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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Top Benefits of Having a Post Partum Doula

A doula is a relatively new profession in the US. There are two types of doulas: those who assist the pregnant woman during labor and birth and those who assist afterwards. The doula I am referring to here is the type that assists after birth.
In many cultures, the new mother is assisted for the first few weeks at home by her mother or sisters. This is true of Indian cultures, Chinese culture, as well as others. In the US, however, the new mom is often left to fend for herself, with no one to help. Her husband generally returns to work after a few weeks, and she is on her own. This often makes caring for the new baby difficult.

A baby brings a host of new responsibilities. They must be fed, and with the new recommendations about breastfeeding, as well as the new baby's tiny stomach, that often occurs every twenty minutes during the first few days or weeks of life. Add to that the need to change diapers, clean the house, wash dishes, do laundry, and other household chores that were easy before, and it is easy to see how the new mom can become overwhelmed.

So this is where a post partum doula can be of great help. Post Partum doulas are trained to help the new mom care for her baby, as well as assist with the household chores of cleaning dishes, doing laundry, as well as cleaning in general. This can make the new mom's life much less stressful, as well as help her to focus on the task of bonding and breastfeeding her new baby.

When a baby is just born, they may need to feed every twenty minutes or more to grow properly. When a woman is breastfeeding, this can be a challenge in general. Even more so when she is left to do it all alone.

In addition, a post partum doula is trained in the care of the new mom. If she is not a massage therapist herself, she is likely to recommend massage therapy for the new mom. Post natal massage has been shown to speed recovery from birth, increase milk production, reduce post partum depression, along with many other benefits. Your doula is likely to help you find a therapist to come to your home, as generally the baby cannot go outside by order of their pediatrician.

In addition, your doula can help with anxiety about the baby getting enough food, as well as other concerns you may have about caring for the new member of your family. Post natal depression is a real concern, and a doula can help with this. Often this type of depression stems from the new mom being alone to take care of the baby and the home, so having someone to help can go a long way in alleviating this type of depression. According to Mothering the Mother by Klaus et al, these doulas have been shown to help with depression in a number of studies.

In all, a post partum doula would be a worthwhile investment for you and your family. You can find these doulas listed on the DONA website, the doula match website, and the Childbirth International Find A Doula website (Click on each of the site names to link to their sites). For more info about post natal massage, please visit our website at by clicking here.

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