What are the benefits of a post-natal doula?

April 22, 2022

Black and white image of a new mum cuddles up under a blanket whilst kissing and cuddling her baby

A dou-what?!

I know… I’d never even heard of doulas when I was pregnant! But you don’t know what you don’t know, right?! 

So what is a post-natal doula?

Doulas provide support – practical, emotional and informational – to the whole family. One of the big benefits is continuity of care. You see the same person consistently so that you can build up a rapport and a relationship. They know what’s important to you, they know your family set-up, they know what you’re worried about and therefore they can provide exactly what you need. And you feel like you have somebody who you trust to reach out to for judgement-free support. 

The type of support might include any or all of the following:

  • Support caring for your baby. This might take place with you, so that you can ask any questions and get a bit of reassurance about how brilliantly you’re doing, or your doula might look after your baby for you for an hour or two so that you can rest, sleep, shower, exercise, play with an older sibling – whatever it might be!
  • Support with feeding – answering any questions, giving reassurance, and sign-posting to more specific support if needed. If you choose to breastfeed, research shows that having a post-natal doula means that breastfeeding is more likely to be established. Perhaps you’d like your doula to be with you when you do your first breastfeed in public, for example.
  • Emotional support. After birth we experience the biggest and quickest hormonal change at any time in our lives, so support is key in those early weeks. This might simply be offering an ear and being with you. Sometimes it will include supporting you in processing and talking through your birth experience – your doula will be led by you.
  • Lightening the load with day to day life! Whether that’s cooking you a nutritious meal, putting on a laundry wash or running the hoover around, it just gives you the time and space to focus on yourself and your baby
Doulas are there for you – a mother for the mother if you like! We are not maternity nurses (who care solely for your baby) and we are not a “mother’s help”, just for housework. We do whatever it is that you need support with so that your transition into parenthood is as easy and enjoyable as possible.

    Doulas come in different shapes and sizes and its really important to find the right doula for you, who can support you in the way that you want.

     

     



    My emphasis is on making sure that you are finding your feet with what works for you. New parents are on the receiving end of so much advice! Sometimes that advice is uninvited, sometimes it comes with out-dated ideas (anyone else’s gran park her baby’s pram at the bottom of the garden for an afternoon so the baby didn’t get too “clingy”?!) And sometimes it will be loaded with the experiences of the person giving that advice… we’ve all heard a story about how difficult breastfeeding can be, but that often won’t be helpful for you when you just need some support finding your own way.

     

     



    I’m on a one-woman mission to dismantle the phrase “bounce-back” which is not only harmful but unrealistic. However your birth unfolds, go gently in those early weeks. You’ve just performed the biggest miracle possible and you’re recovering from that, whilst keeping another tiny person alive!

     

     


    If you’d like my support in the weeks after you have your baby, I offer post-natal doula support 3 mornings a week. I come to you at your home (within a 45 minute drive of Tonbridge) and help you to feel more supported and nurtured as you find your feet as a new family. Get in touch to chat about whether I might be a good fit for you.





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