Raise your hand if you really- truly, actual-factual know what a postpartum doula is?
Now if when asked to describe the role of a doula, your answer is something along the lines of, "Well, they're kinda like a nanny," then I am sorry to say, you do not really know!
With bright lights and stark walls, labor & delivery rooms in the hospital aren't usually what come to mind when most of us think of a serene environment. Choosing to deliver your baby in the hospital where you feel safest doesn't mean you cannot also create a cozy birthing space with reminders of home.
The early weeks postpartum can pack quite a punch: Sleep deprivation. Leaky breasts. A tender undercarriage. It's no wonder new mothers find themselves crying more than they did before! While many parents have heard of the term "the baby blues," they might not be familiar with what the blues entail- or how to recognize signs of other postpartum mood disorders.
A few weeks ago my oldest son had a full evaluation with a psychologist and received the formal diagnosis of Autism and ADHD. My son is 8 now and this diagnosis was one that I fully expected. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that I have known this to be true of him for some years now. Hearing those words in an official sense was not upsetting to me that Friday, but when we first set out on this journey 6 or 7 years ago they would have devastated me. It's been a long process and looking back I sure do wish I would have had a doula to walk alongside me!