As a DONA Certified postpartum doula, I provide loving support during first 12 weeks after the birth of your baby, often referred to as the fourth trimester. I provide support for families in the Northern Virginia and Washington DC area. A postpartum doula focuses on providing space for a new family to bond together while helping the mother heal from birth. In addition, a postpartum doula helps guide parents with confidence and support as they experience a long list of firsts.Let's Meet
Like many expectant and new parents, you may be feeling some of these emotions:
- “I am so tired/dirty/hungry. I wish I had extra help with the baby so I could sleep/bathe/eat.”
- “There is so much information out there and I don’t know where to start.”
- “Being a parent is a lot different than I expected.”
- “How will I get everything done and still be able to care for my baby?”
- “All of this unsolicited advice is making me stressed out.”
- “I am not feeling myself emotionally and physically.”
- “Breastfeeding is harder than I thought it would be.”
- “How will I ever be ready to go back to work.”
Imagine, instead, that your mind is filled with these thoughts:
- “I feel well rested, well fed, and clean.”
- “I feel confident in following my intuition as a new parent.”
- “My expectations for the first weeks and months are focused on caring for my child, healing from birth, and bonding as a family.”
- “I am able to focus on my baby since everything on my to do list is taken care of.”
- “I have enough evidence based information at my finger tips that I am able to respond to advice with confidence and compassion.”
- “I feel safe to share my feelings and ask for help when I need it.”
- “I am able to have support in my breastfeeding relationship.”
- “I have a plan in place for returning to work so I am able to focus on enjoying my time alone with my baby.”
So, you may be wondering what a postpartum doula does.
As a postpartum doula, I help new mothers and fathers have an easier adjustment to being a parent to a newborn baby. In addition, I make sure that both parents are given the space to care for themselves and each other. This is especially true for new mothers who have just gone through a surgical birth and need extra care. Caring for a newborn can be more challenging than anyone expected. You deserve to have the support you need to enjoy the weeks after birth and the transition from maiden to mother.
So what does a typical shift look like?
I’m glad you asked. My typical day shift is 3-6 hours and night shifts is 8-12 hour shifts. When I arrive I check in with the family to get an update on the day. If the baby is resting, I sometimes share additional skills with the family such as babywearing techniques, baby care skills like nail clipping, bathing, introducing a bottle, swaddling, etc. If it is time for a feeding, I help make sure breastfeeding is established well and that the baby is latching and transferring milk well. After the baby is finished feeding, I help burp baby and settle the baby to sleep either with the family or with me so the family can sleep, eat, or relax. While the baby sleeps, I assist with meal preparation, laundry, dishes, straightening around the house and other basic household tasks. When the baby wakes for his/her next feeding, I change diapers and bring him/her to the mother to feed her baby. During the feeding, we talk about how she is feeling physically and emotionally. We process the birth experience and how to manage caring for her baby and other siblings/pets/household needs. This repeats throughout the shifts, day or night. I always make sure everything is clean and tidy before I leave for the day.
Some of the benefits that new parents experience with my postpartum care include:
- Well established breastfeeding relationship your newborn baby. In those early challenging days of breastfeeding I assist with getting a good latch, finding a comfortable nursing position, and determine if baby is transferring milk well. I help the entire family to learn to support the breastfeeding mom and baby.
- Comfort and confidence in providing care for your infant. I provide help by assisting with bathing, grooming, massage, diapering, sleeping, soothing, swaddling, and much more. I can lend an experienced eye to provide you with the confidence you need to care for you new baby.
- Self care and emotional support that allows the parents to care for themselves. I provide gentle care as you heal from the birth of your baby. I am here to listen and help you process your birth and postpartum experiences. I will support you through the highs and lows of the first few weeks of parenting. In addition, I foster self confidence in your role as parent.
- Meal preparation, basic housework, and running errands that lessen the burden on the family. I provide support to ensure that everyone is well fed, rested and feeling supported. I can work with parents to care for the baby and other siblings while the parents get a shower, sleep or eat a meal. I also assist in meal preparation and ensuring that the entire family is nourished. The goal is to remove some of the burden from the families and allow them to focus on bonding with their new baby. I assist with basic housework including laundry, dishes, straightening, bottle cleaning, to name a few. I run basic errands including grocery shopping, picking up prescriptions, baby care items, dry cleaning, and so much more.
- Integrating the new baby into the family. I work with each family to integrate their new baby into their family whether it be a sibling or extended family. I also help the family function as a unit and learn how to best provide help to each other during this new time.
- Babywearing as a way to support baby and parents. I provide assistance in learning to safely and comfortably wear your baby therefore allowing you to have both your hands free while your baby is close to you. It allows your baby to be close by while you read, eat, or go for a walk.
- The freedom and confidence to take outings with the baby. With my support, I make sure you have everything you need and give you with an extra pair of hands. I can accompany you to doctor’s appointments, mom’s groups, grocery stores or out for lunch or coffee.
- Introduction and support with cloth diapering. I provide assistance with parents who are interested in using cloth diapers. I help with providing resources for purchase or diaper services. I assist with storing, washing, traveling and using cloth diapers.
- Returning to work with a detailed plan for pumping and child care. I can assist with pumping, setting up a schedule, assisting in selecting pumping friendly work clothing, and providing support with the emotions that come with returning to work.
- Planning session to ensure that the entire family is supported during the postpartum period. I assist in preparing a postpartum plan that ensures your baby gets the best start in life. The result of the session enables the entire family to feel supported and nourished during the first few weeks and months after birth.
You can enjoy the first weeks and months with your new baby while your postpartum doula lightens the load on you. You will feel confident and happy.Schedule an Interview
Please contact us to let us know that you are thinking of getting support during your postpartum period. I would love to schedule a face to face meeting with you to talk about your needs free of charge!Book a Free Consultation