Hiring a postpartum doula is a must after having a baby: Tips on finding the right one!
I was recently asked: What is something you wish someone would've told you before you had your babies? Hiring a postpartum doula!, I replied.
When I gave birth to my twin boys I had no idea what a postpartum doula was, even after working as a mother-baby nurse for over 8 years. Our family didn’t live close and all of my friends had full-time jobs, so this prevented them from providing the support that my husband and I needed.
Seven years later I read a blog on the benefits of a postpartum doula and thought to myself, I could’ve really benefited from this type of support after delivering my boys. I now wonder what my postpartum recovery would've been like if I'd known what a postpartum doula did for new mothers and how to go about hiring one. I needed support for breastfeeding, healthy meals, emotional support, keeping my home tidy, and a trusted person to hold or feed my boys while I showered and napped. I wish someone would’ve educated and guided me on getting this type of support for my postpartum recovery period.
My experience inspired me to become a certified postpartum doula to provide mothers and families with the support they need and deserve. It’s been my goal to educate the community and expecting mothers on the role of the postpartum doula, the benefits of hiring a postpartum doula, and how to find one.
Here are some tips to finding the right postpartum doula for you or a loved one:
Research the role and benefits of a postpartum doula.
In short a postpartum doula works with mothers and their family during the postpartum period( first 6 weeks after delivery)providing them with emotional, physical and informational support.
Ask yourself: Could I benefit from this support? Do I have a good support system? Are there any gaps in my current support system that could be filled by a postpartum doula(i.e family lives far away)?
Start your search for a postpartum doula during your pregnancy, if possible.
The earlier the better when preparing for your fourth trimester. Make the postpartum doula part of your postpartum plan. It’s worth noting that most postpartum doulas can assist you in creating a postpartum plan.
Decide what services you will need from your doula to make the postpartum period
an easier transition.
Will you need help with C-section recovery?
Infant care education?
Time to rest and shower?
Baby laundry washed and folded?
Car seat safety education?
Will you need an extra pair of hands for multiples?
Do you desire lactation support?
Do you have a history of delivering prematurely?
How long will you need support?
When do you want the support to begin?
What time of day will you need this support?
After deciding what support you need most, find a doula
that has the experience, availability, and knowledge to provide it.
Interview at least two to three postpartum doulas.
You can invite potential candidates to your house, in a public space, via phone consult, or virtually. Consider it your opportunity to learn as much as you can
about the doula.
Ask if they're:
a certified postpartum doula?
experienced in the field, how many years as postpartum doula?
certified or trained in other specialties such as nursing, lactation, and CPR?
able to provide references?
able to provide any other pertinent information you would want to know?
Focus on the QUALITY of services that doula can provide over the cost of
the postpartum doula!
Keep in mind that a postpartum doula that has many years of experience may charge
more than one that has no experience. You get what you pay for!
Save up for your postpartum doula support and/or place this service
your baby registry.
Postpartum doulas make the perfect gift for new and expecting mothers/parents!
Most doulas accept gift payments and offer gift certificates to be given at the
baby shower or by mail. Some postpartum doulas offer sliding scales or payment
plans as well.