Often when we are contacted about our postpartum packages it is by someone who has dealt with postpartum mood disorders with a previous birth, someone who knows their life is too busy to handle on their own, or a friend/family member of a birthing individual. Rarely are we contacted by the birthing individual's partner.
We asked ourselves why?
Why don't partners consider the need for help during the postpartum recovery period and beyond?
Why do partners think they need to do it on their own?
Why aren't partners getting the message that their mental health during the postpartum period is important too?
Then we realized, it's because they don't know. No one is telling them.
Because they love the individual who so lovingly birthed their child, they feel obligated to be the sole support for that individual. They think that sleepless nights and feelings of being overwhelmed by caring for the household are completely normal and just a part of being new parents.
They don't know that it doesn't have to be.
They don't know there's a better way.
Postpartum doulas aren't just for the individual who birthed the baby. They aren't just for the baby/babies. Postpartum doulas are for the whole family. They come beside and help lift up the entire family. They help them bond with each other and adjust to life with their new baby.
Overnight doulas help ensure the family is getting adequate sleep to care for their newborn, maintain a healthy relationship, and function as human beings. They can also facilitate the breastfeeding relationship with the birthing individual and/or the partner if so desired.
Daytime doulas help care for the household duties by doing light housekeeping, laundry, and meal planning and preparation. In addition, they can help the family by facilitating bonding, encouraging rest, and assisting during trips to the store or to run errands.
These things lighten the load on the entire family overall and on the partner so they can better focus on bonding with their baby and caring for/supporting their partner.
Postpartum doulas are beneficial to not just the birthing individual but to their partner as well. When hiring one consider the partner needs the support just as much as everyone else in the household.
Written by Christine Santos, owner of Sun State Doulas, wonderful wife and mother, roller derby queen, and general bad ass.