What is a postpartum doula?
Do you remember hearing the phrase “It takes a village to raise a child”? I think I’ve heard it all my life – it evokes such an idyllic image doesn’t it? Communities raising their children together is how societies used to function. New mothers were cared for, wrapped up in the embrace of a whole community. Matrescence was a sacred time of a woman’s life and women were not left on their own with their children to struggle.
Now nearly every mother I know is isolated in some way, whether that be from her family, from her home country, from her peers, from her partner, or even from her own body. Raising children takes place behind closed doors and there’s a sense of shame, an overall feeling of guilt – that we’re not getting things quite right. Our babies aren’t sleeping like other mothers babies, our bodies have changed in ways that confuse or even frighten us, we have so many questions that we’re too afraid to ask out loud and we’ve been left, literally holding the baby.
My job as a postpartum doula is connection. I’m here to facilitate new parents in connecting to their instinct, to each other, to their community at large and to their bodies. I am present to connect the mother to life-long tools for self care, to encourage her to ask for help.
I help new parents connect and bond with their new baby and other children through tuning into their innate intuition as parents, building the confidence to parent in the way that they want to, teaching them basic baby care and supporting normal breastfeeding.
I provide weekly visits after the baby is born so the new mother can have someone to talk to, a friendly face during the day, someone to process their birth experience with, a safe person with whom to talk about the new challenges they’re facing. During these visits I can do light housework, a load of laundry, make a meal, or simply watch baby so mum can sleep or shower. I also have an extensive list of both English and French speaking maternity and postpartum specialists who come highly recommended – all of my clients have access to this list as well as a list of other mothers with similar aged children or older who might want to be connected with other local mum friends.
And finally; the most vital part of my work – food! All of my postpartum packages come with food options for new mothers and their families. I work very closely with all my clients to ensure that they’re getting the absolute best nutrition that they can. Sometimes this involves working with them on meal plans (part of which are cooked by me) or on small changes they can make to their current diet to support their new role as newborn mother. I always provide up to three days of postpartum meals with any package and can provide more if desired. The food I make is grounding whole food, designed to support the body of a new mother, her energy levels, her healing journey, her breastfeeding journey – food that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
I also offer support packages for those going through miscarriage or abortion. If this is you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.