what i do.
As a postpartum doula, my goal is to essentially nurture you with a motherly touch without all of the extra stuff your mom might actually do; I'm more like your super wise, gentle, hilarious (probably a stretch, but I try) bff that will do things for you without giving you a guilt trip or asking you to do it for me. I am there to help you transition into this new phase of your life as well as guide your partner towards more effective care/help and less clueless solidarity. I am here to ease you gently into parenthood while feeling supported, nourished, empowered, balanced, and like an overall super-fucking-human badass leaking milk multiple times a day.
how i do it.
It's probably best to just list the things that I actually can do for you, though I like to individualize my care for each family. Some examples of things I do in an average shift:
- offer nursing/feeding support (identifying issues, pumping help offering tips, feeding/changing tracking, referring out if needed)
- nourish and feed YOU
- tidy up around your home
- banish isolation
- give you time to sleep & shower
- set up a soothing sitz bath for your lovely lumps
- get dinner prepped for later
- shower you my magic swaddle skills
- help soothe baby during the witching hour
- babywearing techniques
- sibling care/integration
- self care
- belly binding
- guide partners/family members to help nursing parent
- home and nursery organization
- product guidance (baby gear advice)
- TWINS! sleep, holding, feeding, how do you do it with two?! I LOVE working with twins and am happy to help the whole family get used to and feel comfortable with twins.
In addition to this ever-growing and changing list, I also provide overnight support. I help you get a better night's rest by hanging on the couch with a baby monitor, coming in when baby stirs, and gently waking you to latch baby (or letting you sleep as peacefully as your baby whilst I bottle feed.) As baby finishes their 15th meal of the evening, I will burp, change, and settle baby back to sleep so you can go back to sleep immediately after (or, let's be real, before) baby finishes nursing. Leave the 3am baby raves to me! I may take a 20min. nap here or there, but likely I'm awake all night long doing dishes or making sure your changing and nursing stations are full. You'll awake to breakfast, coffee, time to take a shower, and hopefully I'll leave you feeling like a regular old goddess or god.
baby nurse vs. postpartum doula.
This question comes up very often. Unfortunately, what comes up more often is: "Oh my god, I wish I had hired you instead of the baby nurse." Baby nurses are wonderful baby caretakers and if that's what you need, they're fantastic. They will usually work 24hr shifts and they will do everything for the baby without expecting you to help, guide, or do anything at all besides breastfeed. Many baby nurses will care for your baby the way they feel is best without asking questions. However, what most parents don't realize is that baby nurses are not baby care educators. They are baby caretakers.
Postpartum doulas, as mentioned above, are there to care for you as you care for your baby. While yes, we are baby experts as baby nurses are, we want you to be involved in caring for your baby and we want to teach you to care for your baby. We are trained to be sensitive to your tender emotions, vulnerabilities, and physical healing and understand how rewarding caring for your baby can be when the stress and guess work is taken out of newborn care.
Bottom line? If you're looking for someone to solely care for your baby as you rest up, sleep, and get back to daily life, a baby nurse may be right for you. However, if you're looking for someone to guide you through the ins and outs of feeding, changing, settling, wearing, and bathing your baby as well as how to heal yourself, a postpartum doula is a better choice for you.
we are not.
While postpartum doulas can wear many hats and we want to do all the things for you, there are just some things we are not:
- personal assistants
We are ultimately here to help you become the best parents you can be, and uh, you sort of have to be involved in that! If you are in need of any of the above, I can give you great references!