While a pregnant mom is given good prenatal care and some preparation for labor she is often not prepared for the reality of the Postpartum Period. The reality is that you will not be physically and emotionally “yourself” for the first 2 – 6 weeks after delivery. Think about all that has to take place internally:
Your body needs to regulate itself hormonally from a pregnant to a non-pregnant state. It needs time to repair itself from delivery (either vaginally or from C-Sect birth), it needs to begin to make the milk needed to meet the needs of your sweet newborn (if nursing), and emotional issues arise.
Whether we had a great mom or a not so great one, these issues can also arise unexpectedly and affect our mood. Questions such as “What kind of mother will I be?” “How am I going to care for this baby when I don’t know what to do?”. For second time moms it’s often “How is this new baby going to impact my beloved firstborn?”, “How am I going to provide everyone with what they need?” and of course other questions. Most women are emotionally more sensitive during the first few weeks postpartum.
If now, in addition to all the above happening internally, you physically expend additional energy externally by trying to care for your family – making meals, cleaning up, throwing a load of laundry in, picking up your 2 year old, etc. your body will not be able to do it all. You will pay a price if you overdo it. You may find you bleed more, produce less milk, cry more or snap at your husband. You are only human. You do have limits (temporary ones in this case!). We all have limits but moms have limits especially when they have a baby.
In times past (and even currently in other cultures) postpartum mothers were relieved of their family and household responsibilities for a few weeks or even months. This allowed the new mom time to heal and rest. Cultures who respect and support mothers during the Postpartum Period often do not have words for Postpartum Depression, and fewer nursing problems.
A Postpartum Doula from MothersCare can lessen your stress and the stress on the family and ease the adjustment while increasing the joy a new baby brings to your home.
A MothersCare Doula Services “Mothers the Mother” which means we do more than just newborn care. We do whatever is necessary from the mother’s point of view so that she feels supported. We can provide answers to questions about her newborn and breastfeeding. If the mom wants the doula to care for the newborn, then the doula will care for the newborn. If the mom wants to care for her own baby or if the baby is sleeping, the doula will care for the other family needs as well. She will provide practical help such as cooking and cleanup, shopping and other errands, laundry for the whole family, light household and playing and tending to the needs of older siblings if there are any.
If a Postpartum mother allows herself a couple of weeks to really step back from her life, she will find she will heal sooner, her nursing will go better, and her mood will be happier. The adjustment of the whole family will be impacted in this supported environment. A Doula from MothersCare can come during the day or overnight. We have no minimum commitment. Please call us for any questions you have or if you’d like to schedule doula support. Advance reserving of a doula is ideal but some moms do call us after the baby arrives as they see they need support.