I pull up to your house and notice an unfamiliar car in the driveway. I use the key you gave me and let myself in because I know you are likely nursing the baby or you have just gotten him to sleep and are having a precious moment with him. I enter the kitchen and your guest introduces herself to me. She is a colleague from work who wanted to stop in and check on you. We chat for a few minutes while I put away a few groceries and load the dishwasher. I place the flowers she bought you in a vase. She asks me questions about what I do and how I got into a career as a birth worker and I happily tell her. I then excuse myself so I can check on you and see if you need anything.
I take the baby and put him down in his bassinet for a nap. While you take a much needed shower, I change the linens on your bed, refill your basket of supplies next to your bed and set up your breast pump so you can pump after you get out of the shower. I ensure that you have a few choices of nursing bras and camisoles available for you to wear. I start a load of baby laundry. I ask what you would like for lunch and head back downstairs.
After 25 minutes, your coworker greets you with a hug and tells you how great you look. You immediately notice a wonderful fragrance and thank her for the lovely flowers. I take the two bottles of breast milk you pumped, label them and put them in the refrigerator for later. You pour yourself some fresh juice and finally start to catch up with your guest. You tell her how great everything is going since you gave birth aside from the lack of sleep. But you are actually getting used to that. You tell her how overwhelming the first few days were because there was so much you and your husband didn't know. You tell her that none of the books you read told you how things would really be after having a baby. You tell her that you were scared to leave the hospital because you knew you wouldn't have any help at home.
I come in to the sunroom where you are talking. I take the appetizer plate of fruit away to make room for the salad and baked potatoes that I made you both for lunch. It is then that you tell your colleague that having me around was the best decision you could have made after giving birth. You go on and on about how nice it is to have someone who not only cares for the baby, but for you. You tell her how essential it is for you to have someone to ask questions, help with breastfeeding, meal preparation and even taking out the trash because you are still healing from your c-section. You tell her that even your own mother can't help you with some of the issues you were having simply because they didn't exist when you were a baby and she just doesn't know. You tell her that you quickly learned to trust me because after the first day, you knew you and your family were in good hands.
You tell me to take a break and sit down with you all so we can all have lunch together. I bring back a small plate and more of the fresh juice I taught you how to make during my first week with you. I recommended that you learn how to use your juicer and maximize all of its health benefits. But no sooner that I sit down and take one bite, the baby wakes up. I tell you to keep chatting & eating with your friend and I will get the baby. As I head upstairs, I hear your friend say, "Can I hire her even without having a baby?" You both start to laugh before you answer, "Having a baby is like nothing else in this world. Having her to help me is the icing on the cake."
After changing the baby's diaper, we return downstairs and you introduce your new love to your colleague who is fawning all over him. I clean up the lunch dishes and prepare a couple of snacks for you to have later. Your friend leaves and we sit down to discuss anything new or of concern to you since we last saw one another. I also take the time to make sure the baby's latch is good while you are nursing him. You have had a significant reduction in pain and soreness since exploring different breastfeeding positions. I then give you copies of the articles I found yesterday and email you the links as well. You grab your shoes and your Moby wrap and we go on our usual afternoon walk. After circulating the neighborhood a few times, your baby is asleep and we head back towards your house. When we arrive, your husband is checking the mail after just pulling up. He greets us with a big smile and asks about the days' events.
Upon entering the kitchen, you see the "homework" or list of things I want you both to start thinking about now that I have been with you for a month. I ask if you will need me to start dinner and before you can answer, your husband says no. He will handle dinner tonight. Before I leave, I finish the laundry I started and update the grocery list on the chalkboard in the kitchen. I gather my things and say, "Call me if you need to" like always.
As I head to my car, your husband follows behind me and says, "Thank you. I know we couldn't be doing this well without you. And I especially appreciate you taking the time to make sure I have daddy bottles in the frig so I can feed the baby when I get home. Thank you so much." I smile and tell him that he is more than welcome. I back out of the driveway knowing that I have successfully helped get them one day closer to finding the balance of their new normal.
This is just another day in the life of a Postpartum Doula. This is why you should hire Best of Both Worlds Doula Services.
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