Today, we live in the age of (over) information. It’s brought with it many amazing things such as the ability to access any type of information instantly, no matter how important or obscure it may be. Once upon a time, the only information we had access to came from our elders, mothers, and passed down stories. In pregnancy, women had a literal built in network of support, information, and ancient wisdom from other women around them their whole lives. Women taught new mothers how to handle pregnancy, birthing, baby care, breastfeeding, and everything there is to know about child rearing. Needless to say, it was a beautiful system.
Today however, our families live often times many hundreds of miles away. Extended families have limited time and resources to be of any help when major life changes come along - having a baby included. Our “support system” usually rests at the palm of our hand in the form of an information device telling us how to do everything ourselves. Our support system is usually Google. Don't get me wrong - Google is amazing.
We can ask Google whatever we want to know like:
"What brand of organic formula is best for a 6 month old?"
"What does a good latch look like?
"How many poopy diapers should my baby have on day 3?"
"What brand of disposable diapers is the least toxic?
"What nipple cream is safest?"
"Should I call the doctor if I notice _______?" (Google will always tell you yes to this one, by the way.)
Google is convenient and brilliant. The age of information has brought with it everything we’d ever want to know - but it has unfortunately brought with it the age of opinions. Opinions abound, and with them, great confusion and disillusion. Where confusion gets dangerous is when we mistake somebody’s "opinion" for quality information. Countless forums and websites host opinions on top of opposing opinions that are constantly nagging new mothers seeking support and information to navigate the uncharted waters of early motherhood. We in the parenting world call these “discussions” the "mommy wars."
The battle rages in opinions on:
Circumcised vs intact.
Breastfeeding vs bottle feeding.
Baby led weaning vs mother led weaning
Cloth diapers vs disposables.
Co sleeping vs crib sleeping.
Name it. It's a hot topic somewhere in the great information abyss called the internet. How is a new mom supposed to feel supported or confident when everywhere she turns, she finds a group of mothers telling her she's doing everything wrong? Furthermore, whatever happened to connection and ancient wisdom? Women, you can not get access to ancient wisdom through a screen. It won’t happen.
If a direct community of support is not available to you, the next best thing is going to be the Postpartum doula, and that is why we have chosen this as a profession.
What is a postpartum doula? In short, a postpartum doula is trained to provide hands on support to new moms and their babies. She has the modern combination of wisdom with special training and information.
is trained specifically to work with postpartum mothers and their new babies.
knows what is considered a normal experience during the postpartum period and what is not.
knows how to change both cloth diapers and disposables.
has supported and helped breastfeeding mothers and formula feeding ones.
has worked with families who have chosen to circumcise their boys as well as those who chose to keep their boys intact.
has seen it all.
supports it all.
Your postpartum doula knows that each family situation is unique and her passion is to help you make the transition to life with this new tiny person as smooth as possible. Your postpartum doula gets to know YOUR baby and YOUR family, and YOU. Moreover, she learns and understands why your family has made the choices it has, and she helps you with those lifestyle changes.
Here is what a day looks like with us when we arrive to support you. Upon arriving, we will make sure you are well nourished, so we may make your breakfast or lunch. We will ask you how you and your baby are sleeping. We take care of the house chores (and other children if you have them) while you rest or spend time bonding with your new baby. We know how to swaddle a baby, how to get you set up comfortably to nurse, and how to sanitize the bottles and binkies. We take care of everything else in your life while you and your baby navigate doing life together.
Most importantly, our goal is to affirm you as a new mother, despite all of the opinions that you are bound to come across in your long days as a new mom. We know our skills well because we are trained in this work, but we also know you. Heaven knows Google can supply enough conflicting parenting opinions to water down your confidence. As Postpartum doulas, we hope to be the voice of affirmation in a world of critics.
How much is it worth to have the ability to cherish this precious time with your newborn instead of barely making your way through it? Do you want your memories of your first few weeks together to be full of tears, anxiety, and possibly confusion? Or do you want peace, a lighter load, snuggles, bonding, and rest?
Postpartum doulas - as a profession - aim to provide parents with peace of mind. They give moms a restful newborn phase, affirm the parents in their roles within this new family, and support the mother in her new, wonderful, challenging role.
You'll get a lot of pseudo-information, real information, and varying opinions from Google. Can Google provide you with one - on - one emotional, hands-on support that is tailored specially to you, your choices, your situation, and your family? Absolutely not.