September 15th, 2011 by Hasham
1. What do postpartum doulas do?
What a postpartum doula does changes from day to day, as the needs of the family change. Postpartum doulas do whatever a mother needs to best enjoy and care for her new baby. A large part of their role is education. They share information about baby care with parents, as well as teach siblings and partners to “mother the mother.” They assist with breastfeeding education. Postpartum doulas also make sure the mother is fed, well hydrated and comfortable.
2. How long does a postpartum doula spend with a family?
Doula support can last anywhere from one or two visits to more than three months.
3. What hours can I expect a doula to work with my family?
Some doulas work fulltime, with 9 to 5 shifts. Others work three to five hour shifts during the day, or after school shifts until Dad gets home. Some doulas work evenings from around 6 pm until bedtime, 9 or 10 pm., and some work overnight. Some doulas work every day, some work one or more shifts per week.
4. What is the difference between a postpartum doula and a baby nurse?
The role of a postpartum doula is to help a woman through her postpartum period and to nurture the family. Unlike a baby nurse, a doula’s focus is not solely on the baby, but on fostering independence for the entire family. The doula is as available to the father and older children as to the mother and the baby. Treating the family as a unit that is connected and always changing enables doulas to do their job: nurture the family.
5. What is a postpartum doula’s goal?
The goal of a doula is to nurture the parents into their new roles. As they experience success and their knowledge and self-confidence grow, their needs for professional support should diminish.
6. How can I find a postpartum doula in my area?
Use DONA International’s online doula locator.
7. How does a doula nurture the parents into their roles?
Self-confidence has a tremendous impact on a person’s ability to approach any task, and parenting is no different. DONA International doulas are taught to always consider parents’ feelings and always build confidence whenever possible. Doulas accomplish this through praise, acceptance and a non-judgmental approach. In addition, the doula will teach parents strategies and skills that will improve their ability to bond with their babies. A calm baby who is growing well will help parents to feel more confident in their skills.
8. Do doulas help mothers to deal with postpartum depression?
Unlike therapists or psychiatrists, doulas do not treat postpartum depression. However, they will help by creating a safe place for the mother emotionally. The doula will provide a cushioning effect by accepting the mother within each stage that she passes through. They relieve some of the pressure on the new mother by helping her move into her new responsibilities gradually. By mothering the mother, doulas maks sure that the mother feels nurtured and cared for, as well as making sure she is eating well and getting enough sleep. In addition, DONA International certified postpartum doulas are trained to help clients prepare themselves for parenthood, maximizing support and rest. These doulas will help their clients to screen themselves for PPMDs and will make referrals to appropriate clinicians or support groups as needed.
9. Do doulas teach a particular parenting approach?
No. DONA International doulas are educated to support a mothers’ parenting approach. Doulas are good listeners and encourage mothers to develop their own philosophies.
What is a postpartum doula, and should I consider hiring one?
Some people hire a private labor coach, or doula, to assist during childbirth. Similarly, there are doulas who specialize in helping families after the baby’s born, easing the burdens of daily life so you can concentrate on your baby.
Postpartum doulas don’t have medical degrees but rather are trained or experienced in providing care during the first days or weeks after childbirth. They’ll do all sorts of things to help ease your transition to new parenthood — from caring for you and your baby and offering breastfeeding advice to cooking, babysitting, running errands, and even doing light housework.
“The doula we used got us through the first two weeks after my son was born,” says Lee Madison of Northampton, Massachusetts. “My partner and I had no idea what we were doing, and she made us dinner, took care of Willie, and kept the house clean. I got to nap and catch up on sleep — and was glad I had after she left.”
Maybe you don’t have a willing mother or other relative ready to pitch in after you have your baby. Or maybe you’d simply prefer to use a doula’s services instead of, or in addition to, a relative’s help. Either way — if you can afford to hire someone — you’ll find the help of a good doula invaluable. Even if your mate is eager to take over household duties while you recover, letting someone else do some of the work allows the two of you precious time with your baby and with each other.
How do I find a postpartum doula?
Ask your childbirth instructor, doctor, midwife, hospital, or friends for a referral. The organization Doulas of North America (DONA) can also help you find a postpartum doula through its online doula locator.
