What is a postpartum doula?
A postpartum doula helps families adjust to life with a newborn. The first three months after birth are often called the “fourth trimester”. It’s a period of major transition – the baby is getting used to life outside the womb, while the parents and other family members are figuring out how to integrate and care for this new person in their lives. A postpartum doula helps ease this transition by providing emotional support, evidence-based information, and an extra set of helping hands.
As a postpartum doula, I work with families to make the postpartum transition as smooth as possible. My goal is to nurture, support, and educate families so that they can feel confident and self-sufficient in their parenting abilities.
The needs of every family are different and can shift from day to day. I can help with emotional support, physical recovery, lactation, infant care, and general household help. Having experienced, caring help during this time can make all the difference in getting the best start to life with baby.
Postpartum Doula Services
10 hours minimum to book initial services. You’ll get:
• Free consultation.
We’ll start by having a casual, no-obligation meet up at a convenient location to chat and see if we’re a good match.
• Unlimited email and text support.
During the time of our contract, you can email or text and expect a response within 24-48 hours (usually sooner.)
• Access to my library of evidence-based information about babies and parenting.
I’ve compiled my favorite resources into one convenient location, exclusively for my clients. My library includes articles from some of my favorite online sources, high quality videos, lists of helpful community resources, insights and words of wisdom from former clients, and informational handouts that I’ve written myself.
• One prenatal home visit.
If hired prenatally, I’ll come to your home for a free, in-depth postpartum planning meeting so you can get the best start possible. We’ll discuss in detail how I can best serve your family, answer questions you have about infant care and your recovery, and begin planning for postpartum life. This visit will also allow me to become acquainted with your home and where everything is located, as well as meet the other members of your household. (If the baby has already been born, we will incorporate this into regular work hours.)
• Expert support for the entire family.
As soon as your baby is born, you’ll let me know so we can start working together! Ideally, I’ll start within the first 3 days of baby’s life, unless we’ve made other arrangements. Getting an early start will set you up for success by supporting your physical and emotional wellbeing, addressing any lactation issues as soon as they start, staying on top of household tasks to keep things from piling up, and smoothing the transition from pregnancy into life with a newborn.
The first few weeks after having a baby can be an emotional rollercoaster, full of both joys and challenges. This time can be exceptionally difficult if you experienced a disappointing or traumatic birth. I can provide a sympathetic ear, support, and resources for whatever you’re going through. Also, if you find yourself alone during the day as a single parent or when your partner returns to work, I can help out by giving you companionship and an extra set of hands.
Pregnancy and birth take a toll on the body, so it’s important for you to receive the nurturing support you deserve during the first weeks and months after birth. I’ll help you establish a healthy routine by making a plan to ensure proper rest, meals, activity, self-care, and physical healing. I can also provide education on postnatal yoga and movement, as well as herbs and aromatherapy to support your recovery.
Nursing your baby is a beautiful, natural thing – and it’s also a skill that can take some practice to figure out. As a Certified Lactation Counselor, I provide education and support so you can have the best nursing experience possible. I can help you troubleshoot the most common breastfeeding/chestfeeding concerns, including nipple pain, latching problems, low supply/oversupply, engorgement, plugged ducts, pumping and expressing milk by hand, nursing multiples, and more.
Whether you’re a newbie navigating parenthood for the first time, or an experienced parent with multiple kids to juggle, having a postpartum doula is very handy! I provide guidance in basic newborn care and educate parents about infant development and safety. I can also care for your baby for short periods so you can shower, rest, or have a little “me time”.
General Household Help
I am happy to perform minor housework, run errands, do grocery shopping, prepare simple meals, and care for baby or older children for brief periods to keep the household running smoothly and prevent you from feeling overwhelmed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Don’t see your question here? Contact me and ask!
Where are you located?
I am currently located in Portland, OR, and serve the greater Portland metro area.
Who can benefit from a postpartum doula?
Everyone! First-time parents often find it helpful to have the guidance of someone knowledgeable about normal postpartum transition, infant care, breastfeeding, and self-care methods. Families with older children may welcome an extra set of hands. Postpartum support can be especially helpful if you have a special situation, like multiple infants, cesarean recovery, a postpartum mood disorder, single parenting, or adoption.
What’s the difference between a postpartum doula, a nanny, and a baby nurse?<br />
A baby nurse is a medical professional whose focus is only on the baby. A nanny takes over care of the child(ren) for a portion of the day. A postpartum doula provides non-medical support for the whole family. Postpartum doulas are not medically trained, nor do they take over care of the baby. They are there to nurture the new parents, help them care for and bond with their baby, and ensure that the postpartum transition goes smoothly. The end goal is to help parents achieve independence and confidence in their parenting skills.
What is your philosophy regarding parenting and your role as a postpartum doula?<br />
My role as a doula is to provide information, resources, and nurturing support for the whole family. My goal is for parents to discover their own parenting philosophy and to feel confident in their parenting skills. I share evidence-based techniques and strategies to improve bonding and healthy, secure attachment between parent and child.
When should I hire a postpartum doula?<br />
The earlier the better! Hiring a postpartum doula early ensures that she will be available during your due time. It also allows you more time to get to know each other, and you can use her as a resource throughout your pregnancy for postpartum planning ideas. Some parents don’t realize they need help until after the baby is born, and that’s ok, too! As soon as you know you would like doula support, don’t hesitate to contact me to see if I am available.
Are you a nurse or midwife?
I am not a nurse or midwife. I did attend nursing school and completed most of my midwifery training, but I am not licensed as a health care provider and any clinical or medical actions are not within my current scope of practice as a doula. Any information I provide is purely for educational purposes and is not intended as medical advice.
When are you available?
I am available for postpartum support Monday-Friday from 10am-10pm.
How many hours can you provide per day?<br />
Work days are a minimum of 3 hours and a maximum of 6, according to needs and availability. A minimum of 10 hours are required to book initial services.
Do you offer overnight services?<br />
At this time, I do not offer overnights.
How long do you spend with a family?<br />
I may work with a family for just one week, or for as long as several months, depending on the family’s needs.
May we contact you with postpartum questions or concerns before the birth?
Absolutely. In addition to our in-depth planning meeting, you can also feel free to contact me as questions arise.