So you've read a lot of books, maybe you've taken a prenatal education class, talked to family and friends, downloaded apps, taken a breastfeeding prep. class and of course Goggled eight million things about labour and birth. In my experience, more families are concerned about having the "stuff" they need for their new baby, rather than preparing to care for their new baby and what that might be and feel like.
Some quick facts about new babies:
*they smell amazing
*they bring joy and excitement to your life
*you never realized how deep your love for them would be
*they are exhausting
*being a new parent will challenge your sanity
*they completely change the dynamic of your household
Families need a postpartum plan, I have a blogged about this before. But I want to focus on the ways a Postpartum Doula can help you deal with the new normal. The day I brought my daughter home, it felt like bringing home an elephant! This overwhelming sense of "what the hell do we do now?" I couldn't wait to get home with her, but I was completely unprepared for the unsettling feelings that this monumental life shift brought. A good Postpartum Doula is someone who sprinkles a bit of magic. Someone who validates and normalizes your feelings, reminding you that every parent has felt this way. Someone who cooks a meal and cares for your baby while you nap, shower or maybe just rest. Someone who can help with breast/chest or formula feeding, prepares snacks, makes sure your fed, changes diapers, bath's baby, shows you how your breast pump works, folds your baby laundry and provides up to date infant care information. (No Nana, no more baby powder or cereal in a bottle of milk:) Someone to remind you that you are doing an amazing job during an extremely challenging time.
We have never lived so far from our families and Covid has shed light on how little support there is for new parents. Hiring a Postpartum Doula is definitely a luxury for some, I get that. But this comes back to having a postpartum plan. Prioritize the funds that you have. You might find sacrificing $300 on baby gadgets that you likely won't need, gets you three days of help in those early days when it's so needed. Also, a fund for a Postpartum Doula makes a great shower gift instead of getting 20 fuzzy blankets. We all need support, now more than ever!