"I'm just now learning about Birth Doulas, and now you mean to tell me there's such a thing as Postpartum Doulas?" Yes, my friend. Yes I do. And before you ask if you should choose between a Birth Doula and a Postpartum Doula, the answer is- you shouldn't. If you don't have to choose, don't. A Doula for both will prove to be a vital part of feeling confident, heard, supported, and cared for. Additionally, the overwhelming amount of statistics from research, surveys, and personal testimony show an increase in positive medical, and mental health outcomes when a family has a Doula. (Whew. What a mouthful.)
HOWEVER, there are many reasons why a Postpartum Doula may be a more impactful part of your support team than a birth Doula; if you did have to choose. Here are THREE reasons why:
1. BIRTH IS SO TEMPORARY- POSTPARTUM IS NOT
Despite what you might be feeling during labor or birth, it doesn't in fact...last forever. Three days. Three days is the longest I've personally watched (or heard) of a labor/birth taking to complete. While technically speaking- we are always "postpartum", the immediate postpartum period is usually referred to as the "fourth trimester" or the first 12 weeks after birth. Many people also continue describing themselves as "immediately postpartum" for 12 months after birth. It does take 9 months to grow the baby after-all. Why wouldn't it take at least 9 months to recover? During this time, women go through incredible transformation in their hormones, their physical and emotional recovery, and just about every single aspect in between.
In an instant, our thought patterns can change.
"What if I get into a car accident with the baby in the car?"