A few months ago we had a doula come to my Y Neighbours group and speak about birth and postpartum doulas. I was quite familiar with the role of a birth doula, since we had used one with Annika, but I hadn't heard of a postpartum doula before. The more the lady talked about the role of the postpartum doula, the more I thought... I could do that, I'd like to do that.
For those of you who don't know, a postpartum doula works with the family after the mom and newborn baby come home from the hospital. Here's the official job description from the CAPPA website:
The Postpartum Doula is a trained professional that offers physical, emotional, and spiritual support to a new mother and the rest of the family. Postpartum Doulas also offer breastfeeding support, light household maintenance, family nurturing and instruction to mom and/or other family members in the care of a newborn. The Postpartum Doula’s job is to make the transition to parenthood easier for new parents, to help mom during her recovery period and to ascertain what the family needs help with and provide the instruction. The main objective of the Postpartum Doula’s role is not to take over complete care of the newborn, but to educate and support the family so that they will feel empowered to care for their newborn themselves. Postpartum Doulas do NOT offer any medical advice or perform any medical or clinical procedures, but instead can offer parents referrals to appropriate studies and published books. Postpartum doulas should be good with children, patient, non-judgmental, and knowledgeable about newborn care and breastfeeding.After giving it much thought, I ordered the materials for the distance training program two weeks ago, and they arrived today!
In addition to watching the DVDs and reading the manual, there is also a list of required reading and I have to get certified in CPR/first aid, as well as attend a breastfeeding class. Part of the training also includes working for 3 families (for free - lucky them!) and being evaluated by them. I don't really plan to work much before Emmett is in school, but it will be good to get the training all done before that, so I'm ready when he starts school. Even though I know a lot of this will be stuff I already know/have already experienced, I'm excited to get started!