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POSTPARTUM DOULA INFO: http://www.cafemom.com/
1. What do postpartum doulas do?
What a postpartum doula does changes from day to day, as the needs of the family change. Postpartum doulas do whatever a mother needs to best enjoy and care for her new baby. A large part of their role is education. They share information about baby care with parents, as well as teach siblings and partners to “mother the mother.” They assist with breastfeeding education. Postpartum doulas also make sure the mother is fed, well hydrated and comfortable.
3. What hours can I expect a doula to work with my family?
Some doulas work fulltime, with 9 to 5 shifts. Others work three to five hour shifts during the day, or after school shifts until Dad gets home. Some doulas work evenings from around 6 pm until bedtime, 9 or 10 pm., and some work overnight. Some doulas work every day, some work one or more shifts per week.
4. What is the difference between a postpartum doula and a baby nurse?
The role of a postpartum doula is to help a woman through her postpartum period and to nurture the family. Unlike a baby nurse, a doula’s focus is not solely on the baby, but on fostering independence for the entire family. The doula is as available to the father and older children as to the mother and the baby. Treating the family as a unit that is connected and always changing enables doulas to do their job: nurture the family.
5. What is a postpartum doula’s goal?
The goal of a doula is to nurture the parents into their new roles. As they experience success and their knowledge and self-confidence grow, their needs for professional support should diminish.
6. How can I find a postpartum doula in my area?
Use DONA International’s online doula locator.
7. How does a doula nurture the parents into their roles?
Self-confidence has a tremendous impact on a person’s ability to approach any task, and parenting is no different. DONA International doulas are taught to always consider parents’ feelings and always build confidence whenever possible. Doulas accomplish this through praise, acceptance and a non-judgmental approach. In addition, the doula will teach parents strategies and skills that will improve their ability to bond with their babies. A calm baby who is growing well will help parents to feel more confident in their skills.
8. Do doulas help mothers to deal with postpartum depression?
Unlike therapists or psychiatrists, doulas do not treat postpartum depression. However, they will help by creating a safe place for the mother emotionally. The doula will provide a cushioning effect by accepting the mother within each stage that she passes through. They relieve some of the pressure on the new mother by helping her move into her new responsibilities gradually. By mothering the mother, doulas maks sure that the mother feels nurtured and cared for, as well as making sure she is eating well and getting enough sleep. In addition, DONA International certified postpartum doulas are trained to help clients prepare themselves for parenthood, maximizing support and rest. These doulas will help their clients to screen themselves for PPMDs and will make referrals to appropriate clinicians or support groups as needed.
9. Do doulas teach a particular parenting approach?
No. DONA International doulas are educated to support a mothers’ parenting approach. Doulas are good listeners and encourage mothers to develop their own philosophies.
10. How do postpartum doulas work with a mother’s partner?
A doula respects the partner’s role and input, and teaches concrete skills that will help the partner nurture the baby and mother. The doula will share evidence-based information with the partner that shows how his or her role in the early weeks will have a dramatic positive effect on the family.
Download our Dads and Postpartum Doulas brochure in PDF format.
Adapted from: Nurturing the Family: The Guide for Postpartum Doulas
by Jacqueline Kelleher (Xlibris Corporation, 2002)
Questions for prospective doulas:
• What training or experience have you had?
• What is your fee and what services does it cover? (Be sure to find out exactly what she will and won't do. For example, if you're expecting her to cook or help with an older child, make sure that's included.)
• What happens if I give birth earlier (or later) than expected? Is your schedule flexible, and if not, can you refer me to another doula if need be?
• Can you provide references from other families you've worked for? (And be sure to check those references!)
Keep in mind your personal response to a prospective doula during the interview:
• Does she seem kind, warm, and energetic?
• Does she seem knowledgeable?
• Does she communicate well?
• Is she a good listener?
• Would you feel comfortable having her in your home?
Preparing For Postpartum: http://www.cafemom.com/
Postpartum Food Preparation: Menu Planning: http://life.familyeducation.com/nutrition/baby/36624.html
Making placenta capsules: http://www.placentabenefits.com/
Making a Homeopathic Remedy From Your Placenta: http://www.placentalremedy.com/
The Postpartum Blues:
After the baby is born, many new mothers have the “postpartum blues” or the "baby blues." The word “blues” is not really correct since women with this condition are happy most of the time. But compared to how she usually feels, the new mother:
The postpartum blues peak three to five days after delivery. They usually end by the tenth day after the baby's birth. Although the postpartum blues are not pleasant, the woman can function normally. The feeling of the "blues" usually lessens and goes away over time.
Medical experts believe that changes in the woman's hormones after delivery cause the postpartum blues.The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that women do these things to help relieve the "postpartum blues":
If the symptoms last for longer than two weeks or worsen, you may have postpartum depression. This is a serious medical condition. For more information, read the article on postpartum depression.
You are not alone. You are not to blame. We are here to help. PSI is built on the foundation of providing support to families. If you or someone you know might be experiencing symptoms of prenatal or postpartum mood or anxiety disorder, know that it is treatable and you’ve taken a very important first step. We have PSI Coordinators throughout the world who provide information and support. There is someone in your area who can help you if you are experiencing any of the following: depressed, irritable, exhausted, unlike yourself, sadness, anger, guilt, worry, feelings of inadequacy. http://www.cafemom.com/
Natural/attachment parenting: http://www.cafemom.com/
Cloth Diapering & EC: http://www.naturalbirthandbabycare.com/baby-diapers.html
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