Do You Need A Postpartum Doula?
Those first couple of days at home with your new baby can be quite challenging, even if it is not your first child. Getting settled into a routine can be difficult and tiring, especially if the mother had a difficult birth or the baby had complications. Sometimes just having a little help for those first few weeks can make a world of difference.
A postpartum doula is the perfect solution for making those first few weeks a bit more organized, and allows you to focus entirely on bonding with your new baby. Whether through birth or adoption a doula can help you and your family get settled.
Think of postpartum doulas as guides through those difficult first few days and weeks at home with your newborn. They are there to help the parents and baby get used to their new routine while providing emotional and physical support. Doulas can also help with feeding and basic care of your newborn. Having this type of support can make the transition to parenthood go much more smoothly.
The main goal of a postpartum doula is to help the mother get used to motherhood, and assist the family in transitioning to their new life with a baby. They can educate mom and dad on caring for their newborn as well as helping the mother not get overtired or overstressed.
Each postpartum doula provides a different range of services, and their duties can be tailored most times to suit your needs. Here is a list of some of the services they offer:
Support with breastfeeding
Assistance with emotional and physical recovery
Newborn care: diapering, bathing, feeding, etc
Preparation of light meals
Illustrating baby soothing techniques
Care of siblings
Help with finding support groups and parenting classes if desired
Postpartum doulas can usually be available to assist anywhere from one to five days per week, depending on the family’s needs. They can even offer their services at night in order to help mom with night time feedings. The great thing about postpartum doulas is that they are very flexible and can usually conform to meet each family’s specific needs.
The prices charges by postpartum doulas vary widely, depending on where you live, whether you want them at night time or what skill sets they offer. Generally they charge by the hour, anywhere from $15-$50, and they will have a minimum daily charge. Newly trained doulas are usually the least expensive, and you can also get discounts for booking for a specific period of time.
If your family has a flexible savings account (FSA) or health savings account (HAS) then you may be able to pay them from the balance, depending on the restrictions of your particular plan.
If you are thinking of hiring a baby nurse instead of a postpartum doula, you may want to consider that a baby nurse only cares for the needs of the baby, while a postpartum doula will ensure that the entire family, particularly baby and mother are taken care of. This is especially important for families that don’t have a strong support network around them.
There are many places to find postpartum doulas, including birth centers, parent support groups, doula organizations and through your health care provider. It is also a great idea to ask friends and family members if they have had any experiences with postpartum doulas.