Postpartum Doulas: Prenatal ContactSep 21, 2021
When does a postpartum doula enter the scene? This can vary. Often, it is late in pregnancy. Sometimes, the call comes after parents are home with their new baby. Suddenly, they realize they could use support. Of course. We are not meant to parent alone.
Most women, and partners are so focused on the labor and birth, and working through their fears, that thinking about connecting with their unborn baby is not happening.
This is a vital part of the baby’s healthy development. In addition, lining up support or creating a vision for life with a newborn, will help parents tremendously.
If you, the postpartum doula, are able to meet with your client sooner, rather than later, you can encourage them to connect with their baby through talking, singing and music. This will help parents begin to consider their baby’s needs, vs. the latest apps, gizmos and gadgets that they're often focused on.
You, as the postpartum doula can ask questions:
Who do you have as support?
How much do you know about normal newborn behavior?
Is there anything you’re anxious about?
Is there someone to bring or prepare meals?
Have you considered cocooning for 40 days?
Do you know about newborn sleep cycles?
Have you looked into getting a baby sling?
This will plant seeds about all the things for parents to consider. You don’t want to overwhelm them, yet, you also don’t want to skip over the necessity of support, and preparation for sleep deprivation, emotional reactions, and overall recovery after birth.
It’s great if you can incorporate a few visits into your doula package before the baby arrives. The more deeply you connect with your clients, the more trust you build before the baby arrives.
Your client will be more likely to open up to you about how they’re feeling after the baby is born. Be that trusted guide and confidante.
Map out some ideas for your prenatal visits. Play some trivia, ask them what’s on their minds and in their heart, and ask them what they want to know. Have them write or draw a vision of life with their baby in the first days and weeks. What’s happening? Who’s there? How do they feel?
Also, find out where they’re giving birth, and if they’ll be breastfeeding or going back to work quickly. Be a resource for them. Preparing doesn’t mean everything is all figured out. It does mean that some thought has gone into what to expect and what’s possible.
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