Bringing home baby without a village
It's been 9 long months of pregnancy, way too many hours of labour and finally your precious bundle is here. It's only been a day or two since their birth and now you are being sent home. Wow! Now what?!? The first 24 hours seem to go pretty well, but the next day becomes an overwhelming blur of feedings, diapers and not enough sleep. And those "baby blues" they mentioned in prenatal classes have come crashing in.
Since the beginning of time, until just recently, women have typically been surrounded by experienced women when they gave birth and for the first few months of caring for a newborn. Their mothers, aunts, sisters, cousins and neighbours gathered near and supported that woman - bringing her meals, cleaning her house, watching her older children and minding the baby while she rested. Somehow, along the way, we have lost our "village" and have grown to be a very private culture; often raising our families far away from our parents, or our parents are working still or maybe even passed on, sometimes we don't even know our neighbours names. So how do you cope with the demanding life of having a newborn?
Say hello to the postpartum doula!
Postpartum doulas are an amazing addition for the modern couple to incorporate into their life. These professionals are well trained to help you tackle all your challenges. How to get enough sleep, where to rent a breast pump from (and how to use it!), what bottles to use, folding the baby's laundry, bringing you a sandwich and plenty of other useful tasks. Not only will they help with these practical things, they also know about the emotional ups and downs associated with the hormone crash after birth and will support you through those moments. Partners will benefit as well, not only simply by having "a happier wife", but they will also be shown ways that they can bond with baby too. Any older siblings will enjoy having someone there to help maintain their usual routine. Perhaps you do have your parents around, but maybe you feel their advice is outdated and you would like the latest evidence-based information.
While we believe any family would benefit from hiring a postpartum doula, there are many special circumstances when one could be considered even more necessary. When bringing home twins, triplets or more; special needs babies (preemies or other health issues); being isolated from family; having a traumatic birth; recovering from a c-section; experiencing breastfeeding problems; having toddlers at home; very nervous families; adoption or surrogacy journeys; having previously experienced a postpartum mood disorder (postpartum depression or anxiety); or simply having a challenging newborn! Clinical studies have proven that having good postpartum support results in greater breastfeeding success, more confidence and less postpartum depression.
No matter why you decide to hire a postpartum doula, we would be delighted to fulfill that role. We pride ourselves on our professionalism and unconditional support and are positive that you will feel pampered with our services. If you are in the Calgary area, please get in touch with us today!
Tracy is a mother, birth doula, postpartum doula and childbirth educator. She lives in the Calgary, AB area with her husband, three kids and her lazy cat.