What is a Post Partum doula?

A doula is a woman experience in childbirth who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother and their partner before, during and just after childbirth. Doulas are trained and experienced in childbirth. A doula may offer help and advice on issues related to comfort, movement, positioning and relaxation. She may help gather information about the course of labor and their options. A doula provides continuous emotional reassurance and comfort. A postpartum doula goes into the home during the first few weeks after birth to help the new mom with breast feeding, newborn care, instructions, mother care, and give general family and household support.

A postpartum doula might perform other tasks such as cleaning, giving baby care tips, demonstrating baby baths, cooking, swaddling techniques, advice on sleeping issues for mom and baby, go with mom on first car trip to the store alone with baby, special help with postpartum depressed moms, practical help with multiple births, errands, helps mom get through the circumcision, setting up the nursery and much more, depending on individual situations.

Some advantages of using a post partum doula include:

– Better chance of success with breastfeeding;

– Lower chance of infant dehydration and hospitalization with health complications due to the important information the postpartum doula can provide;

– Potentially a lower chance of maternal postpartum depression;

– Less maternal exhaustion, frustration, and apprehension during the early weeks of your baby’s life;

– A reduction in unnecessary calls to pediatricians;

– Dad may be able to return to work sooner, and with less worry;

– Everyone will have a greater understanding of newborn emotional and physical needs and behavior;

– Earlier bonding due to more confidence.

The amount of work that your doula does for you, your geographic location and your doula’s certification and experience will all factor in to the amount she will charge you. In general, you should expect to pay in the neighborhood of at least $20 per hour for a certified doula. There are many doulas working toward certification that may not charge you at all or ask you only to pay for expenses. Many doulas use a sliding scale to charge you based on income.

Most insurance companies do not cover the cost of a doula.

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