Do I Really Need a Postpartum Doula?

With so many misconceptions and a lack of education about what it is a postpartum doula does, many parents-to-be do not know how valuable a postpartum doula can be. Our birth doula clients often find themselves unsure of why they might want to book a postpartum doula for after their baby is born.

A postpartum doula is the very best of insurance against postpartum mood disorders such as postpartum depression. A friendly and comfortable companion, she helps with infant care, makes sure you get the sleep you need, offers breastfeeding and bottle feeding advice and support, keeps up on light housekeeping, and assists with older children. The list of tasks she can accomplish is almost limitless, much like what your dream mother-in-law could do for you after you have your baby.

But there’s more…

Your postpartum doula is an expert on infant care, postpartum recovery, and current medical and holistic recommendations for the first year with your baby. She truly supports your opinions and choices, without any emotional bias. She sets aside personal preference and is with you on your terms, as you need her. She’s a friend to laugh with, an experienced and knowledgeable expert to provide trusted advice, a confidant, and a reliable assistant. You can have a postpartum doula for as few as 4 hours a day or choose to have the support you need 24/7.

We find that once people really understand what a postpartum doula is and does, they wish they had hired one or cannot wait to hire one! But, some families are still unsure if a postpartum doula is right for them.

Do I need a postpartum doula if I have family and friends in the Calgary area to help me?

A postpartum doula does not replace the special care you will receive from family and friends. The postpartum doula is an addition to your private support team. Your family and friends come from an emotionally invested place of love. This is valuable and important but sometimes you’ll make choices that your family doesn’t agree with and at those times, your doula can be there to help you feel confident in your decisions.

Family and helpful friends will probably be happy to snuggle your baby or take your other children to the park while you take a nap, and it’s important for your children to have these relationships. These people also have responsibilities and obligations of their own. Even the most doting grandmother probably doesn’t want to provide overnight care to your babies for many weeks or months. They have careers and their own families. You may start to feel guilty about the amount of help you need or have trouble voicing your needs along the way. Not so with a postpartum doula. Caring for you and your family is what she does, it’s how she cares for her own family and it is her passion.

Your family members may have extensive experience with childrearing and even child care. Knowing what has worked for your mother or grandmother is helpful. You, however, may want to try something different or find yourself experiencing challenges that they did not. In these cases, a postpartum doula is invaluable. She has experience and knowledge about the variations of infant care, parenting styles, bottle feeding and breastfeeding, even sleep training. Prepare yourself for the adventure of parenting with a professional by your side.

Do I need a postpartum doula if I already know what to expect?

Perhaps this isn’t your first rodeo. You have older children and know what to expect after your baby is born. You’re confident with infant care, your postpartum body, feeding your baby, and all that jazz. What can a postpartum doula do for you?

We find that when working with families who already have children, we are busier than ever. Older children still have the same needs for care and attention that they did before the baby came. Young children often need more attention now that the baby is here. It’s a big adjustment to have a new baby in the family. We can help by caring for the baby so that you can spend time with your older children. We can also assist with your older children, actively engaging them, take them for walks and to the park, preparing meals and so on. We can be your little bit of sanity over a cup of tea, too.

You may have a different experience this time than you did before. Even parents who have breastfed several times before can run into new challenges. You may have health concerns that require more rest or you may just be extra tired as a parent of one more! All of your regular duties surrounding your children and your home will still be there once your baby comes home. We can help manage all of these needs, and you never have to feel guilty about asking us for help!

Postpartum doulas do not replace the support of your family and friends and aren’t just for first-time parents!

Postpartum doulas make your postpartum recovery a whole lot easier. Once your baby comes home, whether it’s your first baby or your fifth, you don’t have to do it all on your own. You do not need to feel isolated and you don’t have to feel like you’re asking too much of anyone. You deserve the expertise of a compassionate professional.