When I tell people I am a postpartum doula in response to the "what do you do?" question that is so common in small talk between two people getting to know each other, most people follow up almost immediately with another question - What does a postpartum doula do?
If you've found way over here to the Doulas of Iowa City blog, I'm guessing you may have a bit more familiarity with the way in which postpartum doulas support families as they transition into parenthood with a new little bundle of joy. Skilled and experienced in the needs of postpartum recovery and newborn babies, postpartum doulas provide a cushion of nonjudgmental support.
If the conversation goes further and I share about day and overnight visits (that include physical, emotional, and informational support as well as partner reinforcement and encouragement as new parents learn to be their own advocates) the most common response is that the person who posed the initial question expresses a wish - a wish that they had received that kind of support in their parenting journey.
For many families, the thought to hire a postpartum doula doesn't cross their minds until they find themselves overwhelmed and exhausted in the early days and weeks postpartum. If that is the case for you, this is certainly the right time to reach out to a postpartum doula! Whether it is holding your baby so you can take a nap, troubleshooting breastfeeding, or joining you for night feedings with words of encouragement, a postpartum doula may be just what you need to take a breath and feel empowered in your journey.
If, however, you are reading this blog before your little one arrives earthside, you are in the perfect position to set yourself up for a more blissful and less stressful postpartum experience. By hiring your postpartum doula prenatally you guarantee your spot on a doula's calendar. For example, I take 1-3 postpartum clients per month in order to make certain I have the availability they need.
Inviting a postpartum doula - or anyone - into your nest after baby's arrival is an intimate thing. Taking the time to interview several doulas prenatally will help you make certain that you and your chosen doula are a perfect fit. Additionally, each doula may vary in the services she offers or how she structures her packages - thinking through those considerations now will make for less questions later.
And, many doulas offer gift cards or can work with you to include doula support on your registry. This is an awesome way for friends and family to lift up and support your new little family.
Now that you are considering hiring a postpartum doula, I bet you are wondering how to find one? Don't worry - I'm here to help with that, too! Coming to one of Doulas of Iowa City Meet the Doula events is a fantastic opportunity to ask questions and chat with a whole group of locals.
Can't make the Meet the Doula event? Reach out to any of our postpartum doulas today and set up a consultation.
The Doulas of Iowa City blog contains guest posts by Doulas of Iowa City member businesses. We are excited to share with you about pregnancy, birth, and postpartum in Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, and surrounding communities and to help you connect to fabulous local resources.