Postpartum Doulas and Breastfeeding- guest post by doula Carly

Postpartum Doulas and Breastfeeding:

Support Beyond The Delivery Room

Carly Ceccarelli of East Valley Birth


Doulas are known for their immense support of
breastfeeding. It typically starts in the delivery room immediately
following birth, ensuring a great start to the nursing relationship.
Doulas may also be the professional set of eyes that determine that a
lactation consult is the next step in a mom and baby’s
breastfeeding journey. The contributions of doula work to nursing
don’t stop there, however! Postpartum doulas can be an enormous
supplier of the support a mother needs to stick with breastfeeding in
those first crucial weeks.


In honor of World Doula Week (March 22-28),
here are the top 5 ways a postpartum doula can assist in the early
breastfeeding partnership between a mom and her baby:


  1. Feeding mom so she can feed her baby

This is such an important component in
nursing-staying hydrated and well-nourished so you can keep producing
the milk your baby needs. It sounds simple enough, until the
challenges of preparing healthy meals one-handed and from the couch
prevent moms from managing more than grabbing a granola bar and
calling that ‘dinner’. A postpartum doula is skilled in seeking
out the most beneficial ways to assist a mama in her fourth
trimester-and that often includes feeding her! Postpartum doulas can
stop at the grocery store, pick up takeout, cook for you in your
home, and even organize meal signups so your friends and family can
provide you with dinner each night. Mom is fed well, baby is fed
well, everyone is over the moon!


  1. Catching those ever-elusive Zzzzs

“Sleep when the baby sleeps” is a phrase
that must’ve been uttered by someone with a live-in maid, chef,
chauffeur, and nanny! It is often difficult for a new mom to rest
when the household work continues to multiply (or so it seems) while
she sleeps. A postpartum doula assists with light cleaning, dishes,
laundry, pet care, child care, and other household needs. This
ensures that mom truly can sleep when her baby sleeps, relaxed and
confident that all of the necessities are taken care of while she
cares for herself.


  1. In-home education

Many moms are looking to return to work
following the birth of their baby, and are eager to learn the ins and
outs of working while nursing, and building up a milk stash for their
baby prior to the end of their maternity leave. Many postpartum
doulas can provide education regarding returning to work, pumping,
building a freezer stash, assisting in getting baby to take a bottle,
and other critical parts of ensuring a continuation of the
breastfeeding relationship while mom returns to work. This takes so
much pressure off of moms! They are in the capable hands of a
professional who can assist them in navigating this portion of their


  1. Babywearing 101

Many new moms are stuck in the conundrum of, “I
can’t/don’t want to put my baby down” and “I NEED to put my
baby down and tackle my to-do list!” Postpartum doulas often know a
LOT about babywearing-the act of using a baby carrier to ‘hold’
your baby so your hands are free. It can be a sanity saver for so
many parents, and postpartum doulas can show you how to use your baby
carrier, and may even have a few for you to try out before
purchasing! Postpartum doulas also have connections to babywearing
groups in their areas so moms can meet with other parents to check
out carriers and get a feel for what may work for them. Another trick
is learning how to nurse in a baby carrier-moms are eternally
grateful to their doulas for teaching them THAT secret.


  1. A BF BFF

For some moms, this is the MOST important
contribution a postpartum doula can bring to the table. Breastfeeding
can be challenging. It can be the source of physical, mental, and
emotional obstacles for new mothers. Many studies have shown that a
positive, sound support system is vital to a mom reaching her nursing
goals. A postpartum doula fills an encouraging, nonjudgmental role on
a mother’s fourth trimester team. Moms receive reassurance,
acknowledgement, and validation from someone who has education and


Postpartum doulas are a fantastic way to ensure
you will have a quality level of care and attention while you recover
from birth and begin your breastfeeding journey!  The Phoenix area
has several resources available for families seeking this type of
support following the birth of their baby.




Carly Ceccarelli is a doula in Chandler AZ and
the owner of East Valley Birth Services. Her passion drives her to
support families through pregnancy, birth and beyond. She is a DONA
trained doula who provides birth and postpartum support, placenta
encapsulation, and labor and birth education with birth planning
services. Mention this blog for $20 off of her Birth Plan of Action
package, $50 off of birth doula services-which always include 3 hours
of postpartum support in order to provide the benefits she described



An interview with a doula

Have you heard this word: doula? Maybe you’ve heard your friends talking about them and you’re not quite sure what they do. We are here to fill you in mama!

I sat down with Ashley Slovitsky of Mama Bliss Birth Services, to find out just what she does and how she can help you with your next birth and breastfeeding journey.

NVS: First of all, how are you certified and what exactly do you do?

AS: I am a DONA birth doula. I offer a complimentary consultation-finding the perfect doula for you is incredibly important. Upon being hired, I provide 2 prenatal appointments at the family’s home. We discuss ways to cope with labor, techniques and methods I use, birth plan writing and other birth related topics. I’m available for advice via phone, email, text, etc. My on call period is from weeks 38-42 and once labor begins I will meet at the family’s home or place of birth for continuous labor support. Once baby is born, I stay for 1-2 hours following birth to provide any help that may be needed with breastfeeding. I provide photography and videography of the birth of desired. I also meet with the family within one week following baby’s birth to meet the sweet little one, provide the birth story I’ve written and any photos/video taken, and to make sure breastfeeding is going well. If any help is needed, such as suggestions for lactation consultants, I’m also able to provide resources. In addition to doula services, I also offer placenta encapsulation and tincture services. I offer special rates on placenta encapsulation for clients who choose to use me as their doula as well.

NVS: How do you help a new mother with breastfeeding those first few hours and weeks after baby is born?

AS:  I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding. I believe it takes patience and hard work, and sometimes it’s a learning curve for each mother and baby. I help to encourage immediate breastfeeding after birth and show moms how to help their baby latch. I explain different positions to use in feeding baby as well. If they are having trouble beyond my expertise, I have excellent resources to recommend for lactation support. At the in-home postpartum visit, I provide information regarding ‘normal’ newborn feeding guidelines, as well as to ensure any concerns or issues are addressed. Finding help immediately if you are having trouble with breastfeeding is incredibly important. We have some excellent local lactation support and I make sure every mom has their contact information if it’s needed. I also have extensive personal experience with tongue and lip ties, and can provide recommendations to providers of baby is diagnosed with a tie

NVS: How long have you been working as a doula and why are you passionate about it?

AS: I’ve been a DONA trained doula since November 2014. Previously, I had attended family and friends births with my knowledge of birth and ability to support moms during labor. I decided to ‘officially’ become a doula because I deeply believe in a doulas role. I personally know the difference in having a strong support system in birth, and for me that included doula support. I’m passionate about helping family’s to know that they have options and can make decisions regarding their birth. I’ve attended all types of birth in all settings which include hospitals, birth centers, and home births and I have experience with vbacs, medicated/unmedicated, cesarean, multiples, and surrogates.

Ashley takes between 2-4 clients a month all over the Valley from Avondale and Surprise to San Tan Valley and Apache Junction and every city in between.

You can read more about Ashley’s work (along with glowing client reviews) at her website


And she is offering $50 off a doula or placenta service for our fans, just mention that you saw this post.