I'm a fan of the "Best for Babes" foundation on Facebook. One of their latest status updates is, "When I first started breastfeeding, what I needed most was _____?"
After only three hours 94 women responded with several different needs. The two that seemed to appear most (although I didn't take a formal tally) were WATER! and Support.
Add that to a conversation about early parenthood at a family graduation party.
The After Baby Lady says, "I'm a postpartum doula, which is basically someone who supports and helps new families after they have a baby. Doesn't everyone want more support when they bring a new baby home?"
Family Friend responds, "HA! Support! When I came home from the hospital no one had done much housework while I was gone and I ended up scrubbing the kitchen floor on my hands and knees."
I've heard these stories a lot from women who delivered in the 1970's and 1980's. Some seem to wear their lack of support like a badge saying things like, "young women today have it so easy! When I came home from the hospital I ..."
Then these amazing women go on to discuss the LACK of support they had and how they soldiered on through the hard times. Most mothers know that if no one else does it (whatever it may be) then we have to.
My goal in educating people about what postpartum doulas do is to gently suggest (or scream from the rooftops depending on my audience) that women don't NEED to do everything. Women can be taken care of by doulas, friends, family, partners, and still be amazing mothers. I want to give women permission to ask for and receive help knowing that they will enjoy and be better mothers for doing so.
Jill Reiter CPD, Author
A mother, wife and Postpartum Doula's blog.
The After Baby Lady
Shelby Township MIPhone: 586-604-1446