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Do I Need a Postpartum Doula?

Pregnant woman considering a doula

The journey of parenthood, particularly in the early days and weeks following childbirth, can be an experience unlike any other for many new mothers. Amidst the joy and wonder of welcoming a baby, parents often find themselves overwhelmed by the challenges and adjustments required during the postpartum period. This is where the invaluable support of a postpartum doula is so critical. Postpartum doulas provide a mix of emotional, physical, and educational support for new parents that help to smooth the transition into parenthood, ensuring that families feel informed and empowered.

How Postpartum Doulas Provide Emotional and Physical Support for New Mothers

In the days and weeks after giving birth, it’s very normal for new mothers to be exhausted - both emotionally and physically. Doulas offer much-needed relief in both these areas through a range of techniques and skills.

Emotional Support

  • Encouragement and Validation: Postpartum doulas are non-judgemental listeners who are there to strengthen mothers as they navigate the new demands, joys, and challenges of parenthood. The postpartum period is an emotional rollercoaster, and a doula serves as a trusted confidant and friend who can encourage and validate a new mom’s feelings and concerns, no matter what they are. It is perfectly normal to experience a wide range of confusing and even conflicting emotions in the period after giving birth, and doulas can validate these feelings to show they are actually very common and okay. 

  • Relieve Stress: Beyond emotional validation, doulas also work to teach stress relief strategies that can help new parents not just during postpartum, but throughout their parental journey. Mood regulation, particularly during the haze of caring for a newborn, can be difficult to achieve during this time, so doulas encourage moms to prioritize self-care when they can, even if it’s taking a short break in the shower or taking a few moments to slow down and breathe.

  • Building Confidence: It’s common for new moms to feel overwhelmed and self-conscious when caring for their new baby, often worried they don’t know what they’re doing. Doulas understand that new moms have great instincts, and will teach them to trust these instincts, and empower them during moments of doubt. They provide reassurance that new moms do know what’s best for their baby - they just need to trust their gut. 

Physical Support

  • Rest and Recovery: Doulas offer insight to new mothers into how to care for one’s body after giving birth, such as managing perineal or C-section pain and identifying postpartum issues that may require further medical attention. Because sleep is so important in the road to recovery, postpartum doulas may also provide overnight baby care so the new mom can get as much sleep as possible.   

  • Breastfeeding Support: Breastfeeding can be a common source of stress and insecurity during the postpartum phase. Doulas are very helpful in guiding new moms through breastfeeding issues, such as latching and breast soreness, and they have great advice for making breastfeeding as comfortable as possible for both mom and baby.

Doulas Also Serve as Educational Resources for Families

Postpartum doulas are excellent teachers, and they share a wide range of parenting skills that are crucial when caring for a newborn. These insights typically relate to feeding, changing diapers, bathing, and understanding baby cues. Beyond teaching the daily needs of baby care to parents, doulas also incorporate siblings and other household members into some routines, fostering a lifelong sense of bonding and connection. 

Get in Touch with a Trusted Postpartum Doula in San Francisco

Postpartum doulas are invaluable sources of support for not just new mothers, but the entire family as they adjust to caring for a newborn. To see how an experienced San Francisco doula like Evi Kantor can provide the insight and care you need to navigate young parenthood, contact her today.


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