What is the difference between a birth doula and postpartum doula?
A Birth Doula is a trained professional who provides physical and emotional support to a mother prenatally, during labour and delivery, and in the immediate postpartum period. The Birth Doula stays with the mother and her birth partner throughout her entire labour and during childbirth, offering comfort measures that can include breathing, relaxation and different movements or positioning.
A Postpartum Doula is a trained professional who comes into the home after the birth of a baby to provide education, non-judgmental support, care of the mother, new baby and family and assistance with postpartum healing and adjustment. The Postpartum Doula can also meet with the family immediately following delivery in the hospital, birthing centre or at home to assist with the first feeds, give the labour support persons a break and to help a mother with comfort measures following childbirth.
What is the difference between a doula and a midwife?
Midwives are health professionals who provide primary care to pregnant women and their babies prenatally, throughout their labour and delivery and in the postpartum period. Midwives conduct normal vaginal deliveries and attend births in the hospital, birthing centres and at home.
A doula is a trained professional who provides non-medical care and support to a mother and her family. The Postpartum Doula's expertise is in emotional and practical support for the mother and her family, offering evidence-based information on postpartum healing and newborn care and bridging the gap between childbirth and postpartum adjustment. Postpartum doulas work as collaborative members of the care team by providing referrals to trusted health care providers such as lactation consultants, family doctors/pediatricians or support groups, as needed.
I have family nearby - would it still be helpful to hire a postpartum doula?
Absolutely! A Postpartum Doula eases the transition to parenthood for the mother and her partner and helps with the adjustment to new roles for all support persons and family members (siblings, grandparents). Postpartum Doulas can gently guide family members in caring for the new baby and mother. They can also facilitate time for visiting and bonding with the new baby by taking care of the tidying, laundry and meal preparation.
How long does a postpartum doula work with a family?
The length of postpartum care will vary based on the unique needs of each mother, baby and family. Postpartum care often concludes within the first 12 weeks, but can continue well into the first year. Families with babies born prematurely or with multiples may require more frequent and long-term support. Other families request a few short visits to establish feeding and a new routine and confidently continue on independently.
How often does a postpartum doula work with a family?
Most Postpartum Doulas work between four and eight hours at a time, and anywhere from one to five days a week. Many doulas also offer occasional overnight support.
At TurningPoint Doula, I offer postpartum care of four hours or more per scheduled day, with a minimum of 10 total hours. This is to ensure I have adequate time to get to know your family and help you achieve a smooth and rewarding transition to parenthood.
When should I start looking for a postpartum doula?
Postpartum Doula services can be arranged at any time during your pregnancy or after the birth of your baby. It is most beneficial to schedule your postpartum care while you are pregnant. This provides an opportunity for prenatal consultations where you and your doula start to build a relationship and develop a plan for postpartum care.
If your baby has already arrived and you have decided you would like the nurturing support of a Postpartum Doula, I will make every effort to accommodate your family on short notice.