Chances are, if you’ve spent any time at all on pregnancy-related websites, you’ve heard of a doula. A doula offers you some help during childbirth and before, including things like reassuring you and your partner, offering comfort and giving you advice on how to get comfortable during labor and delivery. Typically, a doula may also act as an advocate, helping you get the things that you need during childbirth.

A postpartum doula offers some of the same kinds of services – comforting, support and information – but she does it after your baby is born. A postpartum doula might be able to help with things like breastfeeding, care of your newborn, care for you and general household support. In some cases, a postpartum doula might do things like cleaning, instructing you and your partner how to bathe your baby, cooking and offering advice on sleeping.

There are some advantages of using a postpartum doula, which can include:

  • Women who have a postpartum doula may have greater chances of success with their breastfeeding efforts.
  • A postpartum doula can help provide support as well as information that can help prevent things like infant dehydration or even hospitalization due to health complications.
  • In some instances, having a postpartum doula reduces the odds of experiencing postpartum depression.
  • When you have a postpartum doula, you experience less frustration, exhausting and in many cases less apprehension during those first few important weeks of your baby’s life than you might otherwise experience.
  • With a postpartum doula around, your partner may be able to return to work sooner after your baby is born, and do so knowing that you and the baby are being taken care of.
  • A greater understanding of and appreciation for your baby’s needs, both physical and emotional, as well as her behavior.

What your postpartum doula does for you can vary. The cost of a postpartum doula will vary, as well, based on your location, her experience or certifications, and more.

The Role of a Postpartum Doula