Welcoming a new baby is a joyous experience, but it can be stressful. Our postpartum doulas help to ease that transition with care, kindness and support for the mother or birthing person, partner, and siblings. Whether you're recovering from a C-section, learning to care for multiples, need help with breastfeeding, or just need to sleep through the night, Pittsburgh Doula Network will match you with a doula experienced in specialized care.
Sometimes people call us "night nannies," "newborn care specialists," or "baby nurses." We are more than that in many ways, but we never provide medical care. A postpartum doula is an expert in normal adjustment. Her training is specific to the many changes that families experience following the birth of a baby. She provides non-medical support and companionship, assistance with newborn care and sibling adjustment, meal preparation and household organization. She also offers evidence based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from childbirth and other issues related to the postpartum period, and can make referrals if necessary. Her guiding principles are to:
- Nurture the family with her loving heart and hands, offering non-judgmental support.
- Educate the family by modeling behavior, observing and offering options.
- Assess the environment in order to best meet your needs.
- Refer by providing resources and referrals, and also assisting the family in developing the skills to seek out resources and referrals.
The role of the doula is to be NEAR her clients offering support!
Basic Postpartum Doula Responsibilities
A Postpartum Doula's day to day responsibilities change as the needs of the family change. She is there to actually work her self out of a job as the new family adjusts the their new dynamic!
- Allow the mother or birthing parent to rest so that they can heal
- Provide gentle reassurance and education as a new parents gain confidence
- Handle basic family needs—meals, sibling & pet care
- Help with practical chores such as light housekeeping, laundry and errands, so the birthing parent can concentrate on regaining strength and getting to know the new baby
- 24-hour in-hospital breastfeeding/chestfeeding support
- Prenatal at-home help for pregnant person on bed rest
When a new baby comes home, one of the most difficult elements is a lack of sleep. Nighttime care, feedings and diaper changes can leave you exhausted and sleep deprived. Our nighttime doulas will spend the night and help with these overnight duties so that you get the rest you need to feel good and care for your baby and possible other children during the day. This works for both breast and bottle fed babies!
Recovering after a C-Section
In many cases, your C-Section wasn’t planned, and now you're at home, not as mobile AND caring for your new baby. This can be both physically and emotionally overwhelming. Your doula can help by allowing you to rest and heal without worrying about the day to day demands of running a household.
Caring for twins or multiples is very challenging even for experienced parents. Feedings and diaper changes blend into each other, and a new parent can quickly become exhausted. Allowing a postpartum doula to assist with some of the care can really make a big difference.
Feeding a baby from the milk made by your body is one of the most rewarding and intimately bonding experiences between parent and baby. However, the first time can be daunting. Even experienced birthing persons encounter difficulties from time to time. Our knowledgeable and experienced lactation consultants can help see what tricks and techniques can get you on the road to successful nursing.
We won't forget your partner or older children and want to protect those relationships already in place. Doulas support the family as a whole. Reminding your partner that they are a parent too, not just a "helper" is important. We will encourage them to hold and interact with the baby and assure them that their role as a parent is just as important as that of the mother. Perhaps we can teach them baby basics while the birthing parent rests. Imagine having 15 minutes of uninterrupted alone time to talk to your partner about your day.
By offering a nurturing presence to your other children, they will have opportunities to feel important by helping to make the birthing parent a snack or spend one-on-one time with either the parent or the doula.