The importance of postpartum care

Last week I was able to attend a postpartum doula training with a group of lovely ladies! What is a postpartum doula, you may be wondering? Well, first, let me tell you about the postpartum period and how other cultures around the world treat this precious time.

Postpartum is the time after a baby is born up to about 6 weeks. This crucial time when a mother and their new baby, or babies, learn more about each other and both rest and heal as much as possible. Now in our society the postpartum mom is typically left to fend on their own doing daily activities that they had to do before baby arrived and on top of that learn how to take care of this new little person, while trying to heal from the birth process. Women in many different cultures and countries are known to care for moms starting the day baby is born up to 21-40 days. This time allows the mom to bond with the baby and gives her the time to heal and get the nursing relationship down (if mom plan is to breastfeed) before anything else. Plus, these women that come into her home (usually mothers, aunts, grandmothers) make healing foods and take care of the housework so the new mama doesn’t have to deal with this stress like our Western culture does. How amazing does that sound?!

I previously took a labor doula training (about 8 or 9 years ago) because I am super passionate about helping new mothers or those who have had a baby(s) already. Unfortunately, I am not able to be on call, I am very particular on a day shift job and struggle with being on call and/or missing out on family events. I have been wanting to take a postpartum doula training for quite a while now (probably 7 years or so) but all trainings were never near the area I live so when I found out, only a week before, that a training was coming to town, I was so excited!

I talked with my husband and with his support (Gosh I love him for so many things and his support for me has always been up there) I signed up. Unfortunately, I misread the dates and after I signed up I noticed that we had a family day planned to catch a free train ride on one of the days of the training. I wasn’t able to cancel my training because I was the reason the training could happen. We needed at least 4 trainees and I was number 4. So I cried a little (lovely mama hormones and like I said above, I don’t like missing family events) and then I went to the training. Yes, I’m a little bummed I missed out on family day still, but I had such an amazing time learning about how I will be able to support the postpartum moms in the area I live in. Postpartum support is so necessary and I know I will be an asset to the mothers and families that I will be serving! Not sure if postpartum support is needed? Look at the huge benefits!

Benefits of a postpartum doula/support:

  1. Increased bonding between mom and baby
  2. Decreased risk of postpartum mood disorders
  3. Increased confidence in parenting choices for both mom and spouse/partner
  4. Increased success rate and longevity of breastfeeding
  5. Increased ability for resting/healing

I remember shortly after I gave birth to my first baby, I started doing too much around the house and neglected sleep and I still regret it. For this, I am changing my tune this time around and I plan on resting more and getting help from those around me!

Are you pregnant and needing postpartum help? I’d love to discuss this with you!

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Resources:
http://www.ravishly.com/2015/08/18/postpartum-practices-worldwide-how-world-takes-care-moms-and-babies

http://www.parenting.com/blogs/show-and-tell/desiree-parentingcom/postpartum-traditions-around-world

Click to access how_other_cultures.pdf

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