Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Why You Can't Afford Not To Hire A Postpartum Doula

The first few days and weeks of parenthood can be rough. You have a brand new responsibility that does not come with instructions and you are trying to figure it all out. You are learning your baby's cues, trying to establish feeding, wondering if you are doing everything right, not getting enough sleep and are overall overwhelmed and exhausted. It can be a lot.

Many cultures around the world come together when a baby is born, hence the saying "It takes a village." While some women are cooking and preparing nutritious meals for the new mom, others are showering mom with ceremonies to welcome her into parenthood or teaching her tricks or "life hacks" about breastfeeding, diapering, caring for herself and baby, etc. There is always someone around to step up and help out when needed. Somehow, In America we lost that. Mom spends a day or two after birth in the hospital surrounded by nurses who help care for her and baby, but are then sent on their way, often with no further help. If parents are lucky they have family or good friends nearby who can help, but the village mentality no longer exists.

So how can a postpartum doula help? Here are a list of just a few of the amazing things a postpartum doula may do to love on and support mom, baby and family. 
  • Allow the parents to express any questions or concerns they might have in a non-judgmental atmosphere
  • Teach parents basic newborn care from swaddling, how to bath baby, how to recognize baby's hunger cues, and more
  • Offer non-biased, evidence based information
  • Refer parents to local resources to seek additional help if needed
  • Assist in feeding, bathing or any other newborn care needs
  • Cook a nutritious meal for the family
  • Help with light housework, from baby's laundry, to doing the dishes, etc. 
  • Watch for signs of postpartum depression and offer resources for mom to find help if needed
  • A time to care for baby so parents can nap, shower, care for or spend time with other siblings or family members, etc. 
Doula's are not just great at helping first time parents either. Second, third, fourth time (or more!) parents can greatly benefit from a postpartum doula. Having that extra hand around the house to assist in the demands of a newborn can give mom and dad a quick sigh of relief. It can reduce stress and help calm and affirm mom and dad that they are doing a good job.

But what about the financial cost? Postpartum doula support might not fit into everyone's budget. We know that. We understand that not everyone who needs our services can easily afford it. We understand that keeping on budget is a huge priority for a lot of families. If you decide not to hire a postpartum doula because you feel you can not afford it, I urge you to reconsider. While not every doula will offer a discount, most of us are willing to discuss your budget and see what would work to benefit both client and doula. Sadly, I have heard of doula's telling potential clients to open up a new line of credit or remortgage their house or some other ridiculously budget-unfriendly advice in order to afford their doula services. But I am here to tell you that that is a terrible idea. Please do not do that.

Instead, here are a few other ideas to help you save up for and pay for postpartum doula support if you are on a tight budget:
  • Ask for money to go towards postpartum doula support, as a baby shower gift. 
  • Additionally, if you are looking to hire a specific postpartum doula, ask them if family and friends can buy gift certificates from them to help offset your cost. Many doula's would be more than happy to create gift certificates for clients friends and families to give as baby shower gifts.
  • Talk to your doula (or potential doulas if you have not hired one yet). Honesty can go a long way. Not every doula will be able to offer a discount, but they may offer a payment plan to help you out if you are open and honest about any financial concerns you have. 
  • Prioritize other spending. I know, this option is not the most fun. But once you start looking at your budget you will see what you don't really need to spend money on, and what you do. Maybe you don't really need the car seat that connects to bluetooth and has speakers so you can play music for your baby from your phone into the carseat. Opting for a simpler car seat* without all the gizmos and gadgets in order to put more money towards hiring a postpartum doula to support you, will likely be something that you will not regret. (*insert "car seat" with any other expensive baby gadget that is not totally necessary)
  • Money Jar. This is how I personally have saved up money for big purchases over a longer period of time. When I got engaged I had a jar of cash and coins I would add to frequently. At the end of about 6 months of doing this I had enough to pay for my wedding dress up front. My main rule was, any money put into the jar could not be taken out for any other reason. 
Overall, there aren't a whole lot of reasons why you should not hire a postpartum doula. We will love on you, support you, help you, empower you, encourage you, and so much more! To chat with me further feel free to email me at or check out my website at