Before inviting me into your most private, personal space – your home – I would like you to learn more about the work I do everyday with families like your own. Please use the following list of questions to become familiar with the nature of my role, some rules I abide by, and even my rates. If you have additional inquiries, feel free to contact me via email at email@example.com.
F.A.Q. about Postpartum Care
1. What is a postpartum doula?
A postpartum (or postnatal) doula is a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother shortly after childbirth.
Some roles and tasks she assists with are infant feeding, emotional & physical recovery from birth, mother-baby bonding, infant soothing, basic newborn care and basic household chores.
2. Who needs a postpartum doula?
Any family can benefit from having a postpartum doula, whether their baby arrives vaginally or via cesarean (c-section), adoption, surrogacy or stillbirth. A doula’s assistance in bonding and emotional recovery can be crucial for families who were unable to know their child in the womb or experienced loss.
3. Is a PPD a baby nurse?
No. A baby nurse, or newborn care specialist, is usually committed only to the new child. Doulas instead care for the entire family, with emphasis being the mother’s needs. This may include light cleaning, laundry and overseeing baby’s siblings while mom naps or showers.
4. Do postpartum doulas replace familial support?
No. Rather than replacing the need for a support system, doulas can enhance these relationships.
Oftentimes, well-meaning family members can be unaware of or insensitive to a mother’s specific needs. They may also give conflicting advice which confuses or discourages a vulnerable parent. Postpartum doulas are trained and knowledgable in current research. They provide valuable resources and support for parents and relatives without bias or judgment.
5. When should I hire a postnatal doula?
Although it is ideal to hire a doula well in advance of needing services, you may decide you benefit greatest from having one weeks – or months – after baby has arrived.
Benefits to hiring before your expected due date include the ability to meet and interview several support persons, as well as check their references. You may want to retain the services of someone you genuinely connect with, only to find that she is unavailable for the duration of your needs.
6. What qualifications or certifications should I look for when hiring?
Although there is currently no licensure for doulas to obtain, there are certifications from several nationally and locally recognized organizations. Each certification requires doulas to work in the postpartum field for a number of hours.
Some doulas choose not to certify. I, however, am certifying through DONA (Doulas of North America) International. To obtain certification, I have completed breastfeeding education and received 27 hours of hands-on training through a DONA-approved workshop. I am currently completing home study and in-person support with clients, which undergoes evaluation.
7. When will he/she be available?
How and when your doula provides services depends on your needs. Typically, services began in the immediate days after birth and last until the mother has gained (or regained) self-sufficiency, usually around 3 months post-delivery. Services can be extended, however, especially in the event of twin or multiple births and other extenuating circumstances.
Your doula may visit daily, up to 5 times a week, or just a couple days a week. Some provide overnight services as well as weekend hours.
8. How much do postpartum doula services cost?
Provider rates vary depending on a doula’s service area and level of experience.