I see my role as your Doula to be a matchmaker; to connect the dots of people who can support each other in a naturally symbiotic manner so that everyone can get what they need! There are so many supports out there, and so many people needing help, but often as a new parent, it is overwhelming to find them on your own. Not to worry, I can help!!
How do I do this ? So many easy and effective ways!!!
I regularly accompany new parents to local events-Breastfeeding Support groups, Story Times, Playgroups. With the extra set of hands, it can make the overwhelming task of getting out of the house slightly easier. These often are low-risk social situations and wonderful settings for a first outing with a baby. Being among other parents who don't mind you nursing, changing a diaper, or wiping spit up publicly, it can be a comfortable way to explore your community and the wide support that may already exist in your area! It often is also a casual and fun way to gauge where your baby is developmentally in comparison to their peers and where they may be a short time from now!
2. Delegating the Research!
I am very good at by providing accurate, reliable information, when you need it!
It breaks my heart to hear about new parents Googling answers. Don't do it!! I am happy to pass along material I have found and trust, that is rooted in scientific research and not written by a mom blogger with a strong opinion.
Teething, sleep training, breastfeeding-there are so many conflicting ideas out there!! Don't overwhelm yourself with trying to do research. Let me take care of the legwork and let's troubleshoot one or two ideas together that feel appropriate and manageable for you and your baby.
3. Reminder: YOU are the Expert!
So many times after working with a family, I hear a new parent say, "If you have a client going through the same thing, please give them my number!"
When you find something that works, you want to share it.
Rather than getting all the answers from a book, I absolutely love to connect families for two reasons.
First of all, it is an opportunity for both families to troubleshoot and solve their own problems, and simultaneously celebrate their success. Also, it allows the experienced family to feel confident in their role as a new parent to be able to pass along a bit of wisdom. And really, it can make a world of difference to both families- real life advice from people who are at a similar stage beats an expert almost any day.
4. Streamlining Routines
Let's face it-a baby can rock your world in a good, but incredibly challenging way!!
Instead of trying to do it all yourself, I am happy to support families during the postpartum period.
The goal of my support is to figure out a series of routines, and tools to make this parenting job easier for you, to the point where you feel that you can manage to do most of it independently.
That may look like establishing a sleep routine, organizing newborn clothes, or setting up a nursing station so all your supplies are ready when you need them. It is not about reinventing the wheel, but rather putting together ideas that make sense and allow you to thrive where you are with what you have already. It is incredibly rewarding for me to see how efficient parents become over time with a little help from me in the beginning!!
5. Asking for Help!
One of the easiest and most effective things I do with clients is to create a list of people they can call upon for favors once baby arrives. Not anything huge-but people nearby who you could ask to watch the baby for an hour, to shovel your steps, to take out your dog, to pick up a few groceries. Make a list, with that person's phone number and post it somewhere visible, long before you need help.
When you may be needing some extra support, it is simple for you or I to contact someone for some help if their information is in sight and ready to go.
The role of a Doula is to provide emotional and physical support a family before, during and after birth. They are an amazing resources to assist you connect the dots of support that may already exist in your own world. One of the most empowering things I can help families discover is that they already possess the tools they need to be parents to their little one, if we work together thoughtfully and strategically.
You've got this, I promise! But in the meantime, I am here to help you figure it out!