The postnatal period can be one of the most special times for a mother, and yet it can be one of the most challenging times as well. Having a doula who provides postnatal care, like Naomi, can be a lifesaver.
Maybe you aren’t clear on what the postnatal period is. “Post” means “after” and “natal” means “of or relating to a person’s birth”. From a medical standpoint, the postnatal period begins when the baby is born and extends until six to eight weeks after birth.
Postnatal doulas provide new parents with vital information about early infant development including sleeping hygiene and feeding skills. There are so many questions during those first few weeks after bringing home a newborn. One of my friends shared a story with me that could have been easily supported with the postnatal care provided by a doula.
My friend had her first child, who was born slightly premature but was healthy so was discharged within a few days following birth. Her husband worked third shift, so she shouldered much of the parenting duties after the first few days. One night at 2am the umbilical cord started to detach and my friend shared how she was terrified. She called her mom, who didn’t have any suggestions. She then called the hospital and they told her not to worry. The problem was that there was some blood and fluids that were coming out of the area and she just didn’t feel like it was normal. Thus, my friend was awake all night worrying about her baby. The next morning she called the physician and a trip to the office revealed that the umbilical cord stump had become infected. If my friend had the services of a postnatal doula, she would have been properly educated regarding umbilical cord stump care and felt more confident in recognizing there was a possible infection.
Getting a grasp on feeding for newborns can also be an area of significant concern for parents. Having a support system in place with your postnatal doula prior to any possible issues arising can be invaluable. Naomi has the knowledge regarding newborn anatomy and physiology and how feeding changes from the early postnatal period to the later stages of this time period. For example, the suck swallow breathe mechanism is an innate reflex mature infants have that allows them to breast or bottle feed efficiently. Any slight changes in the timing of this sequence can create issues. If a newborn is premature they may not be able to manage the suck swallow breathe sequence effectively because their neurological system isn’t developmentally ready to do so. Naomi can quickly assess any issues and help you find additional resources if there are any potential concerns.
Recovering from a pregnancy and delivery doesn’t have to be challenging. Establishing an understanding of the process can greatly impact mindset and allow for new parents to truly enjoy each step in the process rather than wonder what is going to happen next. The National Institute on Health completed research on the physical symptoms experienced by women following birth and the results revealed that 69% of women reported experiencing at least one physical health problem following childbirth. The study further found that presence of physical health problems affected a mother’s functioning in the care of her child and there was a correlation to the mother’s emotional well-being as well.
Another area that Naomi supports new parents in during the postnatal period is techniques for soothing your newborn and coping skills for your family as you adjust to the new little one in your home. Having a sounding board to share your thoughts with such as Naomi can help you work through the roller coaster ride which can occur during this magical time.
I am passionate about changing the view of birth in America one mother at a time. BIRTH DOESN'T HAPPEN TO YOU, IT HAPPENS THROUGH YOU. I aim to EDUCATE, EMPOWER and ELEVATE as you prepare for the birth of your dreams. You will learn about how your body and baby work together to bring your baby into your arms. I will guide you to become empowered to use your voice to make informed choices about your body and baby. I will lift you up, encourage you and be a constant presence during this transformational experience in your life.