The Role of a Postnatal Doula
My role as a postnatal doula is to care for the mother, and other members of the new family, during the first three months after birth.
The first three months post-birth are known as the fourth trimester (pregnancy making up the other three). It is a period of great change and development in the new-born, as he/she adjusts to life outside the womb, it is also a time of great change and development in the life of the new mother.
In times gone by, a new mother would have been surrounded by female relatives and friends, all in different phases of life. She would probably have had her mother and aunties around to help her out, and her sisters and cousins with older babies to learn from and ask advice.
Nowadays the transition to motherhood can be isolating, lonely and confusing, with mothers expected to cope alone, using text books and the internet for advice, and receiving sparse visits from health professionals. A new mother might have few or no close friends or family with babies who she can learn from, and no older relatives living near enough to offer practical support.
I believe the fourth trimester should be a time when a mother is well supported, both emotionally and practically, allowing her to adjust, at her own pace, to life with a new-born. Women should not be made to feel guilty or incapable for needing help –love and assistance should be something that every new mother has available to her, allowing her to grow in confidence in her new role.
A postnatal doula has the care of the mother at the heart of what she does and looks after her as a mother or aunty might have in the past. She can support the mother as needed, including: –
- Listening to the mother talk about whatever she needs to, be this how to care for the baby, anxieties, joys, debriefing the birth or just having an adult conversation about the news!
- Playing with older siblings
- Watching the baby so mum can have some time, maybe to rest or to take a bath, or to just sit.
- Shopping, running errands, cooking light meals.
- Light housework that will help the mother feel more relaxed.
- Assistance with breastfeeding, or bottle feeding (or any other feeding method).
- Help mother to find and access local resources.
- Supporting the new family to grow in confidence.
- I am Fully insured.
- I have a valid DBS check certificate
- I have completed a Cache Level 2 childcare qualification.
- I have completed a Level 2 Nutrition qualification (including food hygiene and safety).
- I have completed a paediatric basic life support course.
- I have completed a 90-hour lactation specific education course, validated by the International Board-Certified Lactation Examiners.
- I am a qualified Holistic sleep coach.
Please see my training tab for more information about the recent training I have completed, and the testimonials page to see what previous clients say about me!
I offer a no obligations, free initial meeting so that we can get to know each other and talk about what support you are looking for and what I can offer. We would discuss what days and hours would be best for you.
Once you book, I will come for a short pre-start session at your home to familiarize myself with your surroundings and allow you to show me where things are, and to meet any other children/pets you have.
I can begin work with you as soon as the baby has arrived, coming to hospital if needed, or can arrange to start once the partner, if there is one, has gone back to work.
I generally work a minimum of three hours at a time and suggest starting at around three days a week. We would gradually decrease the days worked as you become more confident in your role. The exact timings will be a matter of discussion as we work together.
I am a recognised and experienced postnatal doula, and my Fee is £15 per hour.
I accept Doula UK gift vouchers (an ideal baby shower present!) and accept clients through the Doula UK Access fund.