As a postpartum doula, my primary role is “mothering the mother,” ensuring that she receives emotional and physical support during this transformative time. Focusing support on the mother allows her more time and energy to bond with and care for her baby. Take a moment now to CONTACT ME and schedule a free, one-hour phone consultation.
Encouraging rest and healing during the postpartum time for both parents ultimately strengthens the whole family. It is a unique and precious time that is best approached with thought and preparation.
I encourage you and your partner to read about and plan a “Babymoon” for after the birth and consider this time away from the world as an investment in the future health and well-being of your family. Even if you feel you cannot fully commit to a Babymoon, reading this will give you some great ideas of how to approach this time.
As a postpartum doula, I can help in creating a calm and peaceful space. I provide Thai Yoga bodywork sessions for the new mother promoting relaxation, improving sleep, and decreasing stress hormones in the body. Also, the localized, deep heat of Mother Roasting brings comfort and healing. It is easy to allow your self-care to slip, so we created a reminder sheet called “After My Baby is Born,” and encourage you to tape it to your bathroom mirror.
The last thing on a mother’s mind should be a sink full of dishes or laundry that needs to be folded, so I assist with light housework and prepare nutritious food allowing the mother to rest and focus attention on her baby, yet still have a sense of peace and clear energy in the home.
I help the family develop sleep strategies that work for them in the early weeks and support breastfeeding and/or bottle-feeding, I review basic baby care, reassuring parents about bathing, dressing, and swaddling.
Even with the best of planning, it is not uncommon for the new mother to experience a range of emotions from the transient weepiness and sadness of Baby Blues to the less common, issues of postpartum mood disorders including anxiety and depression. Early recognition and appropriate professional help has been shown to give women the best opportunity for recovery. Local resources in the Pioneer Valley for mental health in the childbearing year include psychotherapy, medication therapy, light therapy, support groups and yoga classes.
Many of your family members and friends will want to help you during this time, but won’t know exactly how to help. Creating a supportive network of friends and family and having specific areas of help delineated will contribute to the health and well-being of your new family. Remember: you are raising a new member of the next generation! It’s okay to ask for help!
Keep in mind that parents eventually need to get a minimum of a five-hour block of sleep to maintain physical and mental health. Sleep deprivation can exacerbate issues of postpartum depression, anxiety and mood disorders. It can make it difficult for a partner to go to work and even unsafe to drive. I believe sleep is essential to health, so I offer overnight postpartum doula support so parents can catch up on sleep and be in a better place to face the day with an infant. Please be in touch at any time, during pregnancy or after the birth of your baby, to discuss the benefits of overnight doula support. I offer support to families throughout the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, including Northampton, Easthampton, Southampton, Amherst, Westfield, Springfield, Longmeadow and Greenfield. Please CONTACT ME NOW to schedule your free, one-hour phone consultation!