The Value Of A Postpartum Doula

As a new mother, the first few weeks of a newborn's life are stressful and exhausting. That is why more and more mothers are choosing to hire a postpartum doula.

What Is A Postpartum Doula?

A postpartum doula is someone (usually a female) who provides assistance to the mother in the period shortly after birth. The postpartum doula is trained to help the new mother as she adjusts to her role, as well as aid in newborn care and breastfeeding. She can even cook meals, clean the house or run errands. Ultimately these professionals are hired to assist the mother as she recovers from the birth process. Postpartum doulas can be especially helpful for a mom fighting a postpartum mood disorder. 

Postpartum doulas provide support as the family bonds and the parents take on their new roles. These doulas are especially helpful to new mothers struggling with physical and emotional exhaustion after giving birth. With bodies taxed from childbirth and emotions fragile as their hormone levels fluctuate drastically, a postpartum doula can be a godsend.

A postpartum doula can care for the infant and allow the new mother time to sleep. She can also reassure the new mother and support her emotionally. For the first-time mother, the doula can offer instruction on infant care. She can teach the new mother how to diaper, bathe and feed the baby. Postpartum doulas can also help the father become more comfortable caring for the baby.

Postpartum Doula vs. Baby Nurse

A postpartum doula is different from a baby nurse. A baby nurse is focused solely on the needs of the baby. The postpartum doula, on the other hand, is focused more on helping the entire family adjust to the new baby. She is there to assist the mother, primarily, by caring for her as well as taking over some of her responsibilities so that she may rest and bond with her new baby.

Her role in the home is generally quite short. Postpartum doulas generally work for the first few weeks of a baby's life, or until the new mother feels comfortable and confident.

A postpartum doula can lessen a new mom’s stress by lending support as the mom learns to care for her new infant

Why Hire A Postpartum Doula

There are many reasons a woman might choose to hire a postpartum doula. The doula can provide the support and care that traditionally would have been provided by a sister, mother or other relative. A postpartum doula can decrease the stress level for the new mother. In addition, she can support the new mother as she learns to breastfeed and care for her infant. The support and assistance of a postpartum doula can help every member of the family adapt to the changes a new baby brings.

Where To Find A Postpartum Doula

DONA International is the largest doula association in the world. To locate a postpartum doula near you, click on the directory link below, and you will be taken to DONA International's doula directory page. 

Postpartum Doula Directory


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"I just want to say in my capacity as pediatrician, teacher of pediatrics, and medical journalist, how very impressed I am by your website. I think your site is very thoughtful, not at all doctrinaire, and will be very valuable to mothers (and I think fathers, too in a second-hand sort of way) suffering from a variety of postpartum problems, of which the most common and perhaps the most serious is PPD. Anyway, thank you for your site, which I will certainly pass on to mothers in my practice."

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