Surviving the first days of motherhood- How a Postnatal Doula can help
Embrace the Journey
As a first-time pregnant mama, you’re about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. The journey of motherhood. It’s an exciting adventure–one you will be so glad you accepted, but it’s uncharted territory and it can seem quite intimidating at first! It doesn’t have to be!
Get the Support You Need (Don’t be afraid to ask for help!)
You can be confident, encouraged, and excited to embrace motherhood. All you need is the right support!
Some mums have been blessed with a core support system of nearby family and friends who can regularly stop in to check on the new mama and care for her needs. Maybe this is you!
But many new mums (even those with family support) can feel overwhelmed, lonely and even depressed as they transition into their new, unfamiliar role. They want to be a great mum, but just don’t have the confidence in themselves. That’s where the doulas come in!
Now, what does a (postnatal) doula do?
A Doula believes in ‘mothering the mother’
A postnatal doula will enable the mama to have the most satisfying transition into motherhood. Working alongside you as a new mama, to help you achieve your parenting goals. Postnatal doulas are trained and experienced in postnatal/ postpartum care and are often mothers themselves.
Practically, a postnatal doula can:
- Provide you with companionship, emotional support, reassurance and encouragement
- Support you and your partner as you move into your new roles as parents
- Develop your confidence in and support your unique parenting style
- Help you to set intentions and develop a care plan for yourself and baby
- Encourage you to take care of yourself and ask for help when needed
- Relieve your mind by assisting with light house cleaning, occasional baby feeding and changing, washing baby laundry, spending time with baby and your other children etc. to give you some time for self-care, time with your partner, and to sleep
- Provide you with breastfeeding support
- Relax your body and spirit with a mama massage (baby too!), aromatherapy, music and other natural calming techniques
- Share evidence-based information and resources with you about basic baby care and breastfeeding
- Build a support community of new mums, groups and professionals to journey with you
- Keep an eye out for mental or physical challenges you may be facing, such as breastfeeding challenges, negative mindsets, and postnatal depression that might hamper your enjoyment of motherhood
- Provide referrals when necessary
Benefits of a Postnatal Doula
Studies indicate that a having a postnatal doula to help you immediately or soon after the birth of your child can reduce your risk of postnatal depression, make breastfeeding easier, provide you with greater satisfaction and confidence in your ability to be a good mum, leave you more satisfied in your relationship with your partner, and facilitate affectionate bonding between you and your baby.
FAQs and Misconceptions:
What is the difference between a midwife and a Postnatal doula?
A midwife is a healthcare provider that can give you medical assistance prior to and during birth. A postnatal doula is a non-medical helper or coach that assists you as a mum and your family after the birth of your baby to transition into your new roles.
Does a postnatal doula make decisions on my behalf?
No. A postnatal doula is there to support you and your partner and develop your confidence in your chosen parenting style. If requested, the doula might provide education or tips on breastfeeding, basic baby care, etc. but all information will be evidence-based, not opinion.
How much do postnatal doula’s cost?
Like other services, a postnatal doula’s fees will vary by region, type of services you require and their experience level. You want to find someone who you feel comfortable with.
Doula services are a great idea for a baby shower gift!
What will others think?
Who cares what others think! You have recognised the benefits of having a postnatal doula to assist you as you transition into motherhood. A doula’s job is to help you be the best mum you can be. It’s not a weakness to ask for a little help towards this goal!
Finding the Right Postnatal Doula
Contact The Motherhood Circle today for a free, no-obligation consultation! Ashley Winning (founder of The Motherhood Circle) is a certified postnatal Doula through Australia’s Newborn Mother’s Postpartum Professionals.
Enjoy Your Little One
When your little one enters the world, you will be excited and overjoyed! No matter what decision you make regarding your postnatal care, remember to take time for you and enjoy your little bubby! They grow up fast and the journey is priceless!