Most people have heard about birth doulas, but what is a postapartum doula? Our guest blogger, Kimberly Bepler, owner of ABC Doula Services, breaks it down for us. It seems that arranging for a professional postpartum doula could be the smartest decision made for you and your family.
What is the difference between a birth doula and a postpartum doula?
Birth doulas are primarily for the pregnancy and birth itself. They coach you through questions, help get you accurate information, and provide a listening ear when the medical world can only offer you short appointments. During the labor they are there to ease your fear and discomfort, and to help you in ways you can’t even anticipate. They are knowledgeable and comforting and I wouldn’t recommend giving birth without one if you have an option! However, the work they do postpartum is quite different than a dedicated postpartum doula. They might do a follow up visit to go over the birth with you, might present you with photos or mementos about the birth, or might come to check on breastfeeding or provide a meal. That is often their wrap up visit for closure about the birth.
A dedicated postpartum doula comes to serve you, care for you, educate you, and helps you around the house while you are resting and adjusting to life with your baby. They will run a sitz bath for you, hold your baby while you soak your sore bits, change your sheets while you are in there, then settle you back in bed to nurse baby while they make you lunch. They will hold babies while you nap if you are just overwhelmed, listen to your struggles with your in-laws without judgment, and tell you what a wonderful mother you are and how great your baby is. They are also great problem solvers with babies and will help you soothe, bathe, and care for your baby confidently so you eventually don’t need them anymore.
The biggest difference between the two is focus and purpose. Birth doulas are there to help you get through one of the biggest events of your life. Postpartum doulas are there to put you back together afterward and help you be awesome at parenting with skills and confidence. Continue reading