Wrapping Up Care With Your Postpartum Doula
Here’s what we want you to know about wrapping up care with your postpartum doula:
Even when your postpartum doula care is complete, your postpartum season is not complete
Take a moment to read this line again. Your postpartum does not have an expiration or completion date. Instead, it is a season with far-reaching implications for all the seasons thereafter. In cultures around the world, it is seen as the biggest transition in a woman, mother or birthing person’s lifespan. Additionally, the largest hormone change (drop) throughout the lifetime happens in postpartum. So while your time with your postpartum care team, caregivers, midwives and doulas may come to a close, you are still in the realm of expansion and transformation!
Since you’ve already experienced some of what postpartum has to offer at this point (or you are preparing to experience it!), you know that transitions can be challenging. And, it is rare that parents find changes easy to navigate alone. This is a small part of why postpartum doula care matters, often offering as much support and as many resources as you desire for this change.
In this post, we’ll cover three transitions that may be your experience post-postpartum care: stay at home parenting, back-to-work and daycare settings, and nanny/au pair support.
Stay at Home Parenting
It’s a dream come true, right? You get to stay home with your baby or babies! But maybe, just maybe, you’re having some big feelings too. One of the best tips that we have for this sacred season and space? Find out what you desire here and then ask for it!
Questions to consider:
- What are your biggest needs in staying home with your child/ren?
- What do you want this season to look like?
- Do you need extra support for solitude and self care?
- How do you feel about your child being with you for most of your activities throughout the day?
- Do you have childcare for your most important appointments?
- Will you need a mother’s helper or a babysitter for date nights?
On this note, it’s really important to have realistic expectations for relationships, partnerships and self care. Here, you’ll definitely want to cultivate connections with other families and parents, too. Have you started looking for secular or spiritual groups on a similar page? Registering for mommy and me, daddy and me, parent and me classes (including fitness) can be a great option! Have you already found your community through a lactation or feeding support group? A yoga class? See if you can connect more regularly! We like to make sure that our mothers and parents know that the foundation of all parent-infant mental health and wellness is to be a part of a village or community of support.
Back to Work & Day Care Settings
Back to work can look different for every mother, parent and family. Is dad or partner staying home while you return to work? Check out some of the questions above and go through them together. Are you working from home with an infant? These same questions can actually be a wonderful support, once again! For all of the options and great questions to ask your potential providers, we highly recommend the resource Look, Listen, and Ask: Choosing Quality Child Care Tip Sheets from The Adminstration for Children and Families.
Your doula can also help you with care resources, like how to find a local mother’s helper and what kind of settings might be best for your transition back to work.
Nanny or Au Pair Care
Recently, Doula Kristy completed her postpartum assignment with a beautiful local family. Kristy shares what her experience was like below:
“Love this sweet family! I had the honor of being their birth doula, postpartum doula, and helping them to welcome their AuPair from Colombia! As you know there is a vast difference in caring for a newborn vs. a 7 month old. To help transition the AuPair we spent time together covering many topics – introducing puréed foods, diapering, bathing, the best soaps to use to protect her from skin irritation, nap schedules, what playtime for a 7 month old looks like along with an introduction to learning toys, discussions on the best shoes for new walkers, sound machines and safe decibel levels, schedules, and more. On this particular day, we finished with a stroller walk around the neighborhood.”
Did you know that your postpartum doula can train up your au pair or nanny? One of the benefits of having a postpartum doula that knows your family is having that same doula help interview and train your options for future child care!
Protecting Your Family Mental Health
As we mentioned earlier in this post, even when your postpartum doula care ends – your postpartum season isn’t over yet. You will still need to nourish your body, mind and soul in ways that are good! As a part of this, remember that your mental health directly impacts that of your precious child/ren. If there is ever a time in life where you might need to speak with someone about your mental wellness, now’s that time! With a myriad of options from acupuncture to somatic therapy to EMDR (brain spotting for trauma) and more, consider asking your postpartum care team for recommendations based on your specific needs. Whether you are navigating the maiden to mother or childless to parent (or are new to parenting multiple kids!), your identity does shift in postpartum. Honoring this can make a world of difference for you and your beautiful family!
We believe that setting a family up for success for postpartum is setting a family up for success for life, beautiful humans. If you have questions about what postpartum doula care can look like for you or need support from a doula for this transitional period please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Hi! I’m Alyssa Leon. I lead Cherry Blossom Doula Services, LLC – an inclusive birth + postpartum doula team in Arizona; and mentor doulas in Arizona and beyond.