Postpartum doulas provide practical, informational, and emotional support for the whole family during the fourth trimester (the first three months after birth). You can find out more here.
I am a mama to a generous, funny, determined toddler, Georgie, who allowed me to experience the highs and lows of the fourth trimester. Georgie was such a joy and delight as a baby, always happy and content, forever interested in the world around her, and content with snuggles from almost anybody. But I had a tough labor and delivery, ending in a 4-hour C-section; we struggled with breastfeeding because she had a tongue tie (resolved at 7 days old), so I exclusively pumped for her; she had wicked silent reflux which kept us up all hours of the night until it was adequately controlled; and I had postpartum depression starting just weeks after she was born. I was so lucky that I had my family, especially my wife, around to support me, but in hindsight, we should have had a postpartum doula to help with the transition to our new normal. I wish that there had been a caring professional, experienced with the craziness of the fourth trimester, around to provide cool and collected support.
I am familiar and comfortable working within a wide range of family situations – there’s pretty much nothing that shocks me! While I always defer to your parenting style, it is imperative that there is a good fit in our approaches. I don’t subscribe to any one parenting “doctrine” and am pretty flexible. For example, I absolutely support nursing, but if pumping and/or formula feeding is what’s feeding your baby, then you will get nothing but support from me! I am a vehement advocate for safe sleep but don’t believe that there is only one way to achieve that. I’ve used both cloth and disposable diapers, so again, no judgment from me on that one. However, there are a few things that would lead me to suggest finding a different postpartum doula: physical/corporal punishment (e.g., if you have an older child you spank), putting babies on schedules (e.g., “12 hours by 12 weeks”), blatant and willful disregard for car seat safety, and sexism/racism/homophobia etc. You can find out about my professional values here.
My official qualifications include being an ALPP-certified Advanced Lactation Consultant. By mid-August 2018, I will be pediatric and infant CPR/AED/first aid certified and I am in the process of gaining my DONA postpartum doula certification (I have fulfilled all the requirements except official home visits).
What I help with as a postpartum doula
- Your emotional and physical recovery after birth
- The emotional and practical transition of having a new family member
- Newborn care such as diapering, bathing, feeding, and comforting
- Practical babywearing methods
- Light housekeeping and organization
- Meal preparation
- Running errands, walking the dog, and grocery shopping
- Figuring out routines for the “new normal”
- Sibling care
- Referrals to local resources such as parenting classes, pediatricians, further lactation support, help with postpartum mood disorders, and support groups
What I don’t do
- Look after your baby overnight
- Administer medication
- Impose my own parenting style on your family
- Side with any one family member
What to expect
Initial phone call
After contacting me through the website, we’ll chat on the phone for about half an hour about you, your family, your expectations and about me, my background, my approach, and the ways I can help you. I’m going to be working in your home at a very emotional time, so it’s important that I am a good fit for you and your family.
In-person meeting at a location of your choice (usually your home)
After a positive phone call, we’ll meet in person for about an hour and chat more about your postpartum plans and what it would look like to have me as your postpartum doula. If you’re ready to go ahead, we’ll sign a contract (to protect both you and me) and you’ll make your first payment (see below).
I can come to your house before your baby(ies) arrive and work together with you on a number of things, such as selecting newborn baby care items, setting up a nursery, working out a postpartum plan, education about newborn feeding, and so on.
That’s when I come to your house for 3–4 hours per visit and help out.
If you buy a package, I am available for support even when I’m not in your home.*
REDUCED! Same great help, but 35% cheaper until I get my official DONA certification!
All packages include an initial phone call, an in-person meeting, and unlimited* text/email/phone support. Additional hours can be purchased to boost these packages.
- Best: 40 hours, 10–12 visits,
- For the family that wants the reassurance of plenty of support throughout the fourth trimester to help ensure the best possible transition with a new addition. On one of my visits, I will bring a home-cooked meal with me (big enough that they’ll be leftovers!) (cost of groceries included in the package). This package also includes a bonus visit of up to 3 hours when I will babysit and you (and your partner if you have one) can leave the house solo!
- Better: 30 hours, 7–9 visits,
- For the family with some outside support, but still feels the need for help transitioning to family life with a new addition. This package includes a home-cooked meal, described above.
- Great: 20 hours, 5–7 visits,
- For the family with lots of other support and parenting experience, who feel confident in their newborn coping skills but still feel a calm presence might be a helpful addition to their first few weeks or months after birth.
Digital doula via phone/video chat: $25/30 minutes (or part thereof). If you just want a quick chat about something fourth trimester, this is the option for you. This includes a follow-up over email/text/chat and the chance for you to ask brief follow-up questions* at no extra charge.
Gifting postpartum hours or adding them to your baby registry
Gifting care to your loved ones is an amazing present! However, it’s vitally important that I am a good fit for the expecting family (and vice versa!). While it might take the surprise factor out of it, I ask that you tell your loved ones what you’re planning so that we can chat on the phone, then meet in person, and sign a contract with them so everyone understands the services offered.
Just let me know if you want to add my services to your baby registry – I can make that happen!
* I am passionate about helping folks in their fourth trimester, but I do have other commitments in life too! While I usually reply within a couple of hours (often sooner since I’m never without my phone), there may be times that it takes a little bit longer. If you want my undivided attention, I recommend chatting in person or via phone/video chat.