PURPOSE AND VALUES OF A POSTPARTUM DOULA
Often when new mothers have begun the transition from the hospital to home life, this transition can become hectic and stressful very quickly. Mothers are still expected to put on a smile and present themselves as if they hadn’t just given birth to a beautiful new child. But as the years have gone, it has become more socially acceptable to have an open and honest conversation on needing help. Being a Postpartum Doula is a great resource to have in that sensitive time the value we have as a Postpartum Doula sends a message to other mothers that it is okay to need help and receive it. The last thing we would want is for a mother to feel like she is failing when she simply needs a helping hand. As a Postpartum Doula, I strive to provide caring and educational information to clients as a whole as well. Because when everyone who is allowed to be involved is hands on deck, this process becomes a much easier and happier one for both the mother and child. Bonding becomes easier and everyday feedings and playtime become less of a chore and more of a way to successfully raise the child. And even if the mother asks for more help on the part of the doula, the benefit and value this gives to the mother can significantly lower the risk of postpartum depression. When introducing mothers to the line of work of a Postpartum Doula, they often feel that they need to be more active, even though the priority for the mother is to rest. This pressure usually stems from family and social pressure where women are usually taught to be on their feet and on top of their game after giving birth. Information about postpartum care and rest is not always readily available, and as a Doula my role is incredibly important so that mothers don’t feel that pressure of needing to be superwomen. The mental health of mothers can also be extremely at risk at this time, due to the overwhelming feelings of exhaustion and the hormonal changes that go on. If this does occur, my role as a Doula is to be right there with her, encouraging her to seek help, and relieve some of the stress, while also providing her with resources for her to reach out to. The role of a Doula is to bridge the gap that many mothers struggle with and be an advocate in safety and health for both the newborn and the mother. Not only am I there to reliably give educational tips throughout the day whether that be about nursing, breastfeeding, swaddling, what to do when the baby gets sick, but also how the mother can rest, how she can manage her time and how the partner can also help the mother (or father) take care of the baby when the other needs rest. It is incredibly important that the mother feels supported as well during the process of breastfeeding when many mothers who cannot, say they feel less worthy because of the lack of physical contact when there are a lot of ways to have mothers feel just as fulfilled and confident about bonding through physical contact.