Congratulations on your new member of the family! As you bring your little one home and adjust to this new stage in your life, a postpartum doula (sometimes called a night nurse or night nanny depending on where you live) can be a great support person to help provide a calming presence in this chaotic time.
So what is a postpartum doula?
A postpartum doula is a specially trained support person who can help you with things like: breastfeeding support, breast pumping guidance, cleaning and sanitation of baby supplies, newborn care, soothing techniques, and overnight sleep support. A great doula can calm an overwhelming experience and allow your family the time to bond and welcome your new baby.
I’m not really crunchy, would I be able to have a postpartum doula?
Of course! We work with parents from all walks of life. Natural minded or not, modern or traditional, 2 parent homes, single parent homes, adoptive parents, LGBTQ+ families, and all with unique cultural traditions and preferences. You deserve support no matter what your personal preferences are. A great doula is non-judgmental and flexible to meet your requests.
So how can you find this magical postpartum unicorn?
It is really never too soon to reserve your doula. Experienced doulas get booked up for long periods so I would recommend starting to look ASAP. I have had clients reach out to reserve me when they were only 4 weeks pregnant! A simple google search can bring up a few good options like: Doulas near me, Postpartum Overnight doula Houston, Houston Doula, etc. But I like to take it one step further and use specialty websites like www.doulamatch.net. Doula match allows you to also see additional details like where they received their training, what their availability is, how many years they’ve been in business, and recent reviews. Which means a lot since another person’s experience really gives you a feel of how they’ll help support you too.
So, when you find a good doula online, what do you ask in the interview?
You can rest assured; it does not need to be a stuffy serious interview. I do most of my interviews via phone or facetime. Especially now that we’re adjusting to life in a pandemic! If you like a candidate, you can both decide to meet in person at a later date.
- Tell them a bit about yourself and what you envision your adjustment home to be like. This really helps the doula also feel like this could be a good fit. It needs to be a fit for both parties.
- What brought them to working with new families? Everyone has a different story, and this will help you learn more about their personality.
- When they received their training and how long they’ve been working in the field.
- If they’re experienced working with lactation and when they refer out?
- What their availability is. Are they already contracted within one month of your due date? If so, how do they wrap up one client before moving on to the next?
- What they do while at a support shift.
- What precautions are they taking during COVID and describe what precautions you’re taking.
- And, what do their support packages look like? How can you move forward with securing services?
Asking these questions will surely give you a great idea of how the doula will work with your family. I like having the partner (if applicable) join also. This will help everyone feel included in the decision and ease any fears or concerns about bringing someone into your home. After the initial meeting is complete take some time to interview others but not too long! If you really click with someone book them sooner rather than later so you don’t lose them to another family!