Monday, January 20, 2014

Benefits of Postpartum Doulas - Guest Blogger {Epiphany Childbirth Services}

I am pleased to announce my newest Honeybee Mama Sponsor, Calista Firor of Epiphany Childbirth Services. Calista is a dear friend of mine and also the first of my Partner Services.

Among her many childbirth services, Calista offers Postpartum Doula packages that are now available to Honeybee Mama clients. Calista is guest blogging today to share with you about postpartum doulas and why you need one!
Congratulations! You just welcomed the most beautiful baby into the world and you are in heaven – life couldn’t be more perfect. Family and friends have come by to meet your little one and help with little things around the house and your significant other has taken a few days off work to be home with you but now the house is empty and it’s just you and the baby. Although you feel overwhelmed with joy, you also feel overwhelmed with other emotions and the newness of your situation feels daunting. You wonder how you will tend to the baby and focus energy on your other little ones. You wonder how and what you will make for dinner tonight or when you’ll be able to get to the grocery store. You wonder how you’ll know what’s wrong with the baby when he fusses and how to help him calm down. You wonder how you’re going to get the little things around the house done – the laundry, the dishes, etc. You wonder why you’re crying one minute and laughing the next. You wonder just about everything and you are not alone. As long as you aren’t having thoughts about endangering yourself or others, this is completely normal. It is part of the postpartum recovery period and it is part of being a new mom. There are a lot of adjustments going on in and around you right now and you shouldn’t be expected to go at it alone. Fortunately there are women out there, like myself, who can help you navigate the newness of parenthood with ease! I am a postpartum doula and I am here to serve you. Whether you are reading this pre pregnancy, during pregnancy or after the baby is born, it is not too late to get the support you need!

What is a postpartum doula? According to the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA), a postpartum doula is a trained professional that offers physical, emotional and spiritual support to a new mother and the rest of the family. In my opinion, a postpartum doula is the best mommy friend a gal could ask for! She is a mentor - one who educates, listens and helps without judgment, one who is in tune to what you are going through, what your family needs and one who can help you feel empowered in your new role!

What are the benefits of having a postpartum doula? Besides the obvious benefit of having an extra set of hands when you need them, having a postpartum doula can contribute to greater success in breastfeeding, higher confidence levels, increased baby care skills, greater sense of bonding with the baby, better coping skills, less postpartum depression and a smoother transition into parenthood.

What exactly can a postpartum doula help with? Although she cannot offer medical advice or perform any medical or clinical procedures, she can do so, so much! Services provided by a postpartum doula may include:

·       breastfeeding support education

·       demonstrating newborn care and feeding techniques

·       helping mom with postpartum comfort and self-care

·       teaching skills such as babywearing, skin to skin, and infant cues

·       planning for and preparing simple meals and/or snacks

·       helping to increase a calm household environment

·       light housekeeping

·       light errands

·       caring for the baby while mom rests

·       assisting with older siblings

·       traffic control (monitoring visitors phone calls if needed)

·       connecting you to various community resources

·       helping you get out of the house for the first time

·       recognizing when something isn’t normal (such as an infection or a postpartum disorder) getting you the help you need.

Likely, one of the most important roles a postpartum doula will play, and one that is very dear to my heart, is that of a listener. Many moms need someone to sit and listen and help them process things such as her birth experience, new feelings, new struggles, new joys, etc. A postpartum doula will listen as much as needed and ask/answer questions to help you work through anything you are dealing with. She will provide informed, practical and objective advice so that you can come to your own conclusions; she will not make any decisions for you. Rather than stepping in and taking over the care of your baby, she will step beside you and help you along the way - you are her top priority.

Who can benefit from hiring a postpartum doula? Anyone. If this is your first baby, it is likely that everything is going to be new to you. If this is your second, third or fourth baby, you may know how to do it all, but may not have the energy or time to do it all in the beginning. If you have multiples, your hands will be full and an extra set of them to help out will be invaluable. Many women feel that if they have family and friends around to help, the use of a postpartum doula is not necessary, but I disagree. Although family and friends always have the best intentions, they sometimes neglect to focus on you and rather put a lot of time and energy in holding and caring for the baby – you need someone to help take care of you!

Postpartum Doula Services around the country range anywhere from $15 to $50 dollars per hour. Currently, my rate is $18-20/hour, depending on how many hours are purchased, with a minimum of 6 hours. To be most effective the minimum amount of time I will spend with your family on any given day is 3 hours. For more information on my specific Postpartum Services & Fees, please visit
For more information about hiring Calista for postpartum support, visit my Partner Services page and contact her for a consultation. 

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