Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Guest post: Making the postpartum transition easier with a doula

Recently, Katie Moore contacted me and asked whether she could write a guest post for my blog. Here it is:

Any mother can attest to the fact that giving birth and the time afterwards can be a challenge.  Many women opt to have a doula help them through the transition into motherhood. Doulas are trained to help a mother before, during and after childbirth. Their skills actually allow them to be useful long after the birth of a child, not only the immediate days following birth.  The use of doulas is associated with increased maternal health and can be helpful to a mother throughout her postpartum period.

The job of a doula is to help a mother learn and enjoy the experience of raising a child.  When used before delivery, a doula can be an educational resource, teaching the mother about options like pain management, umbilical cord blood banking, immunizations and circumcision. They can work with a mother to create a birth plan and work to have that plan carried out in the delivery room.

A postpartum doula performs a variety of jobs in an effort to allow a mother to experience success in raising her child, and to eventually diminish the need for a doula.  Postpartum doulas will stay with a mother as long as she is needed.  This can range from just a few visits to a few months of service.  Depending on the needs of the mother, a doula can be with the mother and child during the day, night, or even overnight. 

Doulas are very helpful during the postpartum period because they give the mother tips on how to handle their new child.  A doula will help the mother gain confidence and experience so that when the doula is gone, the mother has successfully transitioned into motherhood. 

The main concern that many mothers may have is worrying about developing postpartum depression.  While a doula is not a trained counselor, she is very helpful in preventing this type of depression.  A doula is there to ensure a new mother isn’t thrust headfirst into motherhood alone.  She can help a mother slowly transition into her new role. Doulas will also coach the mother on how to eat right and make sure she gets enough sleep.  All of these tasks will make sure that becoming a new mother is not overbearing for the mother, and may help prevent postpartum depression.  

Another worry that some women have is that a doula could interfere with their planned parental approach, but this is simply not true.  Doulas are trained to support the mother’s particular parenting approach regardless of what it might be.  A doula is not there to tell a mother how to raise her child; she is there simply to assist the mother in doing so.  Doulas will listen to the needs of the mother and child, and even encourage the mother to develop her own parenting styles and philosophies. 

Katie is an active blogger who discusses the topics of, motherhood, children, fitness, health and all other things Mommy. She enjoys writing, blogging, and meeting new people! To connect with Katie contact her via her blog, MooreFrom Katie or her twitter, @moorekm26.

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