What a Postpartum Doula Can Do for Your Fourth Trimester - Marcia Horbacio - Doula & Sleep Consultant

Marcia Horbacio – Doula & Sleep Consultant - Marcia Horbacio – Doula & Sleep Consultant

Marcia Horbacio – Doula & Sleep Consultant - Marcia Horbacio – Doula & Sleep Consultant


Marcia Horbacio - Doula & Sleep Consultant

What a Postpartum Doula Can Do for Your Fourth Trimester

The fourth trimester refers to the first three months of a baby’s life. Being born is a tremendous change for babies and the first few months they are outside the mother’s body are a period of many adjustments and learning. They are feeling things like hunger, cold and heat for the first time.

For parents, the fourth trimester is an experience unlike anything they have ever experienced. It is where they experience sleep deprivation they have never experienced before. It is during the fourth trimester that emotions are even more on the surface than during pregnancy. Everything is very new and accompanied by emotions never felt with such intensity.

I bet you have heard about the support that a professional like a birth doula can offer during pregnancy and childbirth, but have you heard about the support of a postpartum doula? This service used to be more common in North America, where families with newborns had less family support, but it is spreading around the world, and you already have this professional in some countries in South America too.

Today’s grandmothers are experiencing a more active third age and because of this they have less time available to help their children who are becoming parents. With globalization, families tend to live farther away, and relatives are no longer able to offer the assistance that was previously possible. Do you know that story that it takes a village to raise a child? This is still true, but it is becoming increasingly unlikely in the modern world. In addition to all this, baby care has changed a lot in recent decades (Remember how in the 90s babies were still put to sleep on their stomachs and nowadays this is considered dangerous?) and new parents want to be up to date with offering their children care based on the latest scientific research.

It is in this context that the professional postpartum doula enters. With evidence-based training, she provides education in a non-judgmental model, basic care for the newborn and especially the mother. The difference between a postpartum doula and a nanny specializing in newborns is that the doula takes care of the family and not just the baby. She worries if the mother is fed to produce more milk, recover from childbirth, and manage new postpartum emotions. She is without a doubt the one who plays the mother’s mother.

Below you will see some typical tasks of a postpartum doula and how this can benefit the family:

– The postpartum doula has a good knowledge of breastfeeding and can help improve attachment, advise on the consumption of foods that favor milk production, assist the mother while pumping milk, advise on nipple care and even recommend health professionals when noticing any problems with breastfeeding. A “good latch” depends on several things, including how the baby’s lips and head are positioned and how deep the nipple and areola are in the mouth; these are all things the mother may not know unless someone shows her.

– The postpartum doula also knows how to handle bottles (sterilization and cleaning) as well as basic knowledge of artificial feeding if that is the choice of the parents.

– The doula will provide evidence-based education in all aspects of the postpartum period.

– The doula will suggest comfort measures for maternal recovery, both physical and emotional, always making suggestions based on scientific evidence.

– The doula will help the parents and teach basic newborn care.

– The postpartum doula will help the family prepare a complete postpartum plan.

– Postpartum doulas also provide good advice on newborn sleep.

It is common for postpartum doulas to offer services only in the first few weeks after giving birth and after the parents feel confident and secure, they look for other families to support. Services are provided for six to eight weeks because the idea is precisely to prepare the family so that you can go on without it!

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