The wonders of modern medicine mean that it’s now possible to plan the birth experience you want, whether that’s at home, in hospital or elsewhere. An increasing number of women are opting to include a doula as an integral part of their plans, because of the additional support that they can provide.
However, what many people don’t know is that doulas can continue to provide support for weeks after you have given birth. These are known as postpartum doulas and they have a unique set of skills.
The early weeks with a baby are wonderful – but they can also be difficult at times. Healing from the birth, sleep deprivation and all the challenges of being a new mum can really start to add up, which is where a postpartum doula can be invaluable.
What is a Postpartum Doula?
A postpartum doula is a professional who has specific skills and experience in helping during what is often termed “the fourth trimester” – the three months after giving birth.
Those first few weeks after the birth can be hard; even if you’ve been expecting a difficult time, it can still come as a shock. A doula can support you with emotional, psychological and practical matters, providing you with information and accessing resources as needed.
Some doulas are qualified to offer their services for both the birth and the postpartum period, while others specialise in one or the other.
Services a Postpartum Doula Provides
Unlike a nursery nurse, a postpartum doula is focussed on your needs and not just that of your new baby. Their goal is to help you and your family unit settle into a routine, offering support while you find a rhythm that works for you.Some of the common ways a postpartum doula can help includes: