Parents often ask us what a typical shift looks like, or how specifically we can help them during their 4th trimester. We can’t really answer this question, because every family is unique, and every day in every family is different. Today I would like to share with you a recent “Typical shift” which I had. Watch for further posts in the series, too. Maybe one of these makes sense for you or your family? Maybe you envision something entirely different? How can we help you?
Daytime support for first-time new mom with a 10-day old baby girl.
9:00 am – Arrive and “check in”, asking mom how she is feeling after her C-Section, and how baby is doing. Find that mom is healing fairly well and that mom and baby seem to have established a pretty good nursing relationship. Mom is both anxious and tired, but not overly so. I ask mom how I can best support her over the next 4 hours. “I am not sure. How does this work? I guess do whatever you think needs to get done. I don’t usually get off the couch because she nurses a lot.”
9:30 – Mom and baby are settled on the couch, nursing and watching the Today Show. I make mom a cup of tea, then start washing some of the adorable outfits baby received for her Naming Ceremony over the weekend. I sit with mom while the laundry is going and we discuss some of her anxieties. Baby has not yet had a bath, so perhaps I will be able to help with that before the shift is over.
10:00 – “Do you have a dinner plan?” I ask, “Maybe I can get something started for you?” Mom says ok, maybe I can make some type of soup on this dreary winter day. After rummaging around the fridge and pantry, I declare that it’s a Vegetable Barley Kind of Day! Mom thinks that’s a great idea and texts her wife to please bring some some crusty sourdough bread and a salad, which will go perfectly with the soup at dinnertime.
11:00 – Baby is nursing like a champ. Again. I get mom another cup of tea and we talk about baby wearing. Mom has used the Moby successfully but is hesitant to try the Ergo. Baby is under 8 pounds so she would need to use the Infant Insert. We will try that the next time I come.
12:00 – By now the laundry is done and folded and the soup is simmering away in the Crock Pot. I make mom a turkey sandwich and cut up some melon for her. I offer to hold the baby so she can eat and mom happily agrees. (YAY! I get some baby snuggles!)
12:30 – Mom decides that her wife would be disappointed to miss out on the first bath, so we postpone that. A better use of my time is for me to keep snuggling the wee one while mom gets a nice hot shower for herself.
1:00 – Mom is all showered, the kitchen is tidied up, baby’s laundry is put away in the nursery. I hand mom her water bottle & a freshly diapered girl who is ready to nurse. I head out the door, feeling satisfied that the rest of the day should go smoothly for mom.
So there you have it – 4 hours of a typical or maybe not-so-typical shift of a postpartum doula. How can we help you?