Postpartum can be a time of mixed emotions. While there is most likely joy surrounding your newborn baby, those positive feelings can sometimes be accompanied by feelings of overwhelm, exhaustion, and even sadness. Oftentimes, it might feel difficult to talk about some of these feelings in a society that generally views the birth of a new baby as a positive, joyous experience. While family and your partner can be great support during this time, here are some telltale signs that hiring a postpartum doula would be beneficial:
You feel depleted
It’s no doubt that the postpartum period can be very physically taxing for a woman, and even a couple. Between not sleeping due to tending to a newborn up during the night to recovering from the physical challenges of childbirth, this is generally a time of depletion and overwhelm. A doula will not only help with baby, but can remind you to drink water, relax, and even do some cooking to help you eat better and get the nutrients you and your baby need. Extra support can also mean the opportunity to nap throughout the day. A doula can take the pressure off you to provide for a baby 24-7 and give you a few free moments to take a shower, run an errand, or do some light exercise. If you are feeling depleted and overwhelmed, a doula can step in with an extra set of expert hands to help you find more balance during this exhausting time. This extra support can help your relationship with your partner stay on track as well.
You have questions
Not only does a postpartum doula take some of the physical responsibility of a newborn off your hands, she can help you navigate the questions of new motherhood. Whether its confusion around lactation techniques, feeding and sleep schedules, diaper rashes, or crying fits, a doula is educated and experienced in postpartum care and can help you sort through a variety of unexpected scenarios. Some questions feel too uncomfortable to ask your best friend or your own mother, and a postpartum doula can provide you with sound advice and resources during the first several months. There is an overwhelming amount of information online about newborn care and a postpartum doula can help you sort the fact from fiction. Not to mention, postpartum doulas generally have a giant network of supportive colleagues if you need a postpartum massage, fitness program, infant chiropractic, infant sleep specialist, or a psychologist who specializes in life transitions like this one.
You need emotional reassurance
Life after baby can feel very overwhelming. Sometimes there is a loss of identity, or insecurities that accompany this time as a new mom. You are most likely struggling with accepting a new life overall, shifting priorities, mom shame, a different body, and a greater level of responsibility. A postpartum doula can be a sounding board for these feelings and emotions as they come up, and can be a candid and supportive voice during this time of heightened emotion. Taking the burden off your partner to help you navigate these evolving feelings can be good for not only you, but your relationships as well.
We imagine that some new moms might be thinking of all the reasons why not to hire a postpartum doula, such as “postpartum doulas are too pricey”, “hiring one would be taking the easy route”, or you would feel uncomfortable having someone you don’t know in your house. While we encourage each mother and family to consider whether working with a doula is right for their family, CSIP’s experience is that they are worth every penny, and can help for time you can afford, and not as much as you might think. It is also our philosophy that the old adage is true - it takes a village to raise a child - and asking for help from your village - whether that is an available and helpful family member or a trained doula, help is crucial during this time. And lastly, if you are too embarrassed to leave your house because you haven’t showered in days, it might be time to let a reputable doula come into your home and give you time to do just that and more.
In addition to getting emotional support from a postpartum doula, a therapist who specializes in postpartum care can help with long-term, ongoing challenges as they arise. With each phase of new parenthood, different feelings and emotions will be present, and someone experienced in the psychology of postpartum care can help you to identify the underlying reasons for your feelings, and stay ahead of fixing them.
The team at Center for Shared Insight specializing in postpartum therapy. We begin our patient relationships with a free consultation, and invite you to schedule one with our team today.