What does a postpartum doula do?
Postpartum Doula services typically include, but are not limited to:
- newborn care while you nap or shower
- breastfeeding and/or bottle-feeding support
- light housecleaning
- light cooking and/or meal prep
- sibling care
- emotional support
- birth story processing and recording
- resources for any issues that may arise
- overnight shifts to allow parents more sleep (see below)
“One of the most important services a postpartum doula offers, however, is a little harder to quantify. The postpartum period can feel like a hazy, painful blur, and moms can easily feel lost or overwhelmed. A doula can keep an eye on you, listening when you need to vent and watching for signs of postpartum depression or other adjustment issues…While doulas are not qualified to give medical advice, they are trained to look for signs you’re having a tough time and can help you find the appropriate resources to feel better…”WhatToExpect.com
Why should I hire a postpartum doula?
Hiring a postpartum doula may be an especially good choice for first-time parents, parents of multiples, moms who have had difficult or complicated deliveries, those with a colicky or fussy baby, or moms who don’t have much local support. However, any new parent may benefit from a postpartum doula for a variety of different reasons!
According to the Birth Arts International website, hiring a postpartum doula provides some of the following benefits:
- Increased chance of breastfeeding successfully.
- Increased and earlier bonding with the mother and the whole family unit.
- A reduced amount of maternal postpartum depression, and shorter duration and easier for the mother to cope with it if it occurs.
- Less maternal exhaustion, frustration, trepidation and anxiety during the early weeks. Reduction in unnecessary calls to pediatricians.
How much does it cost?
Please contact me to discuss rates. My services come in packages, and there is always flexibility to customize a package that will fit within your budget. Depending on the number of hours you purchase, you can expect to pay between $25-29/hr. Nighttime shifts cost $275 per night (from 9 pm – 6 am), unless purchased within a package.
What does a nighttime postpartum doula do?
A nighttime postpartum doula takes care of the baby so that the parents can get some good rest, and she takes care of mom as needed.
During the night, the postpartum doula will adhere to whatever feeding guidelines that parents have laid out for her (she is happy to give recommendations if requested).
For example, if a mom is breastfeeding and wants baby brought to her at the first sign of hunger, that is what the doula will do. The difference is that the mom can then go right back to sleep and let the postpartum doula take care of diaper changes, burping, etc. If mom needs a midnight snack or glass of water, the postpartum doula is happy to get that as well!
Will you sleep during your shift?
During a nighttime shift, I will require somewhere to stretch out in whatever room the baby is in (a couch or recliner is fine), because if the baby is sound asleep, I may catch some sleep as well. However, you can rest assured that I will wake as soon as the baby does, and if the baby decides he or she needs to be held and bounced all night long, that is what I will do.
If you require someone to stay awake all night, even while baby is sleeping, I suggest researching a “night nanny”.
Are you certified?
Yes, I am a trained and certified postpartum doula. I am also currently in training to become certified as a breastfeeding educator (similar to a breastfeeding or lactation consultant). My certification is through an organization called Birth Arts International, and was extremely thorough and rigorous.
I also have my Adult and Pediatric CPR and First Aid certification.
Amanda, mom of 3 boys
“Hannah came after I had my baby, and it was so helpful! Her calm presence and years of experience were very comforting. She did my dishes while I took a nap! Postpartum care is sooo important, and Hannah is an excellent person to join you in that journey!”