Once you have the names of prospective doulas, you may want to ask some of the following questions to make sure you find one who suits you. Keep in mind that she’ll be providing personal services around your home, so you should feel comfortable with her as a person. You may want to interview more than one person.
Questions for prospective doulas:
* What training or experience have you had?
* What is your fee and what services does it cover? (Be sure to find out exactly what she will and won’t do. For example, if you’re expecting her to cook or help with an older child, make sure that’s included.)
* What happens if I give birth earlier (or later) than expected? Is your schedule flexible, and if not, can you refer me to another doula if need be?
* Can you provide references from other families you’ve worked for? (And be sure to check those references!)
What type of services does a Postpartum Doula provide?
The postpartum doula offers many services to her clients, but her main goals are to help “mother the mother”, and nurture the entire family as they transition into life with a newborn. This would include doing things to help mom and dad feel more confident in their roles, sharing education on family adjustment and tending to the unique needs of a new mother.
A postpartum doula works with each family individually to find out their particular needs. Some of the duties that a postpartum doula will perform include:
* Breastfeeding support
* Help with the emotional and physical recovery after birth
* Light housekeeping so that mom does not feel so overwhelmed
* Running errands
* Assistance with newborn care such as diapering, bathing, feeding and comforting
* Light meal preparation
* Baby soothing techniques
* Sibling care
* Referrals to local resources such as parenting classes, pediatricians, lactation support and support groups
Most postpartum doulas provide service for a family anywhere from a few days up to a few weeks after bringing home a new baby. Families may have the doula work 1-3 days a week or as many as 5 days a week. Postpartum doulas often offer night time service to help the family transition more smoothly into the challenges of night time parenting. Each doula offers different services, so it’s important that each family decide what their needs are and find a doula who can meet those needs.
What do Postpartum Doula’s charge?
The price of postpartum doula services vary dependent on what part of the country you live in, what type of service you need ( day or night time) and the skill level of the doula. Postpartum doulas usually charge by the hour and usually require a minimum amount of hours of service. The range of costs seem to be anywhere from $15-50 an hour. Some doulas offer discounts if you book them for a certain amount of hours, if you pay in advance or if they are a newly trained postpartum doula.
More and more families are asking for postpartum doula service as a shower or baby gift from family and friends. This is especially helpful for new families who have little or no family support nearby.
Postpartum doula service may also be paid for using money from a family’s flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) dependent on what the guidelines are for their particular plan.
What is the difference between a Postpartum Doula and a Baby nurse?
The postpartum doula’s role is to support everyone in the family, including mom, dad, siblings and baby. Unlike a baby nurse whose sole focus is the new baby, the postpartum doula is there to support mom through the postpartum period and to help the family as a whole.
How do I find a Postpartum Doula?
Postpartum doulas have been around for quite awhile, but have just recently become more popular. There are a few organizations that certify postpartum doulas and provide referrals to their doulas. Most childbirth educators, birth doulas and parenting support groups also will have referrals to local postpartum doulas.
In order for candidates to be eligible for CAPPA certification they must sign and agree to the CAPPA philosophy, code of conduct, scope of practice, and grievance policy. We reserve the right to withhold certification to those candidates that do not meet the requirements set forth. We also reserve the right to withhold certification based on all contact with candidates for certification, including, but not limited to phone calls, e-mails, and certification materials. An understanding of CAPPA standards of professionalism, our scope of practice, and code of conduct must be demonstrated by candidates at all times and in all communications. Failure to demonstrate an understanding of the aforementioned may result in CAPPA withholding certification. This is rare.
While 92% of candidates do obtain certification, CAPPA cannot guarantee certification will be obtained by entering our program. In the event a candidate fails to pass certification requirements, the candidate has up to one year to complete the failed portions of the certification requirements. There will be no further processing fees. The candidate who exceeds one year to complete the aforementioned portions of certification may be asked to re-enter the certification program and may incur additional fees.
Please allow approximately six weeks for CAPPA to grade and process your certification materials* once we receive them. CAPPA receives a high volume of certification requests, and each certification request is given individual attention. Upon successful completion of any of the CAPPA certification programs, you will receive a CAPPA name tag and a certificate. CAPPA certified postpartum doulas may use the letters “CPD” after their names.
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