By Sasha Romary
I often get a lot of confused faces when I tell people that I am a postpartum doula. It is indeed hard to explain as my work is so varying and differs from one client to another. I worked with a wonderful Mama recently, however, and it was one of those days when I had that “I love my job!” feeling and I thought I would share it here so that you Mamas and Mamas-to-be could get a better idea of what we postpartum doulas can do to help you!
Here is a day in the life of a postpartum doula:
8:30am – I arrive just as Daddy is off to bring their 3-year old to Kindergarten. He has to head into the office that day for a few hours leaving Mama alone with the new baby for the first time. They all are putting on smiling faces but I can see that they have had a rough night.
I see a load of baby’s laundry on the floor so I toss it into wash, make some tea and muesli for Mama and bring it to her as she has a sleeping baby in her arms. We chat about the night and how things have been going. I was right – it has been a tough few days. Mama had a difficult birth and is still quite sore and their older daughter has been going through a sleep regression which has been keeping both parents up throughout the night. Breastfeeding has been difficult as Mama’s nipples are sore and cracking. She doesn’t remember it being this hard with her older daughter.
9am – At Mama’s request, I run an herbal bath for her and baby to take together. The soothing herbs will help her heal and the bath will calm her and baby down. She nurses baby in the bath and I have a chance to observe. A few little positioning and latch adjustments and Mama sighs a huge sigh of relief! No more pain!
I help her in and out of the bath (not an easy feat to do alone with a slippery wet baby!) and put a fresh diaper and pyjamas on baby while Mama crawls into bed for some rest. I put baby in the wrap I see in the living room and get to work.
11am – Baby has been asleep for about an hour in the baby wrap while I have put baby’s laundry to dry, prepped a healthy family dinner for them to enjoy later. Baby is beginning to stir so I bring him along with a large glass of water and avocado toast to Mama who is just waking up well rested and ready to give baby another feed. I watch as she follows the new positioning gets a good latch from baby with a little help from me.
11:30am – I change baby’s diaper while Mama finishes her avocado toast and freshens up after her nap. She is thrilled to walk into the kitchen and see the laundry running, dishes done and dinner prepped!