What’s a Postpartum Doula & How to Choose the Best One for YOUR Family

What’s a Postpartum Doula & How to Choose the Best One for YOUR Family

I remember the early days, weeks, and months well. Actually, I remember the feeling of them well, not so much the finer details. As a mother to three children, I’ve lived through and survived the postpartum period three times. Each time was very different as each child is born into this world with their own personalities and unique ways of needing to be nurtured. But there are a few common sentiments that I recall feeling in all three of my experiences.


Exhaustion, overwhelm, heightened emotions, fatigue…


And yes, these feelings were paired with joy, happiness, exhilaration too. They were times of great ups & downs, which is all completely normal.


What’s challenging is trying to navigate these turbulent times with relatively little help. I consider myself to be very lucky as I’m well surrounded by family and friends who were willing to help to the best of their abilities, but everyone is just so busy these days it seems. I still found myself feeling very alone and isolated at times.


There are a number of strategies that you & your family can use to manage this chaotic time in your lives. Here are a few you may like to consider (I’ll dig deeper into each in future posts):

  • Simplify your day to day life as much as possible
  • Become the “yes” couple/family
  • Lower your bar of expectations
  • Outsource what you can & consider hiring a postpartum doula



~ Love Note ~
What you are doing right now, nurturing a new little human being, THAT right there is important enough stuff! You don’t need to feel pressured to be accomplishing any more than that, because IT is so much all on its own.


As the title of this post alludes though, let’s explore that last strategy more deeply.


What is a postpartum doula anyways?

Postpartum doulas are trained or experienced women who provide care to you and your family immediately after birth, or the addition of a new baby, through the first year. The doula offers non-judgmental support, guidance, evidence-based education and practical hands-on support. “Doula” originates from the Greek word meaning woman servant.**


** This definition is my adaptation of a few I’ve come across and it’s what resonates the most strongly with my personal approach to this very meaningful work.


When you hire a postpartum doula, you’ll receive customized support based on what your family is needing in the given moment. This shifts as the needs shift; even from one session to the next sometimes!


Support may include (but is not necessarily limited to):
  • Infant feeding support
  • Newborn care while parents get in some self-care (think – taking a nap or a shower or the likes)
  • Answering questions about newborn care
  • Reassuring parents of their natural instincts
  • Emotional support
  • Helping siblings to adapt to their new world
  • Providing resources suggestions as someone who is well versed in what’s available locally
  • Light housework
  • Meal & snack prep
  • Errands
In my humble opinion, you would benefit from hiring a postpartum doula if you:
  • Don’t have family who can support you living close by
  • Are a first-time parent and you are feeling overwhelmed about how to care for a newborn
  • Have other younger children and their world has just changed significantly + it’s challenging to balance caring for a newborn & giving your other children the attention that they need
  • Have had multiples and could really use some extra support/another set of hands
  • Just had a baby (enough said?)


In a nutshell, welcoming a new baby into the family can be an overwhelming and chaotic time. The aim is to make it as joyous as possible and accepting or hiring help will, without a doubt, bring you so much closer to this place of joyous chaos.


If you’re now wondering how to go about hiring the perfect postpartum doula for YOU…


I have you covered with this simple guide:

Hiring a postpartum doula means inviting someone, who is likely previously unknown to you, into your home to share in an intimate experience. For this reason, I feel that the #1 attribute you should consider is that you have a good connection with this person. The following is a simple process that you can follow to help you find the perfect postpartum doula for YOUR family.


Step #1:

Create a list of local postpartum doulas to contact. A simple Google search of “postpartum doula insert name of city” will provide you with a number of women you can connect with.

Step #2:

Contact these doulas to see who is available when you need or would like their support (dates + time of day). Of those who are available when you’d like to have this support, have a telephone conversation to establish if they are a good fit for your family. I’ve created a list of great questions to ask during this conversation to help you out. {Scroll down to the bottom of this page to see a list of INTERVIEW QUESTIONS I’ve proposed}

Step #3:

Optional – if you feel that you’d like to take your selection process one step further, you could request to meet with your top 2-3 candidates in person to get a real feel for the fit.

Step #4:

Make your decision, inform your chosen postpartum doula, and reap the benefits of receiving this form of uber-customized support!

Ah…. JOYOUS chaos!


One last small note… If you have some generous, gift-giving friends and families in your circle, ask them to pitch in to pay for a postpartum doula or to buy you a gift certificate for these services. It makes for one of the best baby shower/post birth gifts you could ever receive!


I hope that you’ve found this really helpful. As a nurturer by nature, it is my goal to come to you with exceptional value with these posts. If you’ve enjoyed my vibe so far I invite you to follow me on Facebook here!