What is a Postpartum Doula?
what+is+a+postpartum+doula DONA International summarizes the role of a Postpartum doula as “…trained in postpartum adjustment, newborn characteristics, care, feeding and development and the promotion of parent-infant bonding. They are experienced in supporting families through their postpartum experience. Coming into the home during the fourth trimester following birth, the doula’s role is to provide education, non-judgmental support and companionship; and to assist with newborn care and family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tasks. Postpartum doulas offer evidence- based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and can make appropriate referrals when necessary.”
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. She will make light meals, maybe fold some laundry. If mom would like a nice bath, the PP doula would hold the baby. OR if mom needs a nap and baby has been nursed, the PP doula can hold the baby (in a sling) and promptly bring baby to mom to nurse when needed.
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 make sure that the mother feels nurtured and cared for, as well as making sure she is eating well and getting enough sleep. 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.
Crossing the threshold from maiden to mother is a massive undertaking that not only needs to be recognized and ceremonially honored, but deeply necessitates a healing touch that can welcome the new mama with open arms. As a postpartum receiver, you are charged with holding space for women on the other side of birth, you are reminded of being reverent with your service to her, and you are blessed to be her witness as she starts feeding her baby milk, heals her body, and begins to seal the rawness of her birth experience. You are there to wrap her in a blanket of your loving care, warm her insides, massage her, create herbal tinctures for her, educate her on placenta prana™ , feed her soups, and gift her with ceremony.
Mother Roasters are CAREGIVERS that nurture new mothers after BIRTH while supporting their RECOVERY + JOURNEY into motherhood; as EVERY women deserves to be welcomed into MOTHERHOOD through GENTLE + LOVING + CARE.
Mother Roasters are trained through Sacred Postpartum and I have been certified as a Postpartum Belly Binder and Mother Roaster , which is yet another Fourth trimester service that is offered.
What is the Fourth Trimester?
The fourth trimester is the school of thought that birth to four months old should be an extension period of life in the womb. In utero baby was receiving everything she needed via mother- food, warmth, nurturing, limited sounds and stimuli and cozy surroundings. Upon birth, baby still needs constant support and feels comforted by things that mimic her previous home, including skin to skin contact, feeding on demand, movement and sound that mimic the womb. Often overlooked is the fourth trimester for mom as well. Upon birth there is a view of ‘no longer pregnant’ that often makes mom feel pressure to ‘get back to her old self’. New mothers often don’t expect the continued lack of sleep, hormonal shifts, postpartum bleeding, possible surgery recovery, and concern over newborn and family dynamics to be a struggle. A postpartum doula can help you navigate these continued changes in your body with constant support and assurance as you settle into your role as a mother.
How is a Postpartum Doula Different than………?
A common question that comes up when discussing postpartum doulas is ‘well my mom will be in town/’my partner took two weeks off, will I still need help?’ It is great if your partner, friends and family can offer you support, and they should be excited to share in their new role as dads, grandmas, grandpas, aunts and uncles, etc. A doula’s role is to offer a number of things friends and family may not be able to offer, including up-to-date evidenced based information (your mom had a baby a long time ago!), specific training in postpartum support that includes normal healing, infant feeding, sleep patterns, emotional awareness and education for mom AND partner, and local resources and referrals. The role of a doula is to fill in the gaps with information, provide a buffer for unsolicited advice and offer consistent, available, non-judgmental support in your choices and feelings as a growing family.
When Does a Postpartum Doula Work?
Though this varies from family to family, generally a doula works in 3- 4 hour blocks and is scheduled 2-5 times a week. A doula is commonly hired and utilized within the first 6 weeks of postpartum and ‘works herself out of a job’ by the 12 week mark, though there is no limit on how long a doula is needed. Often a doula is hired before birth or when a partner is going back to work and additional support is suddenly needed. A postpartum doula is available to support both parents and family during times of transition, optionally working overnights as well as day shifts depending on the needs of the mother and other available family resources.
What is My Personal Philosophy?
As a postpartum doula I find that providing support and education enables the family to bond and gain confidence in their ability to raise their baby while maintaining their own physical and emotional well being as new parents. This support leads to a more joyful experience of welcoming a new baby, as well as reducing risk for postpartum depression and anxiety. I encourage mothers to always follow her heart.
I offer a variety of postpartum packages to best meet your and your family’s needs.
Lisa is a Sacred Postpartum Certified Mother Roaster & Certifed Sacred Belly Bind Artist offering Bengkung Belly Binding with http://www.sacredpostpartum.net/#!lisa-olschewske/co7c.
