Written By riannon on July 9, 2019
The first few weeks following your baby’s birth is a time of huge transitions. It can also be a roller coaster of emotions, expectation, concerns, and activity for you and your family. If you’re like most new moms, your focus until now has been on nurturing your unborn child and preparing a space in your home as you waited for the birth of your baby. While prenatal books and classes provide great information about what giving birth is like, the actual journey of each mother and child is unique. Similarly, the support you need at home will vary, which is why I offer postpartum doula support that is completely customized to your family’s needs. My services provide support for the physical, emotional, and social needs of new moms.
Hormonal Changes – Postpartum changes are abrupt and begin the moment your baby is born. Even a strong resolve and the best of intentions can be derailed by the strong hormonal tides that occur after giving birth because there is still a lot going on in your body. Your progesterone levels drop off, prolactin hormones increase, and your dopamine levels may be doing both. It’s not unusual to experience a full gamut of emotions during this time, and you may feel euphorically happy, anxious, and melancholy all on the same day. Having someone to talk to through this stage can ease the feeling of being overwhelmed. Considering how many adjustments are happening inside of your body, allowing yourself access to professionally trained emotional support and empathy is a great option for self-care. It can also help to reduce the risk of postpartum depression.
Feeding Baby – Whether you choose to breastfeed or bottle feed, feeding baby can be a special time of closeness but there is usually a process on the way to finding that happy place. There can be many challenges to work through. For example, not all babies know how to nurse, and may need some help getting started. Some babies want to nurse frequently, which can be a real challenge if your nipples are still adjusting. Or you may have trouble finding the formula that agrees with baby. As a postpartum doula I provide both practical and emotional support to help you through these personal challenges such as sore nipples, regulating milk production, the best nutrition for you and baby, expressing and storing breastmilk, night feedings and more. My goal is to make this adjustment period as smooth as possible, so that you look forward to sharing this intimate time with baby.
Bonding – The “babymoon” period during those first few weeks at home can be wonderful as you begin to establish those important bonds of attachment and nurturing. This can be a cozy and rewarding time as you learn to recognize their needs, and how to respond to their cues of feeding times, changings, sleep, and discomforts. It can also be a time of stress if you’re still having to concern yourself with whether the dishes are done, there’s food in the fridge, who’s walking and the dog, and how high the laundry pile is getting. As a postpartum doula I take care of all those things, ensuring that your household routines are kept up allowing you and baby to spend as much quality time together as possible.
Self-Care – Getting lots of rest is the best way to ease yourself into your usual routines as you prepare to merge into the new life of parenting. It can be difficult to find the time to nap, to enjoy that long shower, or perhaps to journal about your experience. Having postpartum doula support ensures that you have time for baby and time for yourself.
Family Bonding: If you’re already a parent, you may have concerns about how you’re going to divide your time between the new baby and a sibling who is used to having more of your time and attention. As a postpartum doula I help to relieve that anxiety by spending time with younger children with stories or activities, or I can watch over baby so that you can enjoy activities with your other children or partner. As your family grows, the emotional needs of each family member will change. I can support those changes by facilitating more quality time for you to enjoy moments with each of them.
Sleeping: I specialize in finding personalized sleep solutions for young children, which I know can feel like a real gift to parents. My own sleep deprivation experience as a new mother is what introduced me to the amazing supports available and inspired me to become a sleep coach and postpartum doula. I know this can be life changing, and I find it very rewarding to be able to bring tranquility to a new family. As a doula and a sleep coach, I can help you to establish healthy sleep patterns from the beginning.
If you’d like more information about any or all these doula services, please give me a call. We can work together to customize your services to be exactly what your family needs.