What is a Postpartum Doula?

Originating from the Greek word which means, one who serves, a doula is a trained professional who provides nurturing support, resources, and education to a family before, during and after childbirth.

The postpartum doula facilitates the transition into parenthood by providing families sufficient non- medical support and education during the first three months after birth, also known as the fourth trimester. It is the job of the postpartum doula to, “mother the new mother” so that she can focus her energy on bonding with her new baby and recover from childbirth.

Services provided by a postpartum doula includes: Infant soothing skills, coping skills for new parents, companionship, emotional support, making appropriate referrals when necessary, running errands, meal preparation, light housekeeping, help with the care of other siblings, accompanying parent and infant to doctor appointments, breastfeeding support and instruction.

“Present health care practices and lack of cultural rituals leave families virtually unsupported at this important time in their lives. There is a great deal of evidence suggesting that quality support can ease the transition that comes with the addition of a baby to the family. By educating, attending to the needs of parents, infant, and children and by offering quality referral information, the postpartum doula can ease and enhance the postpartum experience. Every family can benefit from the support and encouragement offered by a doula during the fourth trimester”
— DONA INTERNATIONAL