Having to deal with the first few days after giving birth can be quite tedious and frustrating for a new mother especially if you had a caesarian delivery. This is why most families opt for the help of a postpartum doula who helps to assist families with a new baby. A postpartum doula main job is to assist with the postpartum period immediately after the arrival of a new baby. Postpartum doula are trained professionals whose duty is to help provide information to mothers such as the emotional and physical recovery from birth, how the babies should be fed, soothed and taken care of and also provide information on mother and child bonding this makes it easier for both the mother, father and baby to get through that period. Most postpartum doulas often offer night-time services to make it easier in helping the families transition smoothly to the challenges they would face in nighttime parenting. They don’t only support new parents but also any with a new addition- to the family.
Now consider a situation where a new mother who just put to bed and probably had a difficult birth is at home alone with her baby no family around to help her out and her husband is on an official assignment, she can easily get exhausted and fall into depression especially with the fact that her hormones are currently adjusting to her non-pregnant state, this is where a postpartum doula comes in, at this point she needs someone who will help and assist her recover from birth and gives her reassurance and also show her love that would help her positively in different ways in her early weeks of parenting. The duty of a postpartum doula is to help provide physical, informational and emotional support to a woman and her family during the postpartum period generally the three months after giving birth.
READ ALSO: Best Postpartum Jeans
Ways to become a postpartum doula
There are various pieces of training and educations available on how to become a postpartum doula, though there is no formal regulation on becoming a postpartum doula, most people feel anyone can become a doula but there are however certifications from independent organizations, most of these organizations have a different focus on their training some focus on supporting the families and child care while some are just focused on developing their business and teaching postpartum doulas on how to make money from the profession.
Being a doula is a very serious work as their job is to help parents with the challenges of early parenting which is one of the most challenging and vulnerable times in their life.
As said earlier there are different ways on how to become a postpartum doula, though we have two major ways we can learn how to become a postpartum doula which are
- Online training- there are various online training on the internet these days where you can easily learn it from the comfort of your home, no stress!
- In-person workshop- This is a one on one training class with interactive hands-on training on all important things to know about being a postpartum doula.
Benefits of a postpartum doula
Postpartum doulas are one of a new mother’s best friend they could ever ask for at that period of their life since they offer and provide most of the support a new mother could ever ask for both physically and emotionally at that point of nursing a newborn. The job of a is to nurture the family but her major goal is to help the mother in every way possible during the transition into the life of having a newborn.
All postpartum doulas provide have physical support, emotional support, evidence-based pieces of information and partner support, as a postpartum doula you should be able to provide all these benefits to the family you would be working for.
Duties of a postpartum doula
As a postpartum doula, you definitely have some duties to perform, these includes
- Running of errands
- Provide emotional and physical support to aid recovery
- Provide breastfeeding support
- Assist with housekeeping like the general cleaning of the house
- Assisting in taking care of the newborn like diapering, bathing, feeding and comforting
- Provide baby soothing techniques to the baby and mother
- Provide care to the baby’s siblings if he/she has one
Most postpartum doulas are certified lactation consultants, this way they can help mothers with latching techniques.
Common misconceptions about postpartum doulas
Various people have different misconceptions about postpartum doulas, they believe
- A postpartum doula must have been a mother before taking up the occupation if you’ve never had a baby you may be wondering if you would be able to understand the needs of a postpartum mother or how to take care of the child, but this is not really necessary so far you are able to have the necessary training and learning on the comprehension and details about motherhood.
- Postpartum doulas are most times mistaken to perform the same duties as midwives which is a wrong assumption because postpartum doulas don’t perform any medical tasks because the major work of a midwife is to take care of the physical wellbeing of the mother and child while the duty of the postpartum doula is to offer emotional support to the mother
- Most people feel guys cant do the job of a doula, though women are mostly known to dominate this role that doesn’t mean men can’t do it too, even old people are exempted from being able to the job of a postpartum doula which is not true because no matter your sex or age you can learn the skills of becoming a doula and be good at it.
- It is believed that one can’t be a doula if natural birth scares you, but postpartum doulas are already trained in supporting women with all types of births.
- Being a postpartum doula is not profitable its just a hobby, but this is just one of the many misconceptions about postpartum doulas because not only can you do it as a full-time job, the demands for postpartum, doulas are currently particularly high. You can earn a reasonable amount of salary as a postpartum doula it all depends on the city, your skill and services rendered and your level of experience.
Things you should keep in mind when working as a doula
- Plan your business- planning your business is very important for the success of your business, you need to set your goals when becoming a postpartum doula, you need to set goals that would improve your business positively. Achieving the goals of your business plan depends on your ability to interact with clients.
- Know how to make your business profitable- knowing how to improve your business to gain profits is one of the important things to have in mind when starting a business, in the postpartum doula business to gain more profits you can decide to include a midwife on your team, host events for expectant families and also hold postpartum doula education and certification classes.
- Consider your target market- since you would be working with new mothers, especially the fact that mothers who just had their first child are an ideal doula client since they are new to that phase of their life-changing event, you also have to have it in mind on how you are going to find your clients.
- The amount to charge- fees vary, it all depends on the region you are and the high rate of demand, your business charge should be a flat rate that would include all the expenses incurred.
- Know how to promote and market your business- this is one of the significant reasons why having a doula certification is important, this way you would be able to promote your business easily with confidence, you can also build an educational website that explains what services a postpartum doula offers, where you serve and how to reach you, know how to explain the areas that matter the most to them. Also, create social media pages for your business like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, it will help you easily engage with your clients wherever they are. In this area of business networking is one of the greatest marketing tools to promote your business, partner with other postpartum doulas this way you can get referrals, this would also help build your business faster.
After having vast knowledge on how to become a postpartum doula, you would find out that being a postpartum doula is not only going to be an amazing journey of self-discovery but you also get to learn about motherhood, relating with different families and even empathy. Postpartum doulas are a significant part of a new mother’s life during the few weeks of nursing, they provide the necessary support and help to the new mother especially when she’s new to motherhood and just experiencing the challenges of having a baby for the first time and they need all the support they can get it is the postpartum doula duty to provide this.