Imagine picking up the phone and hearing a strained voice on the other end. She’s obviously been crying. She’s an exhausted new mom with a 14 week old baby and a 20 month old toddler who won’t let her out of his sight. She’s drained from pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding. She’s exhausted from trying to keep up with laundry and wash enough dishes to have plates for the next meal. Her partner has been trying to feed the baby at night but she can’t help but lie awake feeling guilty about how tired he is going to be at work the next day. She really needs a postpartum doula but…
“Can you help me when my baby is so old?”
Huh? “I apologize, can you repeat that?”
“My baby, he’s 14 weeks old. We had a postpartum doula. She was amazing but she said we had graduated from her care and no longer needed a postpartum doula. She suggested we find a nanny or a mother’s helper of some kind. I just really loved having a doula. Can you help me, even though my baby is too old?”
“Oh! Of course, we can help you! We know how important support is, regardless of your baby’s age!”
I’m not sure why this is happening. Perhaps the doula had other clients she needed to move on to. Maybe she was trained by an organization like DONA or CAPPA where doulas are told that their scope of practice is limited to the “fourth trimester”. I don’t know. What I do know is that when a family wants to be supported, they deserve support.
The sense of abandonment this woman felt by the person who had promised to “mother the mother” is heartbreaking and unfortunately, it wasn’t the first time a call has come in from a frantic mother who has been told that she has graduated from needing a doula because her baby is now three months old.
This abandonment is completely unacceptable and we promise it will never happen when working with Dulce Vida Doula Services. We are committed to caring for you and your family as long as you require our services. We will support you from conception to toddlerhood! You decide when you’re ready to move on.
The postpartum period is not definable as a matter of weeks or months. Once a person gives birth they are forever postpartum. There are no standard timeframes for feeling recovered from birth. Not only is adding a new person to your family a monumental transition, there are many adjustments and further transitions throughout the years when children are small. We’re going to be there for you. That’s a promise.