A postnatal dealer, jeweller and do-what-now?! I don’t blame you for wondering what the heck I just said. Although Doulas are growing in number, they’re still a not-very-heard-of profession.
Most people have heard of a birth doula. As a Postnatal Doula, my work focuses on life after birth. This vulnerable, oxytocin-filled, overwhelming, unpredictable time is often overlooked in favour of preparing for labour and birth.
So, what is a Postnatal Doula?
Put very simply, a Postnatal Doula is someone who supports a family in the days and weeks after the birth of their baby. The focus tends to be on the birther and the baby, but support can also be provided for partners and older siblings, too.
Postnatal Doulas support families in lots of different ways, but here are some of the most common ways:
Feeding support, whether breast/chest feeding or formula
Care of the baby whilst the parents rest/shower/drink a hot cup of tea/sleep
Emotional support, building confidence and resilience
Signposting to valuable services and experts in areas such as lactation, infant sleep, physio etc
Creating a neutral safe space to explore parenting options and decisions
Preparing nutritious food
Doulas often provide a range of support to their clients. For example, I offer three-step rewind birth trauma support for people who may have difficult emotions when thinking of their birth experience. I am also a breastfeeding peer supporter and training to be a mindful breastfeeding practitioner, combining mindfulness and relaxation with breastfeeding support.
Doulas can also provide virtual support too. I offer weekly virtual support to clients that are not based in Devon, or for those who want more of the emotional support rather than help with the practical matters.
As Postnatal Doulas are Self Employed Business Owners, they can craft their Business however they like. This means you might have a Doula who is also a massage therapist, a hypnobirthing practitioner or an aromatherapist and more! What this means for clients is that you can get a really wide variety of Doulas and be spoiled for choice.