Your Wedding Day
Your wedding day is something you will never forget. You put hours, days, weeks, months, even years into planning the perfect day. Maybe it was elaborate. Maybe it was simple. Maybe you had 872 guests, or maybe it was just you and your partner.
Regardless of how it happened, you put time, effort, thought, and emotion into it…as most people do.
BUT…did you put that same effort into your marriage? Were you prepared to actually spend the rest of your life with this person who buys too many shoes, doesn’t do enough laundry, and has annoying habits of falling asleep with the TV on or leaving their coffee spoons on the counter?
Usually the answer is no. Very few people put much thought into how they will keep their marriage alive year after year, even when they meticulously thought out the details of their wedding day (or hired someone to do that for them).
What does this have to do with babies? Well don’t worry…I’ll tell you!
Most expectant families put a lot of thought into the day their baby is born. You plan what doctor to see and what hospital to birth at. You weigh your options for labor and birth. You have fun designing your nursery. You pack your hospital bag. You install your car seat. You hire a birth doula and a birth photographer. You take a hospital tour and maybe a childbirth class. You even plan to encapsulate the placenta since you heard that was a thing you should do.
BUT…do you have a plan for when the baby comes home? Will family be there for a few days or weeks? Is your partner taking off of work? Do you have a few meals planned or someone to set up a meal train for you?
Most people have the first few weeks sorted out (or at least they think they do). But at some point your family leaves. Your partner returns to work. You are left alone with this baby who didn’t exactly come with an instruction manual.
You feel exhausted. You want to sleep. You want to eat. You can’t remember the last time you took a shower without hopping out sooner than anticipated to soothe your crying little one. You haven’t had time to yourself, not to mention quality time with your partner.
You are left wondering how this transition is supposed to work because society and the media make it seem easy. People who give birth are supposed to automatically bounce back to normal after a couple of weeks. The novelty of a new baby wears off and no one is offering to “help” anymore, which maybe isn’t a loss since their brand of help isn’t always actually that helpful.
But you are left wanting what you used to have, and wanting to successfully integrate the new love of your life into your current existence.
Enter your postpartum doula. She will help you with the transition of bringing your baby home. She will help you feel saner. She knows what is normal or not normal. She will not judge you. She does not bring her opinions and biases into your home. She is there to support you. To nurture you. To listen to you. To help you create efficient systems.
Maybe you know exactly what you need…you just need someone to execute it for you. Your postpartum doula will do that. Not to be cliché, but she could easily pass as Mary Poppins’ twin sister!
A postpartum doula is flexible. She can come for a few days, or she can live with you for a week or two (or longer!). She can do overnights, evenings, and day shifts. She can help with breastfeeding, pumping, or bottle feeding. She can help feed you and your partner by preparing snacks and meals. She can keep up with the laundry that’s been piling up while you bond with your baby. She will help develop healthy sleep habits for everyone, if that’s what you wish.
Her wish is your command.
So don’t let planning the rest of your life with your baby take a backseat to planning the day you meet them. They are equally as important, and at Doulas of Los Angeles, we are here to help you with pregnancy, labor, and the long beyond!
Authored by: Kathleen Rucka