After birth the mother and baby may want support at home for a couple of times until they learn each other's rhythms, or for some hours per day, or per week, for the sensitive period of postpartum, depending on the wishes and condition of the mother and the family.
The postnatal doula can prove especially helpful during postpartum, where she 'mothers' the mother, helps with breastfeding, the care of other children, the care of the mother, where she balances out the father's chores, and offers anything else the family may need (a massage to a tired mother, basic cleanliness of the space, cooking, practical help, meaningful company, experienced, safe care for the baby while the mother takes a shower or has a meal, tips for bathing and changin the baby, suggestions for simple practical survival tips for the first period...)
Special note: The doula does not replace the presence and help of the partner/mother's family, or the doctor's/midwife's, and does not perform clinical tasks, but is there to recognise, complement, and balance the needs of the family on an emotional and practical level.
More specifically, postnatal doula services can include:
- Phone/electronic support - communication, depending on mother's needs and the doula's availability
- Help-support during the first period with the baby
- Resources for the baby's care (e.g. breastfeeding, sleep issues, nutrition, carrying the baby, diapering and other option for elimination communication, infant massage, etc.)
- Care of the mother (e.g. relaxation, simple exercises, perineum care suggestions, physical care/massage, etc.)
- Breastfeeding - networking
- Information source
- Lending relevant books/magazines
- Suggestions for a more natural approach to family life
- Networking with other mothers and groups