Authored by: Missy David, Birth Doula with Tulsa Family Doulas
Every single list of suggested items for a baby registry includes it: a wipe warmer. In fact, it’s usually in the list of “Top Sellers” as well as “Top Recommended.” It’s just expensive enough that the typical new mother sees it as a luxury that she wouldn’t purchase on her own, but it’s elusive enough that she definitely wants it, and is thrilled if a friend or family member brings it to her baby shower.
And you know what? She’ll probably use it, at least at first. But there may come a time when she may wish you had given her another kind of gift.
What The New Mother Needs
You see, in the middle of the night when her baby is crying and she is tired, and her nipples hurt from her attempts at breastfeeding, and she doesn’t even know why she is crying, and she’s beginning to question her skills as a mother, that $30 wipe warmer isn’t going to be able to do anything to help her.
In that moment of desperation what she wants, what she needs is for someone to listen. What she needs is someone who will tell her she is normal, that her baby is normal, that she can do this mothering thing. What she needs is for someone to assure her that her baby is getting enough to eat and it’s okay for her to take a nap and leave the dishes undone. What that mother needs is for someone to remind her of the kind of care her body needs after the colossal accomplishment of childbirth.
What is a Postpartum Doula?
What the new mother needs is a professional and compassionate postpartum doula. For the cost of that wipe warmer, you could have provided the fee for over an hour of help from a skilled and knowledgeable professional to come and sit with that new mother and meet her needs so she is not alone, scared, worried and second guessing herself. According to the American Pregnancy Association, "A postpartum doula is there to help a new family in those first days and weeks after bringing home a new baby. Research shows that moms, dads and babies have an easier time with this transition if a good support team is in place." A postpartum doula may provide any or all of the following:
Help with the emotional and physical recovery after birth
Light housekeeping so that mom does not feel so overwhelmed
Assistance with newborn care such as diapering, bathing, feeding and comforting
Light meal preparation
Baby soothing techniques
Referrals to local resources such as parenting classes, pediatricians, lactation support and support groups
At Tulsa Family Doulas, we assist you as you work through your options and evaluate opinions from well-meaning friends and family on what worked for their baby, and establish what works for your family. Call us today at 918-724-9276 or contact us online to set up an interview to meet your Postpartum Doula.