After a Newborn Arrives, Why Is a Postpartum Doula Needed?

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Is there someone to meet these challenges for new parents?

* recovering from birth...

* their total responsibility for a tiny dependent newborn... 

* suffering from sleeplessness...

* the emotional adjustments...

* the mastery of infant feeding and care...

* learning about the understanding of and adjustment to the unique personality of their baby...

* maintaining household organization...

Yes, a postpartum doula’s education, quiet support and guidance are a manifestation of the traditional postpartum support that our society is missing. Postpartum doulas offer evidence- based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and can make appropriate referrals when necessary. 

Who can come and help a family with a newborn when the physical or emotional health of the new mother or baby is compromised and the parents need more support at home than they had expected?

Postpartum doula training focuses on preparing the doula to support the family after birth and to help them have the best possible outcome.

How do new parents learn what constitutes normal newborn growth and development and normal postpartum recovery for the mother?

Postpartum doulas are trained in postpartum adjustment, newborn characteristics, care, feeding and development and the promotion of parent-infant bonding.

When new parents find themselves ill-prepared for this transition and isolated from caring, knowledgeable helpers and advisors, where do they find someone who is available to meet their needs?!

Coming into the home during the fourth trimester following birth, the postpartum doula’s role is to provide education, non-judgmental support and companionship, and to assist with newborn care and family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tasks.

The ways in which the women, baby, partner and siblings make the transition to a new family unit have long-term impact on their physical and emotional health. How does a postpartum doula help?

The postpartum doula fills a large gap in maternity care and is able to facilitate a smooth and rewarding transition. New parents who have support and feel secure and cared for during this time are more successful in adapting.

What are some of the benefits when support is available to a new mom?

A woman who experiences support will have greater breastfeeding success, greater self- confidence, less postpartum depression and lower incidents of abuse.

Christine Moss PCD (DONA), LLLL is a certified DONA, Doulas of North America, Postpartum Doula and La Leche League Leader. She is founder of DOULA H.E.L.P. Help Enlighten Loving Parents. She currently serves Tampa Bay and surrounding areas. You can learn more on her webs site: www.doulahelpflorida.com .