Doulapreneur came up with four things a doula must remember when supporting a family during the night. Becoming a parent is one of the biggest life-changing events and it will require the mother and her family to adapt. As a postpartum doula, your role is to help families adjust themselves to their new lives. Usually, the whole family stands on tip toes to provide round-the-clock support for the new born. Your role is to provide guidance and role modeling to the mother, enable them to perform their duties and take care of the carer.
There are a lot of comprehensive and detailed books and media that bring information vital to new parenthood. But, there is nothing like bringing home the little baby.
Day and night blurs for families as they attend to the needs of the babies.
Mothers, and even their partners, can get overwhelmed while adjusting. They might even feel inadequate and scared about making decisions. They are adjusting physically (recuperating from childbirth) and psychologically (preparing to become parents).
How do you take care of the carer?
Four Things to Remember in Providing Postpartum Support to Families
SUPPORT: Doulas are there to support mothers in taking care of their newborn. You will provide guidance and serve as a role model for the mother during the postpartum period. You will be taking care of both mother and baby during this time, and help them be familiar with each other. This support extends in other chores and activities inside the house. You can perform light household duties or cook for the family (depending on your agreement) while they focus on taking care of their new born.
COMPASSION: A doula is usually perceptive to the mother’s needs. Melt away their worries; encourage them to find the joy in their new experience. There are times that they might not agree with your suggestion. Don’t impose on them what you know. Learn to adjust with your family. (They might be sleep deprived, after all!) Help them weave through their feelings and emotions and provide continuous assistance.
SLEEP: Rest is important for the mother. She must get adequate sleep so that she has the energy to take care of the baby. Never allow your mother to be sleep deprived as this will heighten her stress and negatively affect her perspective in mothering. Depending on the parenting plans of the family, they might need breastfeeding support or someone to bottle feed the baby while they rest. Some doulas provide sleep training for the babies as well, so that the parents will have more time to rest.
HEALTH: With the mother concentrating on the new baby, she might need assistance in getting adequate nutrition for herself. A doula is usually the one caring for the carer. You can suggest healthy meals that will help get her strength back. Some mothers might have special needs and diet, so you must ensure that she gets the nutrition she needs. If they request, offer to cook and bring healthy meals.
As a doula, your role is to provide them with the support that they ask for, and be prepared to answer their questions and concerns. They might want to learn about parenting a newborn (informational), or they might want a sounding board or a voice of encouragement (emotional). This also means that you must be perceptive about the kind of support that they are asking for.
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