written by Hanna Donati
At one time, a whole village would gather around to nourish and support a new mother. Traditionally, communities would ensure mothers could stay in bed for up to forty days to ensure optimal postpartum healing and bonding. Mothers were fed, pampered, and supported emotionally, physically, and spiritually. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
Unfortunately, as a society we do not place value on rest. We expect ourselves to “bounce back” without allowing our bodies precious time to heal. We expect ourselves to continue our lives as normal on our own-except this time, with a brand new baby and a body rapidly changing hormonally, physically and emotionally. We have lost the cradling support of our “village”, and the rates of postpartum depression, birth injuries, and unsuccessful breastfeeding journeys are proof that we need to reconnect to this ancient wisdom.
Postpartum doula services can fill this void. Entering into motherhood is a sacred time of a woman’s life. Birth and a new addition to the family means life altering change. Although it is an exciting, precious time, many women feel stressed about the prospect of learning how to breastfeed, care for a newborn, and keep themselves (and the rest of their family) fed and clothed! In fact, when talking with my birth doula clients, one of the few things they knew about the postpartum period was that it was “terrible.” This breaks my heart!
You don’t have to be in the immediate postpartum to take advantage of a postpartum doula. Some families have support when they have a newborn, but things get sticky when the adults in the home have to transition back to full time work after a leave, and your help seems to leave you when you most need it. Don’t hesitate to contact these great service providers to see if this service is right for you.
What does a Postpartum Doula do?
- Emotional support; an expert in your home in real time to support you
- Provide evidence based resources to you on newborn care, breastfeeding, the postpartum period
- Help create biologically normal routines and practices
- Allow time for you and/or your partner to get some much-needed rest
- Family education and older sibling support
- Physical support for your postpartum body, helping with lifting and
information on how the body recovers from childbirth including surgical
- Overnight infant care works beautifully with any way you choose to feed
your child and you get sleep
- Breastfeeding guidance and resource referral
- Newborn care guidance for you or other family members
- Prepare nourishing foods with what you already have in your fridge, within the framework of any diet you adhere to
- Light housework including organizing baby clothes, doing dishes, laundry, and making beds
Anja has partnered with two local doula groups so that her clients can receive special offers through Bloom Doula Services of the Fox Valley (serving Oshkosh and surrounding areas) and Green Bay Doulas (serving Green Bay and surrounding areas). Please contact those providers and mention that you are or have been her client.