Many parents do a great job planning for the birth of their child. They research and educate themselves about midwives and doulas, childbirth education and more. They can be so focused on the birth that they may forget about the period immediately after the baby arrives. Arranging for support and help, after the baby comes, may be challenging. Much depends on how the birth goes. Even if everything goes smoothly parents are rarely prepared for the sleep deprivation and all consuming job of caring for a helpless infant. Consider changing ninety diapers a week! The baby will be breastfeeding every hour to hour and a half in the beginning. Their stomach is only the size of a marble! They are learning to breathe and all body systems are coming on line so imagine how huge the adjustment must be for the baby! No wonder babies will be sleeping most of the time. Keeping them close helps to regulate breathing.
It can be difficult to anticipate your needs, as a a parent, with the first child. On the job training, for the most important job you will ever have, can be stressful. Postpartum doulas support the mother so she can mother the baby. I imagine that this job was most often provided by a relative. Now most people are working and not available to help during the most intense early weeks. If this is your second child, and your first is a toddler, planning for will also be a major consideration.
The postpartum doula helps and supports new parents along with taking care of the mom and house. She will make simple meals, run errands, do light house keeping and laundry. Mom will be healing from giving birth and establishing a breastfeeding relationship. One concern is that mom gets enough rest. Doing too much can affect milk supply or cause other breastfeeding problems. Just getting personal hygiene can be a challenge. Take some time to assess your needs – even if you have to guess – and consider your options. Hiring a professional postpartum doula might be the one of the best decisions you make. They often come in when the dad has to go back to work. Interviewing, based on your needs assessment, is recommended. Most postpartum doulas are free lance. Birth doulas sometimes take postpartum jobs.
Parents are often too exhausted to enjoy this precious period. Take time to nest with your newborn. How long will be different for everyone. Practitioners be sure that parents are prepared for the postpartum period.