Bengkung Belly Binding is an effective and important part of a mama’s recovery that aids the body to shrink and recover in shorter time period, normally six to eight weeks. A sacred belly wrap provides a mama’s postpartum body with 360 support to assist the abdominal wall muscle retraction, improve posture, stabilize loosened ligaments, and provide support to the torso while vital organs returned to their pre-pregnancy size and position. During pregnancy a mama’s body retains water, fat, and air which cause her body to swell and expand, including the organs in the womb area such as the cervix and vagina. The water retained by cells supported the amniotic fluid; and the purpose of the air was to cushion the baby, a mama’s internal organs and bones, as her center of gravity shifted and the baby grew larger and larger. This is why a mama gets more and more swollen during the last months of pregnancy. When a baby is born the excess water, fat and flatulence are no longer needed and the cells will naturally release and shrink back to their pre-pregnant size. However, the purpose of a post-pregnancy wrap is to speed up this process with constant pressure on the abdomen and torso area.
A longer design of a post-pregnancy wrap provides a holistic support to all of the abdominal and pelvic organs, including the muscles, in the pelvic area. Support to the pelvic area is very important in the immediate weeks after birth as a mama’s cervix dilates 10 cm when active labor is reached; this is equivalent to the size of an average bagel. Therefore the pressure of a longer wrap on the hip area helps the cervix shrink and allows the pelvic muscles to heal without being further stretched.Steady, pressured support on the hips allows the body to “close” more easily than if just left in its expanded state. The bengkung style of binding, based in Malaysia, is known to help heal diastasis recti with the constant supportive pressure on the abdomen area.
During pregnancy, musculoskeletal changes are stimulated by hormone secretions and the continuous expansion of the uterus. Some of these changes include:
- Abdominal wall expansion and abdominal wall separation (Diastasis recti)
- The growing fetus and the increasing weight of the baby puts pressure on the muscles can stretch the abdomen as much as 50%.
- The abdominal muscles (rectus abdominis) on either side are joined by a narrow fibrous strip (linea alba) that thins as it stretches. Hormonal changes which happen during pregnancy also cause connective tissue to soften.
- When the muscles separate, their strength is reduced and this can lead to back pain. The condition is more likely to occur where the abdominal muscles were weak prior to pregnancy. It is vital that the abdominal wall returns to its pre-pregnancy location to protect internal organs and properly support the torso.
Spine and Posture Realignment
Posture is greatly affected as a baby grows larger in the womb. The pelvis tips forward to counterbalance the baby’s weight, which causes the pubic bones and tailbone to move backward, increasing the arch in the lower spine and creating a lordotic posture upper spine simultaneously responds to this structural change by increasing its curvature, which rounds the shoulders forward, collapses the chest inward, and slides the head forward, creating a kyphotic posture. The combination of the kyphotic/lordotic posture results in the classic “S” shaped spine of a pregnant woman and is a direct result of a shifting centre of gravity. This shifting of a woman’s center of gravity and spine can affect the nervous system and cause aching, weakness, and numbness in the body.
Pelvic floor relaxation
The pelvic floor provides balance, body stabilization, and vital organ support. The pelvic floor is the base of the core muscle system, attaching to the abdominal muscles and the sacroiliac joints. During pregnancy, hormones cause ligaments to stretch, which loosens the pelvic floor structure. This natural realignment allows the pelvic bones to open for the baby’s birth and makes a mama feel a bit wobbly on her feet. After birth the pelvic floor can remain loose and unstable for up to five months. Because the pelvic floor acts as the support system for the lower intestine, colon, and bladder, these vital organs may be less supported for a few months immediately postpartum. This lack of organ support is the primary reason why women suffer incontinence when coughing, sneezing, or laughing after giving birth.
**Cesarean incision support
C-section mamas should wait 6 weeks until their incision is mostly healed before being wrapped.
For the best results
Begin tummy binding as soon as you can after giving birth, ideally around Day 5, and then continue to wear it each day for at least 40 days and even longer if you are not satisfied with your healing.
The wrap should be on for 10-12 hours a day in the very beginning if possible. When I am hired to do your Sacred Postpartum Belly Bind as a service, I can go out and bind mama every other day for at least 3 times and then show daddy or another support person how to do it in order to continue the practice of binding for her.
Please call me to inquire about the various Sacred Postpartum services packages I offer 904-806-3778
Have a Blessed day
My postpartum certifications Via Sacred Pregnancy I am trained via DONA as well. I have been a La Leche League Leader since 1997:
Happily Serving Northeast Florida including Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Palm Coast, Flagler County, Daytona, Orange Park, Ormond beach and St Augustine Birth Doula Services and Postpartum Doula Services