The Postpartum Doula
Doula is a Greek word which simply means "a woman care-giver of another woman." In ancient times, doulas were an essential part of a woman’s birthing experience and remained with her from the beginning of labor until she integrated her birth experience into her daily life. Today, the Birth Doula supports the family during the labor and birth while the Postpartum Doula supports the entire family during the postpartum period which typically lasts three to six months.
The Postpartum Doula:
- helps with physical and emotional recovery from birth;
- offers information on infant feeding, including breast feeding support;
- teaches newborn soothing techniques;
- helps identify normal newborn behavior, including feeding, sleeping and waking patterns;
- assists with newborn care;
- can provide practical assistance such as preparing meals, running errands, nursery organization and performing light household tasks;
- teaches coping skills and encourages parents' self-care;
- makes appropriate referrals when necessary.