Wisdom tells us that to heal from birth and thrive in parenting a newborn, one must hit the “pause” button on normal activities, and summon a tribe of additional support. In this time, you and baby are simply “meant to be,” not “meant to do.” As a trained postpartum doula and Certified Breastfeeding Specialist, I can join your tribe and create a customized plan to ease your transition to this new season of life, so you can focus on what is most important: bonding with your new child, and nurturing health.
The “Meant to Be” Doula Service is customized to support each mother or family, including:
- women who have recently birthed
- adoptive parents
- intended parents from surrogacy pregnancies, and
- mothers who are on bedrest during their pregnancies (antepartum support)
Frequently Answered Questions
What exactly is a postpartum doula?
A postpartum doula is a knowledgeable, neutral support person to the family that has just given birth or has just brought their new baby home. As a “generalist,” a postpartum doula is familiar with common challenges faced by new families, is skilled in caring for a healthy newborn and postpartum mother, and will recognize when things are abnormal and should be examined by your health care provider.
Postpartum doulas do not provide clinical services such as vaginal exams, tests, medical diagnosis, prescriptions, or professional counseling services, however, postpartum doulas are well informed of other professionals and resources that may be helpful to new parents.
What exactly are the services you offer as a postpartum doula?
- Answering basic postpartum questions and recognizing when medical opinions may be necessary
- Assistance with breastfeeding, bottle feeding, and alternatives (SNS, cup, syringe) and referral to IBCLC when necessary
- Demonstrating and providing guidance for basic newborn care — from the umbilical cord, to nail trimming, diapering (in cloth or in disposable), bathing, calming, and sleeping
- Guiding you as you learn to use a baby carrier — wrap, ring sling, soft structured carrier, and other styles
- Setting up sitz baths to promote perineal healing
- Teaching you to bind your belly to promote recovery from pregnancy and birth
- Processing the birth and postpartum experiences. Referral to counseling / psychotherapy services if needed.
- Providing evidence based, up-to-date resources for your situation
- Pointing you towards parenting groups and community resources for young families
- Helping care for the newborn(s) and any siblings while you nap
- While the above are my primary duties, I am also willing to run some simple errands and perform some light household tasks, such as crafting menus and ingredient lists, preparing meals, washing dishes, laundry, and tidying.
- If your requests for my support too closely enter the scope of work for a maid, babysitter, chef, night nurse, or personal assistant, I will happily refer you to other professionals who can better meet your needs
Why hire a postpartum doula when I have family members helping me out after birth? Why hire a postpartum doula instead of a baby nurse?
A doula is a neutral party without the emotional attachments that family members and close friends have. When you are with a doula, you are in a judgment-free zone where it is safe to share your true feelings about your birth story and postpartum experience. Moreover, you can trust that advice offered by your postpartum doula is backed by up-to-date research, and isn’t based on popular or antiquated ideas about what your sleep, healing, or feeding should look like. Plus, your mom and sister will be more help to you if they’ve had the opportunity to tend to their own self-care, so send them out for a break!
While practices of baby nurses and postpartum doulas may overlap and be similar in some ways, their models of postpartum support have key differences. Traditionally, a baby “nurse” (who may or may not be a licensed nurse) prioritizes or even exclusively takes care of babies’ needs — getting babies to sleep, changing diapers, bathing, and feeding babies (perhaps also instructing the mothers on pump use). In this support model, the baby nurse serves almost as a nanny who specializes in newborn infants. In contrast, a postpartum doula is trained to prioritize the needs of the parents, and thereby indirectly meet the needs of babies.
My philosophy is that babies thrive best when their parents are caring for them, and that parents thrive best when they are well informed, nourished, listened to, rested, getting self-care, tuning into their intuition, and not overwhelmed. When I show up for a postpartum shift, that is my goal — for you to thrive in caring for your own family.
Will you work overnight?
It depends. If I have availability in my schedule, I am willing to work up to a couple overnight shifts per week. However, my goals of getting you to a place of self-efficacy and strong attachment with your baby are dependent on you and I being on the same page for what overnight shifts may look like. Ways I am willing to help you still be the parent and yet gain a better night’s rest include: offering evidence-based recommendations for safe and satisfying sleep arrangements; bringing baby to you in bed to breastfeed; burping baby after you’ve breastfed; changing baby’s diaper while you sleep; swaddling and soothing baby after you’ve breastfed; wearing baby upright if there is infant reflux/GERD; and aiding with some light household work, such as sweeping floors, doing laundry, tidying a playroom, or packing older siblings’ lunchboxes.
What does your typical arrangement look like?
Each postpartum doula plan is customized to your needs as a family, but is also based on my availability. If I do not have the availability to meet all of your needs, I will offer referrals to other doulas or other professionals who can help. There is not a minimum number of visits. I’m often hired for a single shift when an otherwise well supported family has a very specific infant care or breastfeeding concern warranting the non-judgmental expertise of a professional. We can add additional visits as needed. Typically, I work shifts ranging from 3-5 hours, but occasionally may work overnight. For an expecting family making plans to have regular postpartum doula support after the birth, I generally recommend a schedule that begins with more frequent shifts, such as a visit every 2-3 days, and then tapers to less frequent shifts, such as a visit once per week. The postpartum doula contract usually ends somewhere from 6 weeks after you have birthed up to 3 months afterwards, depending on your needs.
If I am expecting right now & would like to come up with a postpartum plan that includes your “Meant to Be” doula service, how do we begin?
If you are a pregnant, adoptive, or intended parent, we will meet prenatally to talk about your concerns and goals, and to craft a plan and postpartum contract ahead of time. This up-to-1-hour meeting is complimentary and can take place either virtually or in-person near my West Palm Beach location.
Our baby is already born and we really need help! How do we begin?
If you have already brought baby home, I recommend that we communicate virtually (FaceTime, zoom, call/text, or email) as you decide on your goals, if I am a good fit for your family, and what our specific postpartum plan will look like. In this case, I will only meet in-person, at your home, after a contract is in place.
What is the cost?
My rate is $40/hour. If you reside outside of my complimentary travel range, there will also be travel fee. The complimentary travel range extends 10 miles driving distance from Midwife360, 3621 1/2 S Dixie Hwy, West Palm Beach, FL 33405. Each trip to your Palm Beach County location outside of this range incurs a $20 travel fee. At this time, I do not offer postpartum/post-adoption/perinatal doula services outside of Palm Beach County.
How do we get in touch?
Feel free to email me at email@example.com or call/text 561 827-3263. If you call and I do not answer, leave a voicemail. I may take a day or two to respond depending on my schedule. I generally do not respond to emails, calls, or texts on Sundays.