When is the best time to hire a Postpartum Doula?
Option A: Planning Ahead
Today’s reality is that extended family members live farther away, and often have only a few weeks available to help new parents settle into life with their infant. For those who do not have family support, a Postpartum Doula can be available for consultation before birth and ready to begin working with your family on the day your baby arrives. If the baby is being delivered via a planned Cesarean birth, scheduling postpartum doula support makes sense; recovery from major surgery is more complicated and takes extra care. Breastfeeding mothers may need ongoing support in establishing their milk supply.
Parents who engage Postpartum Doula services to begin after family departs are able to bridge the transition smoothly and keep life on track. In the first weeks, you get to know your baby and begin establishing routines; you’ll be able to pinpoint what support your family most needs, and which doula tasks to prioritize.
A major benefit to booking your Postpartum Doula in advance is that you can take the time to interview candidates and get to know your doula before you are immersed in your ‘fourth trimester,’ possibly exhausted or otherwise overwhelmed. At that point, it can feel like finding the assistance you need is one more daunting entry on your to-do list.
Option B: It’s Never Too Late!
You don’t need to keep pushing yourself, it’s absolutely okay to have some help. A Postpartum Doula is able to step in and give the support you need, whether it’s preparing meals, minding the baby so you can take care of yourself, or tending to older sibling/s, giving them extra attention.
After experiencing an unexpected Cesarean birth, it makes sense to seek additional support to aid the new mom’s post surgery recovery. Mothers going through postpartum mood changes or anxiety benefit from having someone to talk to and lend an extra set of hands, so that life is less overwhelming.
Sometimes you’ve hit your stride, then things change! Parents must return to work. Babies reach milestones and sleep routines are disrupted. Siblings who used to sleep all night wake due to the changes of a new baby in the home. A Postpartum Doula can provide 8+ hour coverage so your baby’s sleep routine is facilitated as you sleep, so you can wake at your best in the morning.
What are the differences between a Postpartum Doula, a Nanny, and a Babysitter?
Certified and trained to work with newborns (0-3 months) and postpartum mothers during the ‘fourth trimester’ transition time
Supports breastfeeding, pumping, and post-birth recovery
Acts as a resource for parents regarding child development, infant care and postpartum mood changes.
Facilitates and documents baby’s healthy sleep and feeding routines.
Provides full or part-time day, weekend or night services (for babies up to 12 months)
Supports the whole family by providing household assistance: cooking, tidying, organizing, errands, and sibling care
Infant/child CPR and First Aid certified, Trustline/DOJ/DSS verified, immunized
Tends to be long term, child can be any age when job begins and ends
Primarily responsible for child care but may have household duties
May work days, nights and weekends
May have training and some certification
Short-term, on-call child care
Provider can be any age or level of experience
Often not CPR certified, trained, immunized or DOJ/DSS verified