Our culture is getting much better in terms of supporting women through pregnancy. There are even magazines, special classes, special spa packages, and special clothing stores for mamas-to-be. I am so very happy that this trend is catching on. It does worry me, however, that our culture is one of the only ones in the world that doesn’t support the mother-baby relationship postpartum. Hospitals and doctors insist on separating newborns and mothers through small non-emergent procedures right after birth, working mothers only get a few precious weeks with their new little babies, and women are expected to do too much alone while they are still trying to heal themselves both physically and emotionally after a major life transition. Because of this, mother-baby bonding can’t happen (or doesn’t happen as easily), women aren’t able to breastfeed as long, and postpartum depression and anxiety are on the rise.
As a postpartum doula, I hope to change these statistics, one family at a time. I hope to be there for the mother (and father) and support her in this huge life transition so that she can heal and gain confidence in her parenting abilities. I can’t imagine what the outcomes would be if every woman received this kind of postpartum care. Can you? Postpartum depression would probably decrease because women would not feel so isolated and alone. They would also have the chance to talk about emotions or their birth story and heal in that way. Any questions they have about newborn care or breastfeeding could be answered without a worried call to the pediatrician. Physically, women would be much more well rested and therefore would heal faster, even after a C-section or stitches from a tear. And we all know that a happy mother means a happy partner and a happy baby.
If we take care of the mothers in our community, we have the chance to create long lasting effects. Happier mothers, children, and partners can mean a more well balanced and happy community. So, as a postpartum doula, I hope to make my community a better place to live by giving every parent-baby relationship the best start. From there, a baby can grow in a community of love and become an independent and well rounded adult. Families are the core of our community, and the parent-baby relationship is at the core of each and every family.