Postpartum Doula Archives | Doula Certification and Training

Wednesday, September 18th

What Exactly do Postpartum Doulas do?

Posted on: July 8, 2019 | Doula, Postpartum Doula

Postpartum doulas are being hired at increasingly rapid rates as expectant parents become enlightened on the benefits of this unique service.

That’s right, it’s quite unique in that the service is personalized and customized to each newly postpartum family’s needs. It is not one-size-fits-all support. And because of that, most people, doulas included, have a difficult time explaining it. I’m going to help with this right now, for once and for all. 

What exactly do postpartum doulas do?

A postpartum doula, in the most basic of descriptions, instills a sense of stability where new parents can thrive. They reduce stress and anxiety and build on self-confidence and comfortability. Simple right? Lol. 

The real question that should be asked is how will a postpartum doula do that for you. What does that look like for you and how does the doula know what you need. If we are all so unique, how could a postpartum doula anticipate exactly what kind of support you’ll need? And even if they are able to, will they recognize when your needs change?

Let’s break this down starting from the beginning.

The postpartum doula has 3 points of focus in the early days and weeks of providing support.

Postpartum Doula’s Primary Focus

  • The postpartum doula’s primary focus is on the client’s recovery from giving birth. That includes physical and emotional recovery. Both are complex in nature and the doula trained by ProDoula is equipped with the knowledge of what is “normal” and what is “beyond the scope of normal” when it comes to post-birth recovery. When something is beyond the scope of normal, the postpartum doula encourages the client to contact their medical provider and continues to support them as they navigate the issue.

Postpartum Doula’s Secondary Focus

  • The postpartum doula’s secondary focus is on the baby’s (or babies) adjustment to life on the outside of the womb. This includes comfortability, feeding, sleeping, hygiene, and bonding. Again, the ProDoula trained postpartum doula is equipped with the knowledge of what is “normal” and what is “beyond the scope of normal.” If something appears to be beyond the scope of normal, the postpartum doula encourages the client to contact their medical provider and continues to support them as they navigate the issue.

Postpartum Doula’s Tertiary Focus

  • The postpartum doula’s tertiary focus is on anything that can inhibit the first two. That might include some light housekeeping, some laundry, some meal prep, an errand or anything else that might be causing some unneccessary stress.

Basically, a postpartum doula is an extension of the family.

They become one with the family and they offer a nonjudgmental approach to understanding each client’s needs. They utilize their exceptional listening skills and they anticipate that things may change from moment to moment. They “check in” regularly about all things regarding their primary, secondary and tertiary focuses. They reflect back in order to be certain they understand, and they offer constant affirmation which leads to improved levels of confidence.

There is no time limit on postpartum doulas.

How long this service can be utilized is as unique as each client’s needs are. An individual can determine for themselves how much support they would like to benefit from.

We hope this helps you navigate the question, “What exactly do postpartum doulas do?” In order for more people to take advantage of this valuable service, more people need to understand it.

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