Friday, February 13, 2015

Why I am a Post-Partum Doula

I'm asked this question a lot, by friends, by clients by random folks that I get chatting with - they 'why' question. Why be a Post-Partum Doula?

I think the concept of post-partum care really made sense to me in the heady days and weeks after my twins were born. Without a strong support system of family and friends around me, I floundered. I was completely overwhelmed between the demands of these two new babes, my busy toddler and a demanding job.

I remember thinking that I just wanted, needed, someone to come into my home and HELP! Help me rein in my dishwasher and laundry, help quell my fears and concerns, help me process the stress and anxiety of being a new mama to these two little ones.

Of course, I made it through that period. I started getting a little more sleep, developed systems to help with all the day to day minutiae of parenting and adjusted to the new normal of life as a mama to three Little Ones. But I never forgot the deep need I had for 'help', that ran much deeper than the need for visits from family and meals delivered by friends.

And over the years of processing what that 'help' might have looked like, I began to realize that I had a deep and profound desire to provide that help. It was a calling of sorts, to provide support and encouragement to women, and in particular to new mothers and their families.

And that help can look really different from one family to the next! Sometimes that help is sitting knee to knee with a new mother, and holding her hand as she weeps with the lack of sleep, the emotional overload of welcoming a new baby, the fears and steep learning curves.

Sometimes that help is completely practical; folding laundry, fixing snacks, refilling water bottles, making a run to the grocery store, tackling the dishwasher.

And sometimes that help is more hands on; helping with breastfeeding and eating issues, sleep questions and logistics, diaper changes and helping with baby and siblings so the mother can shower, nap, and eat a hot meal with both hands.

But through it all, is the support, the offer to 'help'. And how wonderful to know that there is help out there, that we are not alone.

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