Postpartum Doula: The New & Improved Baby Nurse

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Postpartum Doula: The New & Improved Baby Nurse

You’ve waited a long time for your baby’s birth, and you’ve done everything you can to prepare.

In addition to regular prenatal care, that preparation may have included a childbirth class, maybe an infant CPR class, some shopping and babyproofing to get the house and car ready before bringing baby home. You’ve got your hospital bags packed and your birth plan ready to go!

But what about your postpartum plan?

You’ve put together an amazing team of professionals to help you welcome your baby. Let that team help you heal after the birth also.

Family or friends may suggest a baby nurse, to help you get the rest you need in order to be able to really bond with your baby. So how do you find one, and how do you know who’s credible?

There is no official credential for a baby nurse. In fact, in California and many other states, an individual who calls himself or herself a “nurse” without a credential such as RN, LVN, LPN, or CNA is doing so illegally.

Still, she may be fabulous at getting baby into a healthy sleep pattern. Or she may not. Without any regulation, you can only go on the recommendations of friends. Unless your friend was parenting with a different style than you have chosen. Baby nurses typically only focus on the baby’s care, and have one style of care that they offer. So she may merge into your family very smoothly or her style may not fit your family priorities.

ENTER THE POSTPARTUM DOULA

  • She has trained with a reputable doula certification organization, she is focused on your physical and emotional recovery from the birth and on baby’s adjustment to life outside the womb.
  • She has an understanding of the psychology of relationships and she is aware of strategies that can help this bonding time be as intimate as possible for your family.
  • Your Postpartum Doula is a master of communication and opens dialogue among all members of the family.
  • She is educated in multiple parenting philosophies and can help you identify the strategies that will help you reach your parenting goals.
  • She is completely non-judgmental. She realizes that there are many “right” ways to parent, and she happily respects your choices.
  • She is practiced at Active Listening, and can act as an objective sounding board for you on multiple topics.
  • Your Postpartum Doula will ask you what things make you feel respected, loved, supported and informed; then she will help other family members to be aware of them, too.
  • She will nurture you with wholesome, delicious food!
  • She is educated and experienced in lactation support and will help you to comfortably breastfeed, combination feed, pump, or formula feed.
  • She can take care of light housekeeping chores so that you are free to bond with baby.
  • Your Postpartum Doula can help your baby establish a healthy sleep cycle, and help you get the sleep you need to recover.
  • She can come to your family for day-time shifts, or night-time shifts, or live-in shifts.

And here’s the big one:

Your Postpartum Doula will serve as the frontline defense against postpartum depression.

Even if you have no prior history of depression, postpartum depression can crop up anytime in the year before or the year after your baby’s birth. Family members are almost always too close to objectively identify early warning signs. But your Postpartum Doula is trained to identify and respond to those early red flags.

If the topic of postpartum depression enters the conversation early, you will have more options available to you. Your Postpartum Doula can help you find the resources you need, in order to have a happy, healthy postpartum recovery.

You are giving the very best to your baby, and you deserve the very best support! Give her the gift of a healthy, happy mother.