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  • Writer's pictureNutured Birth Ottawa

What happens during a postnatal doula appointment?

After the whirlwind of birth, our Nurtured Birth doulas visit our clients home for a postnatal appointment. During this vulnerable time, a visit from a supportive presence can be incredibly nurturing. With postnatal visits typically scheduled within the first two weeks following birth, families are usually figuring out how to care for their newborn, healing from birth, learning how to breastfeed, and processing their birth experience, all while sleep deprived! Our mission is to provide a listening ear, support, guidance and a set of helping hands for the new parents. In this blog post, we will explore what happens during our postnatal doula visits.

Ottawa birth doula places hand on newborn's head to support baby to sleep.

Debriefing the Birth: Perhaps one of the most important components of our postpartum visits is the opportunity for birth debriefing. We understand that birth experiences can vary widely, and each journey is unique. During our time together, we encourage families to share about their birth as they experienced it, ask questions about the birth from our perspective, and talk about any concerns they may have. We celebrate the triumphs and provide a space to process any challenges parts of the during labor and delivery. This reflection helps new parents integrate their labour and birth experience.

Postpartum Healing: Our postnatal doula visits are a safe space for new mothers to discuss their physical recovery. We provide guidance on topics such as perineal care, cesarean section incision healing, and overall post-birth comfort. We offer evidence-based information and compassionate support for any physical challenges that our clients encounter during the postpartum period.

Breastfeeding Support: Part of our role as doulas is to support a smooth breastfeeding journey. During our visits, we may offer guidance on latch, positioning, and addressing common breastfeeding issues. We help parents to make informed decisions about feeding, whether they choose to breastfeed exclusively, use formula, or a combination of both. Our goal is to ensure that the new parents feels confident and supported in their feeding choices.

Family Changes: The arrival of a new baby often triggers significant changes within a family unit. Older siblings may experience some big feelings, and parents may struggle with their shifting roles and responsibilities. As doulas, we provide a listening ear and practical advice to help families adjust. We offer strategies for nurturing the bonds between siblings and ensure that everyone in the family feels valued and supported during this transition.

Emotional Support: Emotional well-being is a cornerstone of our postnatal doula visits. We recognize that the postpartum period can be emotionally intense, with feelings of joy, anxiety, and exhaustion often all at the same time! We are here to validate these emotions and offer a compassionate presence. Our goal is to create a nurturing environment where families can express their thoughts and feelings without judgment.

Practical Assistance: Beyond emotional and informational support, we may offer practical help during a postpartum visit. Sometimes, this may involve folding laundry or holding a sweet baby while parents take a well-deserved break. This can make a world of difference in their overall well-being! Our aim is to ensure that the family feels nurtured and supported during this part of their postpartum journey.

Providing Resources and Referrals: In addition to our direct support during postnatal visits, Nurtured Birth doulas also recognize the importance of equipping families with valuable resources and, when needed, referrals. We understand that the journey of parenthood extends far beyond our visits, and therefore, we take this time to provide recommendations and referrals to a diverse array of professionals. From lactation consultants who specialize in addressing breastfeeding challenges to pelvic floor therapists who offer postpartum healing, chiropractors and osteopaths who focus on physical alignment, and acupuncture for balancing energy, we strive to connect our clients with the right experts for their specific needs. Additionally, we may suggest gentle sleep consultants to help establish healthy sleep patterns, mental health therapists for emotional support, naturopathic doctors for natural wellness solutions, and even yoga classes and meet-ups to foster community and self-care. Our goal is to ensure that families have access to a comprehensive network of resources to support their physical, emotional, and mental health throughout their postpartum journey and beyond.

As doulas, one of the bittersweet aspects of our work is saying our goodbyes to the families we have had the privilege to support. Saying goodbye is never easy because we form deep connections during our time together. However, these farewells are often more like "see you soons" because our commitment to our clients goes beyond our visits. We often stay in touch with our clients for weeks, months, and even years to come. Some of our clients become lifelong friends, and it brings us so much happiness to watch their families grow and thrive. We cherish the enduring relationships that often emerge from this beautiful journey!

Do you have questions about our doula services? Please reach out to schedule a doula discovery call! This is a free virtual call that provides the opportunity for our doulas to answer your questions about our services, and ensure that our team would be a good fit to support your family during this important time.

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