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Mary Poppins for Mommies

Josh, my girlfriend Abby’s newest babe, has officially hit two weeks old, and while Abby seems to have gotten off remarkably easy emotion-wise – no real heavy post-partum blues – she is definitely experiencing post- post-partum-doula blues.

What, you say?  What the heck’s a post-partum doula??  Don’t worry, I said the same thing, and I think of myself as a pretty current mom.  I looked into a birth doula for my own pregnancy.  Doulas are a great addition to your labor team; many are nurse practitioners or midwives, and all go through rigorous training to be nationally certified.  They’re with you from before the birth through the labor, and act as your masseuse, cheering section, extra pair of hands, you name it.  If  you get the impression your OB will be rushing in just in time to put on her catcher’s mitt, a doula may be something to look into.  I eventually decided not to hire one, as I had my mother and Abby on my team in addition to a doctor who was incredibly hands-on and nurturing and there the whole time, but I highly recommend doulas.

 This post-partum doula thing, however, was new to me.  Turns out, there are doulas who pick up where the birth ones leave off - the transition time for the new family back home.  Think of your mother, your next-door neighbor, and your housekeeper all rolled into one.  A post-partum doula can come stay with you for a period of time or visit a few hours every day, and she simply does whatever is needed!  They’re all lactation consultants and so can give you help with the feeding thing, and of course will do whatever’s necessary with the newborn.  But more importantly, they’ll play with your feeling-left-out toddler, run a load of laundry, do your grocery shopping . . . get the picture?  Abby had one stay with her for almost a week and almost cried when she left.  You all know how it is; visitors all want to hold the new baby, but where are the hands to clean the dishes?  Enter the super doula!  Seriously, this sounds like the best thing for new moms since Tucks medicated pads.


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