What is Postpartum Doula Support?
The postpartum period, or the six week time-frame after the birth of a baby, is a very special time for families. Traditionally, cultures around the globe honor the transition to parenthood with a variety of traditions and rituals. During this time, adequate rest, nutrition, and healing are encouraged in a nurturing environment. The mom is generally supported by one or more experienced mothers, who may prepare meals, help with housework and gently teach the mother how to care for her postpartum body and the new baby.
In our culture, this transition typically receives minimal support and many times fails to acknowledge the challenges new mothers face. When new mothers do not have a support system in place when they return home from the hospital, they may feel isolated without anyone to answer their questions, or reassure them of the normal postpartum process. At a time when new families should be bonding with baby and mothers should be healing, attention may be diverted by household tasks (cleaning, shopping, and cooking). Although many fathers may be able to stay home in the initial few days and weeks, they are also sleep deprived and may not have the ability or experience to fully support the mom and baby.
Role of the Postpartum Doula
Postpartum doulas are trained and knowledgeable support advocates, most of them mothers, who lovingly and skillfully provide for the physical, emotional, and informational needs of the new family after birth. The expertise derived from firsthand experience and thorough training in mom and baby care allows the postpartum doula to:
- assist with postpartum comfort measures,
- provide breastfeeding information and support,
- provide non-judgmental guidance in infant care techniques,
- provide information on normal postpartum restoration and infant development,
- and assist the entire family through this transition
The primary focus of the postpartum doula is to ensure the mother’s recovery from childbirth. This includes proper nutrition, hydration and rest. These are the essential components leading to greater success with nursing, bonding, and the overall well-being of mom and baby. The secondary focus is caring for the new baby. This supports mom by providing insight, education, and options in caring for the baby. The remainder is everything else that will allow mom’s efficient recovery from childbirth such as washing dishes, doing laundry, organizing the nursery, or watching baby while mom takes a nap or spends some much-needed time with an older sibling.
Your Families Needs
The support that a postpartum doula provides has a lasting impact on the family. Reports from new families using postpartum doulas reflect greater confidence in becoming new parents, more satisfaction with breastfeeding, increased duration of breastfeeding, and fewer instances of postpartum depression.
Dolphin Doula’s Postpartum Doula Services
Dolphin Doula is proud to offer postpartum doula services, allowing our clients to receive doula support throughout the entire process of having a baby. In addition, our postpartum doulas are certified childbirth hypnotherapists, bringing the deep relaxation tools used in hypnotherapy to the postpartum woman. These skills can aid new mothers in receiving a higher-quality of rest, allowing faster physical recovery and a smoother transition to motherhood. Our doulas have provided postpartum care to many families over the years, aiding them in a variety of parenting and baby care methods.
Many times new parents have family and friends that are willing to provide meals and brief visits during the first couple of weeks postpartum. This is fabulous when it is available, but it can be difficult for even families and friends to be able to provide the level of care a postpartum doula does due to their own life’s constraints, experience, knowledge and/or abilities. During night shifts, our postpartum doulas encouraging breastfeeding during the night while maximizing mother’s sleep by burping, changing, swaddling, and soothing baby back to sleep between feedings.
The amount of time a new parent will need varies, and the flexibility of Dolphin Doula’s postpartum doulas allows for an infinite variety of support schedules. In general, we have found the first two weeks to be the most intensive; hence, all of our postpartum packages reflect two-week periods. While our day shifts require a minimum of 3 hours, many clients have utilized more. Postpartum doulas provide vital support to help families get the best possible start with their new baby!
The birth of Melissa’s first daughter was an empowering and life-changing event. The support a friend provided her upon coming home with her first daughter was instrumental in her choice to pursue a postpartum doula certification. Melissa is committed to her true passion as a Certified Dolphin Method Birth Doula, Certified Postpartum Doula, and Childbirth Hypnotherapist. This passion and dedication resulted in her becoming the managing partner of the company’s doula service practice in 2011.
Melissa believes a woman’s childbirth experience is most powerful when combined with the physical, informational, and emotional support of a doula. She respects the unique characteristics of each family, recognizing that each couple will have their own concerns, challenges, and goals through the postpartum period. Melissa’s extensive experience and training with breastfeeding has been greatly appreciated by many new mothers, in addition to her common sense approach to mother and baby care.
Melissa is a long-standing resident on the Peninsula. She attended the University of California, Davis attained a degree in Managerial Economics and previously worked in the real estate valuation industry. Melissa and her husband Jason have two amazing daughters Reese and Zoe. In her free time she likes to read, bake, dance, decorate, and spend time with family and friends.
Susan Cortez - CD, CCHT
Susan is a Childbirth Instructor, a Childbirth Hypnotherapist, Reiki practitioner, and Birth and Postpartum doula. To keep up with the continual changes within the world of pregnancy, birth, and parenting, she attends pertinent trainings, workshops and talks whenever possible, as well as reading current literature.
The birth’s of her two children, son Jeremy and daughter Angela, were incredibly positive, life-changing events, and were the initial inspiration behind Susan’s choice to pursue a career in this field.
Susan has been teaching childbirth preparation classes, and attending births as a Birth Doula for over 10 years, and has assisted hundreds of women, couples, and families to have a more empowered and positive birth experience. In the past year, Susan became certified as a Dolphin Doula, and is very excited to add the Dolphin Method to her skill set. Together, with her extensive knowledge, personal and professional experiences, intuition, and passion, she is able to serve birthing families even more effectively!
Susan enjoys working with diverse families in the Bay Area, interacting with each family in a welcoming and supportive way.
Occupying her time aside from her work, Susan is back in school studying to attain her B.A. in Psychology. She enjoys daily exercise, reading, painting, dancing, writing, spending time with family and friends, and experiencing all good life has to offer.
Cindy Curry – CD, CCHT
Cindy was trained by Working Woman Productions in June of 2006 with Felicia Roche. As a certified doula through DONA, she gained her experience by providing labor support to a variety of women. She is also a postpartum doula, helping new families and growing families with the challenges that come with a new baby. This was inspired by the support her own mother-in-law provided her when she had her first child. Cindy has received her Childbirth Hypnotherapist certification, taught by Jennifer Wolfe, through the Palo Alto School of Hypnotherapy. Cindy also is currently a Masters of Psychology MFT student at Argosy University in Alameda.
Cindy is a mother to three children and continues to nurture and support their growing curiosities.
The compassion Cindy shows to each and every woman she comes in contact is self evident. Her ability to listen to the needs of her client and her clients partner is an important part in supporting the couples needs when preparing for the birth and labor. Showing support and compassion for every woman who wishes to experience her birth with the love and support she deserves, is Cindy’s ultimate goal.