You’ve probably heard of birth doulas, but did you know that there are doulas for after you have your baby too? They’re called postpartum doulas, and they’re kind of amazing.
Let me paint two scenes for you.
You just got home from the hospital.
Your toddler, who has been with grandma for a few days, tries to leap into your arms while you’re getting the baby out of the carseat.
You’re starving and exhausted and really need to pee.
You look at your partner and burst into tears.
You just got home from the hospital. Your doula pulls into the driveway at the same time you do, gives you a big hug, and grabs your hospital bag.
Your toddler, who has been with grandma for a few days, tries to leap into your arms while you’re getting the baby out of the carseat. Your doula smoothly takes the car seat from you and you give your toddler a big hug.
Your postpartum doula slips into the kitchen to check what’s in the fridge. You head upstairs to pee and take a hot shower, and come downstairs to find the baby sleeping peacefully on your partner’s chest while your toddler watches Thomas.
Your doula brings omelettes into the living room so you all can relax and eat together and loads the dishwasher. Your partner and toddler go to bed, and your doula makes sure you’re in a comfortable nursing position. You tell her all about your birth, and she listens with zero judgement.
Your doula tells you she will be there first thing in the morning. The plan is to get a shopping list together so that she can prep some crockpot meals for the week. You also want to practice swaddling the baby.
Before she leaves, she gives you a big hug and tells you how amazing you’re doing. You burst into tears and she just hugs you more tightly.
She lets herself out and you breathe a huge sigh of relief. Yes, you have a new baby and all of the adjustments that come with it. But it feels so good to know you’ve got someone in it with you. That you don’t have to do it alone.
Doesn’t scene two sound magical?
Elisabeth Lighty is owner of Indianapolis Doulas, a full service doula agency providing birth doulas, postpartum doulas, and placenta encapsulation to growing families in Central Indiana. She loves her work as a professional birth and postpartum doula, and when she’s not at a birth or with a postpartum family, she’s usually hanging out with her own family or soaking in the tub. She blogs about birth, babies, parenthood, doulas, and whatever else she thinks of. Learn more about her and her company at indianapolisdoulas.com.