Grandma vs. The Postpartum Doula

February 25, 2016

 

When you’re about to give birth, you make so many plans for your baby. You stock up on diapers, decorate the nursery, choose a going-home outfit for photos and brainstorm cute names.  But what a lot of women forget to do is make a plan for the help they’ll need after giving birth. And trust me, you’re going to need some help.

 

Giving birth is no joke. Whether you deliver vaginally or by C-section, your body needs time to heal.  But tell that to the needy little baby who gets hungry every 2-3 hours, all night long!  That’s where a postpartum doula comes in.  By caring for you and every member of your household, we help make your transition into motherhood smooth and joyful. 

 

“But why would I want to hire a postpartum doula?” you might be thinking. “My mom is over the moon to become a grandma—she’s all the help I’ll need.” 

 

While it’s lucky and amazing to have family support, help from mom is not always baggage-free.  When it comes to baby care, our mothers often have strong feelings about the “right” way to do things, whether accurate or not.  And even the most loving moms can make us feel judged sometimes, especially when we’re already exhausted and hormonal. 

 

Here are a few situations that Grandma might handle differently than a postpartum doula. Which one sounds better to you?

 

Baby care       

 

Grandma: Thinks your baby should sleep on his tummy.  After all, that’s how they did it in her day!

 

Postpartum doula: Knows your baby needs to sleep on his back.  She’s a trained expert who can teach you the safest way to care for your newborn.

 

Breastfeeding

 

Grandma: Doesn’t get why you’re trying so hard to breastfeed. Why bother, when there’s formula? That’s what she used and you turned out fine.

 

Postpartum doula: Will follow your wishes and support you in achieving your feeding goals.  She’ll even set up your pump and clean the parts—does Grandma know how to do that?

 

Help with household duties

 

Grandma: Doesn’t understand why you can’t do the dishes AND feed the baby.  She raised 4 kids—it’s not so hard!

 

Postpartum doula: Acknowledges and understands what you’re going through and will care for you in a non judgmental way.

 

Emotional involvement

 

Grandma: Gets her feelings hurt if you say the wrong thing. You might even get into a fight.

 

Postpartum doula: Will not take anything you say personally.

 

Your husband

 

Grandma: Might not respect your husband’s desire to be hands-on, since men didn’t change diapers back in her day.

 

Postpartum doula: Will respect and encourage your partner’s involvement.   

 

When something’s wrong

 

Grandma: Doesn’t understand why you can’t stop crying.

 

Postpartum doula: Is trained to recognize the signs of postpartum depression and get you the help you need.

 

Cultural traditions

 

Grandma: Bullies you into following the traditions of your heritage, even if that’s not what you want.

 

Postpartum doula: Follows your wishes.

 

Family drama

 

Grandma: Might repeat a snarky remark you made about your husband. Uh oh!

 

Postpartum doula: Will keep your confidences. Will not judge you.  Cannot be shocked—we’ve heard it all before, really!

 

I think you get the idea.  Grandma is always welcome, and the postpartum doula can never replace her, but we will work tirelessly to make your post-birth experience a safe, healthy and rewarding one for the whole family.       

 

 

 

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Tel: 323.633.4577
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A team of highly experienced doulas that provide education, emotional and/or physical support in a non-judgmental manner to women and their families during pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period.
 
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