postpartum doula taking care of baby

What Do Postpartum Doulas Do?|Doula Support in Halton, Hamilton, Mississauga

Postpartum doula services have arrived!

We’re accepting Postpartum Doula Support clients (HOORAY!). Postpartum doula…what does that even mean?

Postpartum doulas are also referred to as postnatal doulas or infant care doulas. They’re sometimes mixed up with nannies and baby nurses, too. Confused yet? Me too. Let’s clear this up.

Postpartum doulas are like magic. There, I said it. 

I know it’s cheesy but hear me out. The doula is a calm presence, a ball of bright-yet-soft energy that washes over your home and makes everything better. You’ll have less on your plate, you’ll get more rest, you’ll get to ask your many (many!) questions about what to expect, about normal recovery, about breastfeeding, about newborn behaviour, about how to do all the things you need to do now that you’re a parent. You’ll feel like you’re not alone. You’ll have a professional second set of hands to take care of the things you don’t have time for because you’re too busy relaxing and enjoying the ride.

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Take a nap with your first (fur!) baby while the doula is handling everything else.

Need a little break? Step out for a bit. Go for a walk, go get your nails done, go do anything all by yourself if that’s what you need. The heaviness of never being alone is something many new mothers find surprising.

Need company? I’ve heard from more than one client who just wanted someone to come along for the ride as they left the house with the baby for the very first time. It’s overwhelming! So much gear, such precious cargo. I’ve been there…let’s do it together.

Back to the magic. Your doula will keep you hydrated and fed so that you can recover well from birth. No matter what kind of birth you had, you worked HARD and you deserve to re-fuel. Maybe it’s tea and toast, maybe it’s a protein shake, maybe it’s a hearty soup…whatever floats your boat.

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This cutie is feeling the magic.

We can’t forget about non-judgement. This is what professional doulas do best. I’m not invested in your choices; I offer support and for whatever suits your family and I have lots of evidence-based information to share, but only if you ask for it. However you want to feed your baby, however you want to trim their little nails, however you want to structure your day, your postpartum doula is there to help.

You have questions; we have answers.

“What makes a postpartum doula different from a nanny or a baby nurse?”

Expertise: postpartum doulas are trained specifically to provide guidance and support to new parents and to care for infants and women undergoing postpartum recovery. Although postpartum doulas are not yet regulated in Ontario, at Oakville Family Birth we have high standards and our doulas take their work and their businesses seriously. This means they’ve taken a thorough in-person training workshop, belong to the Association of Ontario Doulas, are certified or working toward postpartum doula certification, hold current CPR certification, have registered businesses and hold professional and commercial general liability insurance. Only the absolute BEST for your family.

Versatilitypostpartum doulas work with families that are undergoing a major life transition (this is true whether you’re welcoming your first, second, or fifth baby). The doula cares for the whole family: the mother, the partner, the baby, the siblings, even the pets! The doula also cares for the household: baby laundry, tidying, sanitizing baby gear, preparing light meals and snacks. The doula provides a calming and comforting presence in your home by taking care of things so you don’t need to. This makes for less anxious, more rested parents with an extra set of hands around to help out with the baby.

“When do I need to arrange postpartum support?”

The ideal time to arrange support is during your pregnancy. This makes sure there is availability when you want it. You’ll find that having professional in-home support in the first few days after birth (when you’re recovering and going through the many “firsts” with your new baby) can have a huge impact on how you feel, physically and mentally.

Of course, we never really know when baby/babies will arrive so we have to be flexible!

Sometimes we don’t know what kind of support we need until we need it. If you’ve already had your baby and you decide you want doula support, definitely reach out.

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So, so many tiny items of clothing. Who knew?

“Is a postpartum doula only for mothers who are suffering with postpartum depression?”

Definitely not. That’s kind of the trouble, isn’t it, of when we abbreviate “postpartum depression” to “postpartum?” Now, postpartum mood disorders (PPMD) such as depression and anxiety is a topic I’m passionate about (check out my posts here, here, and here). A postpartum doula is certainly trained to look out for signs of mood issues and can be a confidante and a resource to you if you’re feeling like you want more support but don’t know where to look. The support of a postpartum doula will certainly give you more opportunities to rest and recover, which might improve your mood and help you to cope better with what you’re experiencing. Still, doula support is for all families.

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Nourishment for your body and your soul. Postpartum doulas do that.

If you’re in the Oakville, Burlington, Milton, Mississauga or Hamilton areas and you want to learn more about this postpartum doula magic, let’s chat.

Oh, and one more thing….GIFT CERTIFICATES are available! I honestly can’t think of a greater baby shower gift than the gift of professional baby and parent support.