There are actually several kinds of doulas. The traditional doula is a birthing doula that assists with the comfort and support of a birthing person during a delivery. There are also postpartum and death doulas.
At First Village, we currently focus on postpartum doula services. A postpartum doula helps birthing persons, their families, adoptive families, and/or families with a surrogate as they adjust to life with a newborn. Families with newborns need physical and emotional support in the early days and weeks, while they bond with their little ones and step into their new roles and responsibilities. Birthing persons need space to rest, heal and emotionally process their birth and realities of parenthood.
Support can include care of the infant, while parents rest, shower, and recover.
Support can include taking over light household tasks (baby laundry, unloading dishwasher, washing bottles, tidying, etc) or meal prep, while parents snuggle and bond with their newest addition.
Full family support can include helping siblings adjust to their new status and routine. A doula can care for an infant while parents spend some time nourishing the relationship with their other children, who may be experiencing a lot of their own feelings about the changes in their home.
A doula can come in for full nighttime support. Parents either choose bottle feeding by the doula and a full night's sleep without worry or exclusively breastfed families can allow the doula to come and go with the baby, only waking you to nurse, and then whisking baby off to be burped, changed, soothed and put back down. This can save nursing parents an extra 45+ minutes of sleep between feedings, which may be every 2 hours. Maybe the laundry fairy will even come while you sleep!
A doula is an educator, we can provide information and demonstrations on newborn care (safe sleep, bathing, diapering, feeding, etc), breastfeeding assistance, baby products ("What is this thing I got at my shower??"), safe babywearing products/techniques, and cloth diapering practices.
A doula is an expert on local resources. Need a new pediatrician or lactation consultant? Feeling off your game and need a counselor or psychiatrist? Where are the local mom groups and support agencies? A doula keeps extensive lists and databases of local resources. Better than Google, First Village actively reaches out to local agencies and care providers to have a better scope of their services. If we don't have it, we'll find it!