Let's talk about after baby. (Hopefully, you have a Salt-N-Pepa song stuck in your head now. You're welcome.) If you are expecting, I'm sure you've spent hours contemplating baby's birth. You've probably taken childbirth classes, hospital tours, and, if you're really on the ball, even written out a birth plan. And all of those things are incredibly important, but how much time have you spent thinking about what comes after the birth? Do you have a postpartum plan?
As a postpartum doula, I spend plenty of time with awesome new moms and dads who haven't quite discovered their own inner-awesomeness (that's totally a word, trust me). These are parents with great instincts and unlimited amounts of love for their new baby, yet they are often lacking confidence. One of the things I love about my job is helping these families discover their own parenting strengths and build their confidence. Because before I was a postpartum doula, I was also a new mom, standing where they are, questioning my own instincts and abilities.
Self-care is self-preservation. If I was your postpartum doula, then you should definitely know this by now. Rising above the pitch of newborn cries and peeking through the cobwebs of endless sleep-deprivation, I hope I said this loud enough and often enough for it to stick.
"You do what?!" Since making the decision to become a trained and certified postpartum doula I've heard this question a lot. In fact, if I had a nickel for every time someone asked me this, well, by now I'd have...$3.00. OK, still, that's like 60 people. And, for the most part, once I explain what it is a postpartum doula does, I receive positive responses. (Don't know what a postpartum doula does? Head on over here: www.motherlinenc.com/services.) But there are also some blank stares, side eye, and even skepticism when I say these words.