Postpartum Doula FAQ


What do postpartum doulas do?

A postpartum doula provides support as you settle into your new family by taking care of the duties around your home, doing what is needed to allow you to best enjoy and care for your baby each day. What a postpartum doula does changes from day to day as the needs of the family change, but rest assured the doula is there to do whatever you need to best enjoy and care for your baby each day. The doula makes sure that both you and your baby are fed, well hydrated, clean and comfortable. The doula handles such tasks as grocery shopping, running errands, light housekeeping, laundry and other domestics chores. Some postpartum doulas (like me) are also available for food preparation and basic cooking for you and your family.

What period of time will a postpartum doula spend with a particular family?

There is no specified length of time that a postpartum doula spends with a family, it is totally up to the preference of the mother and her family. Postpartum doula service can run from 1-2 visits soon after the birth of your infant, 1-2 visits to help a new mom make the transition back to work, or extend to the entire twelve weeks of the baby moon (4th trimester). This period of time is such an amazing and transformative period, not only for mom and baby, but for the whole family, as well. Take advantage of this "once in a lifetime" opportunity by allowing the presence of a doula to take away some of the stress and worries common to new parents.

What hours does a postpartum doula work?

This will vary greatly from doula to doula, some work a full time shift, others work in 3-4 hour shifts (helping out during the times of day when support is more necessary), some work during the day and others at night, either daily or a couple of days a week. Click here for information specific to Whole Way Doula Service.

What is the difference between a postpartum doula and a baby nurse?

A baby nurse gives care and support specifically to the baby, that is her primary role as a caregiver. A postpartum doula helps her client settle into her new role as mother to this child. It is the doula's role to create an emotionally safe place, a nest for the new family, so that the mother is comfortable to nurture her baby and allow herself to be nurtured, as well. A postpartum doula's "role" is to help the new mom move into her new responsibilities gradually, mothering the mother, so that she feels supported and cared for in "her new role". When a mother's needs are meet, when she feels supported and understood, then the new mom will naturally be better able to focus on nurturing her new baby.

What are the benefits of hiring a postpartum doula?

Hire a postpartum doula so that you won't feel judged while you learn to care for your newborn. Doulas offer judgment free support allowing you to develop motherhood skills peacefully, smoothly and at your own pace. A postpartum doula is an information source, feel free to discuss various parenting styles, exploring your options, letting your guard down, because your doula is there to support your choices not her own agenda. Doulas assist with breastfeeding education, having a doula by your side while dealing with the challenges of breastfeeding adds a comfortable layer of support. A doula nurtures you while you nurture your newborn. "Mothering the mother." The presence of a doula allows you to take a shower, sit down to a complete meal, allows you to rest and enjoy real sleep, knowing that your baby is both nearby and in very capable hands. Nourished, rested, hydrated women naturally make better moms. A doula frees you from daily household tasks which allows you to focus on bonding with your amazing new baby. A doula is an information trove of knowledge about everything baby and can share up-to-date information on baby related products. A doula is trained to recognize the signs of the postpartum baby blues and can advise you on what is normal and when you might think about getting help. You, your new baby, and your family all deserve to receive the kind of care that a postpartum doula brings into your lives. Allow a postpartum doula to take the stress and worry out of becoming a new mom, so that you can rest, relax and focus on loving and bonding with your amazing new baby and your new family.

What is the postpartum doula's role, do they teach a certain parenting technique, how do they help new parents?

No. A doula is a good listener, a source of information and provide a judgment-free sounding board if you wish to discuss your options, as a new parent. The doula is there to support your parenting choices, not her own agenda. The doula is not only available to the mom and new baby instead her focus is on fostering an atmosphere that supports the well-being of your entire family. A doula is respective of your partner and other family members, values their role and input, and is available to teach them concrete skills to allow them to help nurture the baby and the mother. How the partner and other family members handle their new roles in the family unit can have a dramatic positive effect on the entire family.

Can a postpartum doula diagnose postpartum depression? Can a postpartum doula help me deal with postpartum depression?

Postpartum doulas are trained to recognize the warning signs that a mother may be experiencing postpartum depression but doulas are not therapists or psychiatrists and therefore do not make any sort of diagnosis. A certified postpartum doula can help their client to screen themselves for postpartum medical depression and, if the client feels that they might need help, can make recommendations that will help the mother get the support that she feels necessary such as the names of therapists and support groups in your area. Doulas help by creating a safe place for the mother emotionally, doulas provide a cushioning effect, a calm nonjudgmental acceptance of the mother within each stage that she passes through. Doulas help ensure that new moms are prepared for parenthood by maximizing support, good nutrition, and getting enough rest.