3 Ways a Postpartum Doula Can Help

Find out if you should consider hiring a postpartum doula

3 Ways a Postpartum Doula Can Help

You’ve just given birth, now what? Maybe you took the newborn class, maybe you didn’t. It doesn’t matter because either way, life as you know it has turned upside down and inside out. Leaky nipples and all, you have to figure out what to do with this tiny human. That’s what postpartum doulas are for, and here are 3 major ways they can help. Because even in this independence prized world, you will need help, and there is no shame in that!

  1. To figure out breastfeeding. One of the primary ways postpartum doulas help new parents is by providing lactation support. In fact, the term doula was originally coined in Greece to refer to the women who attended new mothers at home after giving birth as a standard of care, specifically to support them with breastfeeding.Nowadays, most postpartum doulas are also certified lactation counselors.Yodas of the postpartum experience, doulas know that with a little education and non-judgmental support, the path to breastfeeding can be successful for most mother-babies. Often times, all it takes is a small adjustment to smooth out the learning curve. It certainly helps to have someone around who believes in you, not just the voice in your head telling you how terrible you are at this and you’ll never get it!

  1. To smooth out the learning curve. Beyond lactation, the work of postpartum doulas eases the unnerving transition from feeling like you swear you once knew something about something, to feeling like you know nothing about anything! Granted, as new parents, there’s a ridiculous amount to learn. Learning to understand your baby’s cues is one of the big ones. Hunger, tiredness, gassiness. Each one is discernible, but it helps to have an experienced care provider around to help you translate until you become fluent in your baby’s mother tongue.Learning what’s normal and what’s not when it comes to your newborn can also feel amazingly reassuring when you’re feeling so unsure about everything. The number one job of a postpartum doula is to be a source of education and reassurance, says Ruth Callahan, a DONA certified postpartum doula and founder of the postpartum doula agency Doula Care in NYC. You'll actually start to see what's going well and just how much you're getting right!

  1. To empower you as a mother. Wait, you thought they were going to do it for you? Postpartum doulas are of course there to lighten the load and fill in the gaps. They’ll always offer an extra pair of hands for holding your baby so you can shower or take a nap. They’ll change diapers, give a bottle, tidy up your space and even cook for you. But more than taking over your duties by doing everything for you, they’ll help you learn how to troubleshoot and master those duties yourself!How to swaddle your baby, wear your baby, soothe your baby? How to do all three at once? Postpartum doulas are trained in the old adage “give a man a fish and feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.” Postpartum doulas empower their clients to feel the confidence, competence, and self-assurance you get when you learn how to do something for yourself. They are purveyors of the belief that you can do it, a more than welcome notion when you’re a new parent!Understandably, the first weeks and months with a newborn can feel overwhelming. You’ve not only just given birth to a baby, but you are continuing to give birth to yourself as a parent. Most people would never imagine giving birth without a care provider around. Postpartum doulas are more like midwives in this way. With infinite patience and compassion, they are there, catching and welcoming you as you enter parenthood. I think every new parent deserves one.

Photography, courtesy of Doula Care.

In This Article

    14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden doll stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective set

    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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