartum Doula
The Disconnect Many Parents Feel with Their Babies Is Real;
Here’s 5 Ways An In-Home Doula Can Save Your Sanity & Newborn Experience
There are a million things to prepare for before baby arrives. The list feels endless, and although our energy wavers up and down in anticipation of it all – it’s so exciting! However, one thing most likely NOT on your prep list is a back-up plan for YOU – a plan focused on who is going to support you once baby is here and you’re hit with a range of emotions that might include feeling unwanted, uneducated and overemotional. This is the underbelly of the new baby experience – and a situation many moms don’t like to talk about or admit. Some of us simply feel disconnected from our baby during the first couple months. It’s a shock and a let-down, especially when you feel like other parents around you are having the time of their lives! Many new parents don’t have family support nearby and often times feel alone and harbor resentment when their partner trots off for the day and they’re left home and confused with a fussy baby, exhaustion and too many unanswered questions about motherhood.
The good news is if you don’t have a village readily available – or you simply prefer the help and guidance of an in-home expert who ‘gets you’ and can provide life-changing tips and mental/physical support as you get into your Mama groove – we have a team of experienced, trusted mom experts who can be there to lean on during the first weeks (or months!) as you ease into your new normal. There’s no shame in preparing to have extra hands on the scene, or admitting that this newborn thing just isn’t what you were expecting and not your favorite stage of motherhood. It’s okay. This is common. And we’ve been through it ourselves. We’re happy to share what we’ve learned so you don’t have to be robbed of your new mom experience and can instead help shepherd you into a beautiful place you’ll look back on with fondness and no regrets.
Below are 5 Reasons To Line-Up A Postpartum Doula before baby makes his/her way onto the scene – because one of the most important preparations we overlook is making sure us moms are properly set up for success once we’re home and learning the motherhood ropes.
Top 5 Reasons to Line up an in-home Postpartum Doula
- Reality (sometimes) bites.
Sometimes, a rough truth is the new baby thing hits you like a Mack truck – and the best remedy often times is NOT your husband, mom, MIL or best friend who you love but thinks she’s an expert on everything. 😊 A postpartum doula knows how to strike the right balance of providing advice without getting in your way. She’ll adjust to you and your baby’s needs – knowing when to step up, and when to step back as you gain confidence and traction in your new world. Our doulas work an 8-12 hour day or overnight shifts with your family beginning the day you bring your baby home up through the first few months of life. Daytime support provides an excellent educational opportunity for hands-on demonstrations in calming or soothing a newborn. Having overnight support helps mom get that critical sleep most moms miss, during the time period when her prolactin levels are highest, thus giving her optimal benefit in producing breastmilk. Nighttime care also helps keep your family or daytime support team healthy and rested to better support you the next day. A trained newborn expert, your doula works with you to support your parenting choices and suggest solutions to make you a happier, more efficient parent. We can help establish patterns and routines to help your family track baby’s needs and create balance and rest for all. This is a priceless gift and a secret weapon for new moms!
- Because babies should come with a personal instruction manual…but they don’t.
Based on AAP recommendations and your personal style, your doula will help you establish safe practices with the latest safety-approved standards and products. Doulas stay current on trending baby care topics and pass their knowledge and experience on to your family. Doulas work to customize support for your family, and create a routine that will build healthy practices leading to successful childhood development through nutrition, brain development, and healthy sleep routines.
- Every new team needs a coach.
Both you and your baby are learning a new skill. Although breastfeeding is natural, it is a learned skill and good coaching can help to make this experience successful and gentle for you and your babe. Our postpartum doulas are experienced in lactation education and support. They can help you establish an effective deep latch – and they can refer you to the Pump Station’s lactation specialists should you need extra support. Your doula can also educate you on all aspects of breast pump usage and milk storage practices, as well as formula guidelines, sterilization, and bottle-feeding options. So often, new moms can’t get the hang of breastfeeding the first few days or week and they give up – keeping with them a lifetime of guilt and disappointment around one of the most natural parts of motherhood. Our doulas can lend their expertise to coach you down whichever path you choose to take when it comes to feeding your newborn.
- It takes a village.
Historically, women of the families have always supported one another through the emotional dynamics of pregnancy and birth. Now, we sometimes live far away or don’t have the traditional family support to lean on. A doula comes into your growing family to share the transitional journey and helps to support you on an emotional, physical and educational level. She can connect you with resources to create your own customized village of professionals and experiences to help your little one’s development get off to a great start. From Mommy-and-Me support groups to specialized referrals, your doula is well-connected to an entire village of baby specialists and can help you anticipate future needs.
- Extra hands = extra love for baby and the whole family!
Every family needs a spare hand with a new baby in the house! Through their professional experience, a doula can help you understand and respond to your baby’s cues and individual needs which is so helpful as every baby is unique. Doulas assess the family’s needs and will jump in to help with whatever the top priorities are for the moment (which may range from baby care, baby laundry, nursery organization, meal preparation to light household tasks) or just be an empathetic ear to share your story. Extra hands afford you a boost in confidence, energy levels and an overall smoother transition as baby integrates into your everyday everything.