Should You Hire a Postpartum Doula? We Asked One To Find Out

In case you thought doulas were only for childbirth, think again. We sat down with Janessa—a certified health and wellness expert—specializing as a postpartum doula. Here's what she had to say about hiring a doula during arguably one of the most trying trimesters—the 4th one. 

Janessa is a special kind of human. One that most mothers probably wish they had around proceeding giving birth. She offer a range of services to help mothers from breastfeeding, to education, to light house work. Whatever makes life easier for new mamas.  

postpartum doula

Jenessa, certified health and wellness expert specializing as a postpartum doula 

How and why did you become a postpartum doula? 

I became a postpartum doula because I wanted to finally do work that directly benefits my community. I want to help families thrive during the vulnerable 4th trimester. A little over a year ago, I didn’t know what a postpartum doula was until a family member became one and described the work. As I listened to her, I realized I was built for this type of work. I love being supportive, on my feet and a source of calm for those feeling stressed. After learning about what a postpartum doula is I took my training with DONA International and from there I began to work with families.

What does a postpartum doula do exactly? 

DONA International defines a postpartum doula as “a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible”. To me, a postpartum doula is someone who is there to help families transition and thrive after welcoming a newborn home.  Postpartum doulas can provide daytime support which can look like feeding support, watching over the baby as family members nap or shower or even tasks such as meal prep or company for doctor’s visits. Postpartum doulas also provide nighttime support. During a nighttime shift a postpartum doula watches over your baby while you get some much needed sleep. While you rest, the doula will handle all feedings and do some light housework. 

What’re the benefits of working with a doula?

mother with her baby

One of the biggest benefits to working with a doula is sleep! This might sound like a small thing, but we want everyone to recover physically and mentally after bringing home a new baby and sleep is one of the most restorative things you can do to heal. A postpartum doula will look after your newborn while you nap during the day or overnight while you get a full night’s rest. Another very important benefit to working with a postpartum doula is referrals to local resources. As part of the birth community, we know the best people to contact in town whether you are looking for a therapist for postpartum depression, cloth diapering support or an IBCLC for breastfeeding troubleshooting. Having an extra set of hands and eyes in your home after bringing home a baby has endless benefits. Because postpartum doulas are there to support the new baby and the new parents, you are really getting a holistic healing experience.

How long do you typically stay with a family?

How long a postpartum doula stays with a family really varies and just depends on the family. Some families only want support for the first week after bringing their baby home. Other families may want support throughout the entire 12 weeks of the newborn phase. Daytime shifts are usually 4 hours long and nighttime shifts are typically 8 hours.

What’re the biggest challenges most new moms and their partners face bringing their baby home for the first time?

One of the biggest challenges new parents face is just trusting their gut instincts. A postpartum doula provides confidence in making parenting decisions. The internet is great for getting your questions answered, but if social media and search engines are leading to anxiety, try to step back and go with your gut. Another challenge facing new parents is just remembering to rest. Welcoming a new child is exhausting mentally and physically. Letting go of certain obligations such as chores or visitors might be necessary in order for new parents to take it easy and rest when the baby is sleeping.

We know you’re also currently enrolled in a baby-wearing certification class, what should parents consider when selecting their first baby carrier?

The first thing to know about baby carriers is there are so many options. Baby-wearing is not just about transporting you and child from one place to another. It is also about connecting with your child. There’s also the added convenience of freeing up your hands to bring a little bit more freedom to your day-to-day life. One great question you can ask is whether you want the carrier for just at home or when you are on the go. For a carrier that you will use outside of the home, you will one something that you can easily take on and off. If you are thinking of just carrying at home, light options like a stretchy or woven wrap could be a great choice.

Are there any misconceptions about doulas that you would like to destigmatize?

Hiring a doula is not a sign of weakness. Since the beginning of time, birth and raising a child was a community experience, not meant to be done alone. Both birth doulas and postpartum doulas provide families with much needed support and the often missing community experience.

Why do you recommend GoodBuy Gear to new parents?

Welcoming a child into your family often means investing in products. GoodBuy Gear’s dedication to providing quality used products is a reminder that not all those products need to be new, they can simply be new-to-you. When we move away from the consumerism brought on by parenthood, we can begin to focus on what really matters. GoodBuy Gear is also a great way to keep things budget-friendly for your household. Between great discounts on quality items and the opportunity to resell items you no longer use, GoodBuy Gear is a wonderful option for those looking to keep their budget on track.

Learn more about Janessa and hiring a postpartum doula on her website. 



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