What is a Postpartum Doula?
A postpartum doula offers support in emotional, physical and practical ways. They are in-person experts who can help you transition into first time parenthood, or adding a sibling to your family. Information can be provided on soothing techniques, breastfeeding or bottle feeding support and sibling adjustment. Practical support such as meal preparation and laundry can help ease the load at home.
Why Hire a Postpartum Doula?
Current research has shown us that using a professional postpartum doula provides the following benefits:
For the Family:
- Increased competence in all aspects of new baby care
- Significant positive outcomes from timely referrals to appropriate support groups and professionals
- Improved overall experience for the partner
For the Mother:
- Easier postpartum adjustment
- Greater breastfeeding success
- Less postpartum depression
- Lower incidence of abuse
Questions to Ask a Postpartum Doula
Most doulas offer a free initial consultation at a location and time of your convenience. Plan to interview at least two doulas, as it is important that you feel completely comfortable with your choice. Try to schedule your interviews close together so that you do not forget your previous interviews and you can compare and contrast. The interview is the doula's opportunity to demonstrate her personality and services and how she would best serve you. This is your opportunity to meet her and ask her questions.
- Tell me your experience as a postpartum doula.
- What is your philosophy about parenting and supporting women and their families during the postpartum period?
- What different types of services do you offer?
- When do your services begin postpartum?
- What is your experience in breastfeeding support?
- Do you have current CPR certification?
- What training have you had?
- How long have you been a doula?
- How many clients do you support per month?
- Do you work with one or more back-up doulas (for times when you are not available?)
- What is your fee?
- What do your services include?
- What is your refund policy?
- May we call you with questions or concerns before and after the birth?
- Can you provide references?