Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Do you love babies?

Whenever I tell someone that I am a postpartum doula, nine out of ten times they say, "Oh I love babies, I would love to do that!"  And a couple times a month I receive a call from someone who is thinking of becoming a postpartum doula because they "love babies". 

However, for me and other postpartum doulas, it is NOT about the babies.  It's about the new mom. 

Postpartum doulas "mother the mother" and nurture them to help ease their transition into motherhood.  Holding the baby is just a bonus!  Postpartum doulas do a lot of listening to help new moms process their birth story (positive or negative) and the tremendous range of emotions that they experience in those first few postpartum weeks. 

A big part of what I do is also teaching these new moms to remember to nurture themselves.  The baby does not always have to come first.  Moms need to take the time to eat healthy meals, drink plenty of water, take a shower, take a walk, take a nap. 

A common question I hear is "What's the difference between a baby nurse and a postpartum doula?"  I love to watch peoples' reaction as I answer, "A baby nurse takes care of the baby.  A postpartum doula takes care of the whole family."

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