An excellent introduction to the postpartum doula - compiled from information from two training and certifying bodies: 1) DONA 2) CAPPA
The following entry is from www.americanpregnancy.org
Most new parents will tell you that navigating through those first few days after bringing home a new baby is anything but easy! Even for the most experienced parents, bringing home a new baby means changing routines, dividing time and just trying to figure out how to juggle it all. If mom had a cesarean delivery or any other birth complications, it can make the transition to home even more challenging. The problem that many families run into is finding the help they need to support them through these first few weeks.
This is where the help of a postpartum doula can be just the answer that these parents are looking for.
What is a Postpartum Doula?
A postpartum doula provides evidenced based information on things such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother–baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care.
A postpartum doula is there to help a new family in those first days and weeks and early months after bringing home a new baby. Research shows that moms, dads and babies have an easier time with this transition if a good support team is in place.
What type of services does a Postpartum Doula provide?
The postpartum doula offers many services to her clients, but her main goals are to help “mother the mother”, and nurture the entire family as they transition into life with a newborn. This would include doing things to help mom and dad feel more confident in their roles, sharing education on family adjustment and tending to the unique needs of a new mother.
A postpartum doula works with each family individually to find out their particular needs. Some of the duties that a postpartum doula can perform include:
Non judgmental support and evidence based information to assist in family development
Breastfeeding and feeding support
Help with the emotional and physical recovery after birth
Referrals to local resources such as parenting classes, pediatricians, lactation support and support groups
Light housekeeping so that mom does not feel so overwhelmed
Assistance with newborn care such as diapering, bathing, feeding and comforting
Light meal preparation
Baby soothing techniques
Most postpartum doulas provide service for a family anywhere from a few days up to a few weeks after bringing home a new baby. Families may have the doula work 1-3 days a week or as many as 5 days a week. Postpartum doulas may offer night time service to help the family transition more smoothly into the challenges of night time parenting. Each doula offers different services, so it’s important that each family decide what their needs are and find a postpartum doula who can meet those needs.