A doula isn’t a care provider. A doula isn’t in charge if something weird or abnormal happens. A doula’s first response to a concerned parent should be, “Have you checked with your care provider?”
A doula’s expertise lies in normal.
So why hire a doula?
Because normal is hard.
The learning curve for parenting is steep. It’s trial by fire: already sleep deprived parents come home with their new baby, who is adjusting to life without womb service.
And the parents have to figure out all those little newborn cues quickly while learning brand new skills, like how to change a diaper, how to feed a baby, and how to use a Nose Frida. (Yes, it's really a snot sucker. Yes, it's a real thing. Yes, parents really like them.)
And they have to log every time they feed the baby, how long the feeding takes, every time the baby needs a diaper change, and anything else their care provider deems necessary to make sure the baby is healthy and growing.
Not to mention, all of these normal questions arise that must be answered:
How do I breastfeed? How do I give a bottle? How much milk does a newborn take? How long does it take to breastfeed? Why is my baby crying? How do I soothe a crying baby?
There isn’t really a textbook black and white guide for every situation.
A doula teaches parents how to soothe a crying baby. A doula provides helpful techniques for those first baths.
A doula knows how to give twins their bottles at the same time. The real magic happens when twins go to sleep at the same time.
A doula is up to date on safe sleep standards. (Don’t use those cute stuffed animals or bumpers in the crib!)
Every parent I know has confided, “No one told me how hard having a newborn would be. I’m so tired!” Totally normal to feel that way--but a doula can definitely help you catch some extra Zzzzz's.
A doula offers parents time for self care.
Need a shower? Take one while your doula keeps a watchful eye on your newbie. Better yet, take a shower and then slide into your freshly made bed for a blissful nap in between feedings or while the doula gives the baby a bottle. Wake up and have a snack while you snuggle with your content baby.
A doula listens to what parents are really saying.
A doula is a sounding board for an overwhelmed parent.
So, a "normal" day for a brand new parent might mean constantly interrupted, fractured sleep, or 5 hours of straight sleep. (Can you believe 5 hours in a row is what many consider "Sleeping through the night"?)
"Normal" might mean breastfeeding every two hours, or it might mean feeding with a bottle. A normal expectation for one parent could mean they were able to brush their teeth and another might feel deprived without 3 sit down meals!
And for situations beyond "normal", your doula will help you feel confident in contacting your care provider to determine the next step to have healthy parents and a healthy baby.
Doulas don’t always solve problems, but a doula knows that usually a parent can figure it out with a little time and creativity.
A doula creates space and validation for reflection and growth as parents figure out their babies, and themselves.
Contact 321-405-BABY for details about booking Postpartum and Infant Care Doula Services.
Authored by: Staci Plonsky