Postpartum is a period of recovery and healing.
Staying home doesn’t have to mean being alone.
Of course, postpartum support may be harder to find while the country is dealing with the coronavirus. But this just makes planning ahead even more important.
If you prepare a support team, you can talk with them about how they can find ways to be there for you – even from a distance.
Maybe a neighbour could leave food at your doorstep or take your dog for a walk. A doctor could chat on the phone or set up a video call – and discuss when you may need to get in-person support.
Postnatal doulas typically start working with with a family in the first few months after birth, but some doulas do work with families with older babies too. Sometimes postnatal doulas are booked antenatally, sometimes only when a family find they are struggling or feel the need for more support.
The length of time a postnatal doula spends with a family varies enormously from the initial 6-8 weeks, to years! Just as when supporting birth clients, postnatally doulas provide emotional, practical and informational support.
My 'Welcome Home' sessions covers what is happening to you during postpartum, feeding options and methods, caring for your newborn (including bathing, grooming and massage), learning through play, equipment ideas and postpartum plan.
The actual tasks in the practical support postnatal doulas provide varies enormously, and one of the big benefits of having a postnatal doula is that they are there to support the family, not carry out a specific task, so they do what is needed (within reason!). It is all tailored to your needs.
This can be help around the house, looking after baby while mum (and her partner) nap, helping with older siblings, making meals, helping with dinner time or the school run, helping overnight so the parents get more sleep, walking dog or even wrapping Christmas presents.
Whatever is needed to help a family relax and have a positive experience of life with a baby. Unlike a maternity nurse, a doula is not there to take care of the baby for you. Instead, a postnatal doula supports you to be the parent you want to be.
If you choose to breastfeed, then a doula can support you with this and research shows that having a postnatal doula means breastfeeding is more likely to be successfully established.
Postnatal doulas also provide emotional support for mothers and couples. A postnatal doula gives new parents the opportunity to talk things through, and just chat, knowing that they will not be dismissed or told what to do. Talking over the birth is a usual part of this, but postnatal doulas can also be there to support parents through concerns about siblings, feeding, going back to work, weaning, sleep – and what granny said she did in her day.
Rest is one of the key elements for recovery after birth. I provide you with the relief overnight supporting with caring, sleeping and feeding whilst you restore from either birth or a surgery.
Inspired by postnatal massage closing the bones, the Postnatal Recovery Massage is done on a massage table and involves using a rebozo shawls to rock and bind the mother’s body, together with an extensive massage of the abdomen, hips, waist, ribs, chest, shoulders and arms with a special warming oil. It is designed to help realign and balance a new mother, as well as help her return to her centre, both physically and energetically.