Postpartum Doulas and Breastfeeding- guest post by doula Carly

Postpartum Doulas and Breastfeeding:

Support Beyond The Delivery Room

Carly Ceccarelli of East Valley Birth
Services

 

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
journey.

 

  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
experience.

 

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
above!

 

www.eastvalleybirthservices.com