If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’re having a baby soon! Maybe you already have your baby and are going through the motions of keeping your baby fed, clean, soothed and happy (maybe), while also trying to figure out how to do the same for yourself. It’s quite possible that you had an incredibly difficult pregnancy and so in comparison- postpartum is a refreshing change. Or perhaps, you’re sitting in a recliner, feeding a baby right now wondering why it seems that the postpartum support you do have doesn’t seem to be cutting it.
Regardless of where you’re at on your baby timeline, let’s talk about Postpartum Doula support and why it just may be the best investment you make for yourself and your family.
If we could address the most common reason we hear for not hiring postpartum Doula support, it would be “We are pretty sure that our *enter family member or friend* will come and help us.
Notice how the #1 reason isn’t cost? Now that’s not to say that it’s not a factor for many families, but we truly believe the reason for that is because there’s no question about the value of postpartum Doula support from anyone who fully understands what it is, and the impact it can make. So if you’re confused about what Postpartum Support really is, (we promise it’s so much more than just doing your dishes and laundry- although that’s not excluded) send us a message today for your free consultation and explanation of a care plan that will take you out of “survival mode”.
So let’s dive in! Here are 5 reasons why you should still consider hiring a Postpartum Doula even if your friends and family say they can help:
1. YOUR DOULA DOESN’T COME WITH BAGGAGE
There I said it. Family comes with baggage. It's just the way it is. Even if you have an incredible relationship with your mom, sister, cousin, etc, there is baggage and unconscious agendas that can be brought into your space and make the support you receive more stressful than helpful. And sometimes that baggage is literal. Sometimes that means 6 suitcases piled up in your spare room with a family member who says they want to help- moving in. Yes- your refrigerator, counter tops and bathroom get taken over by more clutter. Just what every early postpartum needs on top of their already heavy mental load and anxiety coming from clutter and feeling out of control with this tiny, confusing newborn. So unless you have clear boundaries set, and trust that they will follow that, things might get sticky.
Now let's pretend for a minute that the aforementioned scenario doesn't apply to you! Your family being in your space during an intimate time doesn't sound stressful in the least! In fact, you and your mom are so close and in sync, that she wouldn't dare fold your laundry the wrong way, or accidentally shrink a muslin-bamboo baby quilt you bought for $200 because she didn't read the label, right? AWESOME! We wish more family members were this considerate and aware of how to hold space for a new mother during the postpartum period. No, seriously! WHY is it so hard to just respect boundaries and space of new parents?
Yet still...there comes the unspoken, and unconscious agendas that family can bring in. And this kind of tension doesn't look obvious to an outsider. But to someone as close to it as you, the subtle comments are enough to make you want to scream.
"He's hungry, again? Didn't you just feed him? Here let grandma give you a bottle little peanut."
(Is this comment directly meaning to cause doubt and confusion? Not at all, But congratulations now you feel like you have low supply based on no evidence at all. A Postpartum Doula would reaffirm that your baby is going through many growth spurts and mental leaps and finds so much comfort in being close to you at the breast.)
"You shouldn't be doing so much. Here sit down- I'll take care of it."
(Again. This comment means well. But you probably are already frustrated with the restrictions you've been given after birth and just want some sense of normalcy. Now you feel like you're doing something wrong and your single trip to the sink to wash a bowl is the reason your bleeding has picked up again. Our Doulas might say something like, "What feels important to you today? Would you like to fold some laundry together and chat about the sleep troubles your little one has been having and see if we can come up with a plan you feel good about to get you some more rest?")
2. FRIENDS HAVE GOOD INTENTIONS BUT CAN'T ALWAYS FOLLOW THROUGH IN THE WAY YOU NEED
It takes a village! But sometimes, our village needs their own village. Sometimes this means that our friends are in their own seasons of child- rearing and unable to be the support we need at any given time of day. Let's face it. How many times do we over- commit ourselves to helping others (even when we really want to and have the best intentions) but then life happens, kids happen, illness happens, and we either end up serving others with resentment, an empty cup, or can't follow through at all? It happens. And this doesn't mean our friends suck. But unmet expectations are enough to make any new mom feel defeated and alone.
When you've been counting on your friend to watch your kids to give you a break for the past 5 days, and then they call you to let you know their household is sick- IT'S DEFEATING.
Now maybe this doesn't happen to you and your friends are incredible and never have family emergencies come up. Can you ever really have too much support? We say NO!
The beauty of Postpartum Doula support is that we have backups in case of an emergency with your Doula. It's always up to you if you'd like to reschedule your shift in an emergency, or utilize the support of one of our amazing backups so you can still get rest, a hot shower, someone to listen, and give you whatever you need that day.
3. NO AGENDA
When we walk into your home, your goals are our goals. We have no preference on what we talk about, what gets done, how much sleep you get or don't get- nothing at all. We are all ears, and the shoulder that you can vent on. There's no pressure to clean your home, be dressed in anything specific, have anything ready for us- nothing. Our Doulas are there to instill strength, and reduce fear. We are there to support you in the things you've identified you need, and to identify things you may not even recognize you need. No judgement. No bias. No agenda. Just support. Sounds amazing right?
Now all of this is NOT to say that we don't think family members should provide support, help care for your baby, make you meals, etc. BUT often times, family as the sole source of support falls short because it's simply so much harder to communicate your needs, struggles, and feelings to someone you'll have to see at Christmas- or when those needs come to a peak at 2 am.
4. YOUR DOULA IS AN EXPERT + A PROFESSIONAL
Things have changed. Parenting philosophies and styles have evolved. A Postpartum Doula stays up to date on baby products, evidence, and techniques that will get you more rest- both mentally and physically. The Omaha Baby Nest Doulas all carry liability insurance with up to date CPR certification. We believe your peace of mind matters. How you prefer your baby to be held, sleep, and eat matters to us. We won't try to fight you or question you. When you ask for help overnight, and when the baby is overwhelming you at 2am- we'll be there. When you are overwhelmed with the conflicting advice you've read, seen, and heard about *fill in the blank*, there's your Doula to help you decode it all and find what works best for you. Your mom, sister, dad, cousin, best friend, and Pastor all have their own ideas on what the best way to parent is and what worked best for them. We're here to tell you that there's no one way to be a perfect parent; but a million ways to be a great one. Part of that is finding your village. Asking for help. Investing in support. And simply doing the best you can, minute by minute. You are going to rock this parenting thing. Let us help you make that even easier!
5. YOUR DOULA WILL PULL ALL NIGHTERS
Yes! You read that correctly. When you hire a Postpartum Doula, you can ask for help at 1am guilt-free. Can you imagine what it would be like for your Doula to arrive shortly before bedtime, stay all night long and help you change diapers, burp, soothe, make bottles, or bring your baby to you when they're ready to nurse- all so that you and your family can have maximized sleep?
Can you imagine waking up to a laundry basked of folded baby clothes, or the toddler's toys picked up that you never got to from the night before? We can imagine it, because this is what we do.
We're there when your baby starts to cry but you're FINALLY ready to have your first postpartum poop (if you haven't experienced this yet- it's kind of a big deal) so that you don't have to be anxious about a crying baby AND pooping after childbirth for the first time.
We're there to bridge the gaps of support where you feel like they're missing. We are experts in infant sleep, and methods to get parents more sleep- all without compromising the important bond between mom and baby that can be made in those quiet, dark hours of the night. Don't worry, we won't swoop your baby away from you all night long and let them starve. But we will lighten the load for you so that you can heal and focus on what really matters. You, your baby, and your family. Let us handle the rest- literally.
Click here to send us a message and learn more about Postpartum Doula Packages in the Omaha metro area today!