What is a Postpartum Doula?

If you’re here or if you’re like me and obsessed with all things birth, postpartum, and parenting, then I’m sure you’re familiar with what a doula does. Birth doulas have been serving others in childhood for centuries. It’s pretty amazing, really. Doulas have such a positive impact on the labor process, but what about after? 


We create baby registries and birth plans, we research all the latest trends and safe sleep guidelines, we frantically order wipe warmers, changing pads that double as weighing scales, and dozens of different diaper ointments. We take our babies to at least 12 well visits over the course of the first 12 months of their little lives, but how many visits do we as the birthing persons receive? One. That’s right. Just one. 


And that’s why it’s so important to prep for postpartum.

It’s actually what inspired me to train and certify as a postpartum doula. Our babies aren’t the only ones who are born; we are born too. Matrescence is the transition to motherhood. The key word is “transition.” Transitions, changes, new chapters. Whichever the word, transitions in life are hard. And then we are expected to smile, figure out how to take care of a newborn, navigate our relationships in new ways, entertain visitors who might have good intentions, but might not be super helpful; oh, and not sleep. 


Think of a postpartum doula as your very own Mary Poppins.

When everyone expects you to be happy and have your life together, your postpartum doula wants you to come as you are. Every visit can look completely different.  Sometimes you might need to process and reflect on your experience giving birth. Maybe you really need some help washing bottles or miss a home-cooked meal where you don’t have to hover over the stove or wash a single dish. Or you might need some emotional support and encouragement on leaving the house. Or you just need a nap. 


Your postpartum doula is there to empower you as a new parent through education, connection, emotional support, and so much more. A nourishing meal? Some freshly brewed lactation tea? An organized nursery, pumping station, snack basket? You got it. Education and support on sleep, breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and general baby care? You can count on it.  A healing sitz bath or a long nap in between feeding sessions? Perfect. 


So when you’re making that postpartum plan, perhaps consider adding a postpartum doula. You deserve it.