How Can We Help You? (Part 2 of 4)

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When we meet soon to be moms and dads, some are sure they will need LOTS of our help and some aren’t really sure they will need our help at all. But they ALL want to know, what “it usually looks like”. But our shifts can be so very different, even for the same family, that we have found that there is no usual, no typical, postpartum shift. Our support looks exactly like how YOU need it to be, during that one moment in time.

A mom I had worked with for months was going back to work. She was anxious, and nervous, and also somewhat relieved to return to the work that she loved and was passionate about. We talked about it for a few weeks before,  I helped her get ready to leave her baby in someone else’s very capable hands for the first time ever. That someone else’s hands happened to be Dad. Dad was staying home for that first week that Mom returned to work. Their plan was that this would help Mom be able to ease into leaving her baby after spending all of those long days and weeks with her.

But two weeks before her return, Mom was very nervous. Would Dad know where everything was? Would he know just how Mom swaddled her before a nap? Would he be able to soothe her when she was crying? And so she asked me to come help Dad on that first day. (And truth be told, Dad did great! He didn’t really need my help.)

That day, Dad got to see how I had supported his wife (and Baby!) for all of those times he had been at work. We chatted about what was going on with the baby, and he asked a lot of questions. Then, he got to take a nice long shower while I watched the baby. He returned a few work emails while I washed the bottles. He mowed the lawn while I folded a basket of laundry. And then, he got to sit and watch HIS favorite show, while I gave the baby a bottle. We sent Mom some pictures of the baby, and she wrote back: “I’m missing my baby today, but I am kind of glad to be back to work! It helped me so much to know that you were there to help Dad, and I was able to concentrate on getting back into my role here. So thank you so very much!”

I loved how I got to help and support this family in so many different ways!

*laurie

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Just what does a Postpartum Doula do anyway?

Whenever I tell someone I am a postpartum doula, I get a variety of reactions.  Some people think I am a birth doula and say something like “Oh, I could never be in the delivery room, I am not good with blood”.  Others express their concerns about “Having someone take over” or “Telling me how to parent”.  And others say something along the lines of “*Sigh, wouldn’t that be nice? But this isn’t my first baby, so I don’t need the extra education”.

So, today, I want to tell you what a Postpartum Doula does and DOES NOT do.

First and foremost, we are not all earth-loving, baby-wearing, holistic, breastfeeding-til-schoolage, essential oil pushing, co-sleeping, delay-vaccinating, stay-at-home mothers!  If you are all of those things, we support your choices.  Likewise if you are a formula-feeding, use a crib from day one, circumcising, high-powered career mother who is going back to work in 4 weeks – we support all of those choices as well. You may even be some of the former and some of the latter… Guess what?  That’s okay too!

We are not there to push our ideals on you IN ANY WAY!  

A postpartum doula is there to support you as a new parent, to help you find what works best for you and your family!

     We can help you recognize what matters most to you, and help you achieve that.  We want you to be confident and comfortable in your new role as parents. We will never take over or tell you how things ‘should’ be. We can answer questions for you and offer evidence-based support and guidance to help you make important decisions about your personal parenting style.

A postpartum doula will not prevent you from bonding with  you baby!

     In fact, we are there to facilitate that bonding experience.  We will take care of some of the household chores so you can snuggle and cuddle your baby all you want.  You won’t have to worry about the laundry, or feeding the dog, or what is for dinner.  Having an extra sent of hands around so you can focus on your newborn as well as your own healing can be an invaluable experience.

Postpartum doulas are not just for first-time moms!

     Maybe you don’t need a lesson on how to give baby’s first bath, you can do a mean swaddle, and maybe you remember all the steps to installing the carseat, (*disclaimer – being a postpartum doula does not mean you are educated on carseat safely, but The Baby Mavens has a CPST on staff!) but every baby is different, and each new birth is a new experience for the family.  We can even give you some tips on how to help big brother or big sister adjust to the new baby.

Postpartum doulas are for dads, and adoptive parents too!

     Yes, a doula’s main focus is to “Mother the Mother” – to help her adjust to her role physically and emotionally.  But fathers benefit greatly from a little education, support and guidance.  He has a new place in the household also.  Not only is he a new father, but he is the husband of a new mother. Maybe he’s not sure what the signs of postpartum depression are, or maybe he just needs a few pointers on soothing the new baby – The Baby Mavens are here to help. Perhaps you’ve become a new parent in a non-traditional way, via surrogacy or adoption.  Well, you are still adjusting to becoming a parent, and we can help make that adjustment as smooth as possible.

Remember, The Baby Mavens want to help your family in whatever way makes sense for you.

Looking forward to working with your family one day,

Lauren