A postpartum doula cares for mothers in the postpartum "trimester," when they experience the most rapid & intense hormonal, physical & emotional changes of their lives. She provides physical recovery methods such as breastfeeding support, belly binding, cesarean care, & postpartum massage. Postpartum care for mom is important to give her the confidence she needs to meet the needs of her family.
While addressing mainly the needs of new mothers, the doula also serves the dad and older kids as well. She provides information for both mom & dad about changes to expect during postpartum recovery, distinguishing between baby blues & postpartum anxiety or depression, skills to cope with the challenges a newborn brings, & the importance of self-care in order to build the reserves necessary to care for a family.
A postpartum doula may also offer practical care such as running a bath for mom, caring for baby while tired parents grab a nap, care for other children for an afternoon, completing household chores, or preparing a meal for the family. Meeting the needs of the whole family is an important element of postpartum care.