5 Secrets Your Postpartum Doula WON’T Tell You


5 Secrets Your Postpartum Doula Won’t Tell You

Mary Stelter


All through your pregnancy, the birth plan is coming together. You speak about the details with your OB, your labor doula team, your family members, your friends, even the clerk in the store. 

But what about your postpartum plan? When you meet with your postpartum doula prior to the birth, she will help you create a detailed postpartum plan that will help your recovery be more than just restful, it will be rejuvenating.  

Your postpartum doula will help you understand which parenting philosophies match your priorities and family goals, and HOW to achieve those goals.  

Which is super important, because if you try to figure this out at 3am when you’re sleep deprived, physically sore, and baby is crying, you may not be at your best decision making moment. 

So here are 5 secrets your postpartum doula WON’T tell you: 

#5 We’re Looking for Dirty Socks on the Floor 

But not the same way your mother-in-law may. When your postpartum doula shows up for a shift, she’s taking note of how the house looks.  

Does it look like you’ve been resting when the baby rests, or does it look like you’ve been cleaning? If you’ve been cleaning, she’s going to send you straight to bed! Then she’ll care for baby and continue to pick up the house. Or if you’ve got a housekeeper, she’ll coordinate with the housekeeper. 

#4 We REALLY Want to Hear Your Birth Story 

Unlike a night nanny or a baby nurse, when your postpartum doula asks how things went, she’s not just being polite. She REALLY wants to know, because what you may think of as minute details of the birth experience, can have a SIGNIFICANT impact on your recovery.  

So let her fix you a delicious meal, rock the baby, and let the whole story tumble out. Ugly crying is ok. Exultant laughing is ok. She’s going to listen without interrupting, she won’t tell you how you “should” feel, and she will help you heal deeply. 

#3 We’re Looking for Cues to Clue-In Your Partner 

Partners have a hard job. The woman they love is a very different woman from the woman she was yesterday, and who she will be tomorrow. And partners don’t get a manual. 

So your postpartum doula is looking for the tiny details that make you feel loved, honored, nurtured, and secure. Then she’ll coach your partner on those details. She may say, “I noticed yesterday when you rubbed her shoulders while she nursed the baby, she really relaxed. I think you found the key to helping her breastfeed.”  

Or “I noticed that when you packed the diaper bag this morning and included the spare breast pump parts, that really made her morning easier. She really appreciated that!” 

It works for extended family and friends also. 

#2 We Won’t Change Baby’s Diaper in the Middle of the Night 

If getting baby into a healthy sleep pattern is a priority, your postpartum doula will be a lifesaver. When your postpartum doula is scheduled for an overnight shift, she will have a quick conversation with you to learn if there are any reasons why baby should have a diaper change in the night, such as a medical condition or rash. 

Because today’s overnight diapers are so efficient at wicking moisture away from baby’s bum, night times are easier than they used to be. If there’s no health risk that necessitates a diaper change, your postpartum doula is going to prepare baby with the right products to encourage healthy skin and healthy sleep.  

She’ll keep things as dark and quiet as possible in baby’s room to aid in the establishment of a healthy circadian rhythm. If baby’s diaper needs to be changed, your postpartum doula is a diaper-change-ninja who can change that diaper explosion and have everything cleaned up, without waking baby.

It’s an art. 

#1 We’re Looking to See if You Have Joy and Happiness in Your Motherhood 

Postpartum depression is the Number 1 complication post-birth.

It is a silent thief that steals your happiness.

So, unlike a housekeeper or cook or nanny, your postpartum doula specializes in recognizing the signs that you might be suffering. 

Prenatally, your postpartum doula can help you establish some plans that will smooth out some of the wrinkles that may cause postpartum depression, such as helping you to establish a supportive network. But if the signs crop up, she sees them before they become overwhelming.  

She can help you make minor course corrections to the daily routine that will ease in the return of happiness. She will ask family members for their feelings and assistance. 

And she will ask you directly – “Are you feeling the level of joy you want to be feeling?” Then she will listen. Without judgment. Without an agenda. But with hope. And she will FILL you with that hope. 

Now you have the behind-the-scenes information on how your postpartum doula will help your family. These are the secrets of our service. You deserve to know them. And you deserve the best support available. You deserve a professional postpartum doula.