What Does a Postpartum Doula Do?

, ,
white newborn baby lying belly down with two hands (belonging a person not in the frame) on the baby's back

We know that bringing your newest family member home can be exciting and challenging, even if you prepare for baby’s arrival with childbirth education classes and prenatal support. Our trained and certified postpartum doulas help you with a smooth and manageable transition as you welcome a new member to your family. Through a combination of daytime, evening, and overnight shifts, we are here to support your family’s unique needs. Here are the ways we offer practical, informational, and emotional support at home, when you need it. 

A postpartum doula’s practical support helps you take care of baby, yourself, and your family. 

Many times, people come to us looking for practical support when baby comes home. This can include feeding, caring for baby so you can attend to your needs, or helping prepare meals. During an overnight shift, a postpartum doula might put baby to bed, change diapers, and settle baby back to sleep. During a day shift, our support might allow you to take a shower, cook a meal, or breastfeed in peace. As helpful as the practical support is, many families express deep appreciation for the information and hands-on teaching their doula provided during the postpartum adjustment.

We provide information so you understand the 4th trimester. 

The first weeks and months after baby is born are often called the “4th trimester”, and many parents have just as many questions about what to expect as they did during pregnancy (if not more!). Postpartum doulas can do many specific tasks around the house, but many clients report that our value comes from being childbirth and newborn experts. We provide feeding guidance, offer soothing techniques, answer questions about postpartum and newborn health, and information on sleep habits. 

In the morning after a recent overnight shift, our doula talked to one partner about how the night went, and how to get baby sleeping for longer stretches. She offered advice such as creating sleep associations, keeping baby awake during the day for developmentally appropriate stretches, and nursing demands during the day. We are here to provide the support you want, but your doula will also work with you and your family to create the household, feeding, and sleep routines that work for you so that we are no longer needed! 

Emotional support from a postpartum doula helps your family grow and adjust with confidence. 

In general, our postpartum doulas provide fifty hours of in-person support during the baby’s first five weeks at home. These can be split between daytime, evening, and overnight shifts. However, our job as postpartum doulas is to create a smooth transition and give you and your family the skills and knowledge needed to manage the addition of baby. 

For example, during one daytime shift, our doula spoke to one partner about returning to work. He was looking forward to it, but felt guilty about leaving his partner with the new baby at home. Our doula talked about ways to continue contributing and how he could alternate bedtime duties. We are here to provide steadfast, non-judgemental support so you can feel confident about welcoming a new child into your family. 

Learn more about our postpartum doula offerings or contact DOB today!