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143. Postpartum Doula Made Simple: What You Need to Know With Guest Brooke Nielsen from The Empowering Mama

Postpartum Doula's "mother the mother". Could you use one in your postpartum period? Probably so, but what's the cost and logistics? Hear first hand from Postpartum Doula Brooke Nielsen from The Empowering Mama.

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Read the full transcript here:

Welcome to the breezy babies podcast. This is episode 143. Postpartum doula made simple what you need to know. Could you use more confidence as a parent? Welcome to the happy place for boobs and babies. You're in good hands. Breezy babies is where we ease your transition into parenthood because it's a bumpy road. Am I right? I'm your host Bri the IBCLC. And if you'd like to make life as a parent more breezy, you're in the right place. I'm here to deliver small bite sized tips and tricks so you can crush your parenting and lactation goals. I'm honored to be on this journey with you. Let's go. Hey there friends. Welcome back to another week of the breezy babies podcast. I want to talk to you today about postpartum doulas and I even have a special guest for you who knows a little bit more on this topic than I do and I'm really excited to share her with you. She's gonna come a little bit later in the podcast episode. Before we get too much into postpartum doula stuff. If you haven't already heard, I want you to know that my waitlist is open for IBCLCs. If you are listening to this podcast episode, and you are an IBCLC, lactation consultant, or soon to be IBCLC, lactation consultant, maybe you're taking your test a little bit later this year. And I want to talk with you. I am looking to expand my team for those who want to work in private practice that their own hours work when they want and help families with lactation all over the world. So if you send me an email or a DM with a words IBCLC I will send you the link for my IBCLC waitlist so that we can chat more. Now, as we're talking about postpartum doulas today, first of all, it's really important that you know what a postpartum doula is. So I want to share that with you. And I also want to share with you today some ideas about why you may want to consider having a postpartum doula, and how to make that work. But before we can talk about all that deeper stuff, you have to know what a postpartum doula is. Which I find that not everyone knows what a postpartum doula is. So this is a person that comes and helps you recover after giving birth both emotionally and physically. So they care for you. They do care for your baby, as well. But mostly they're there to care and support for you. And that could include doing some light housework, making Mills helping with older children. Doesn't that sound like a dream? I actually personally have never had a postpartum doula. But man, I could have really used one especially like with my first and second baby. Oh man, I could have used a doula so much would have helped with my postpartum experience a huge amount. And even with my fourth honestly, there was a lot of times where I could have used a bit more help as I was recovering from a heart delivery and, and honestly learning how to walk again. And that's that's a whole story. If you haven't heard my birth story, you can go and listen to episode 100. Before we dive too deep into all things, doula, postpartum doula, I do want to tell you that this podcast episode is sponsored by my friends at Mother Love. I have been an ibclc since 2017. And there is one company that I've had in my corner since those very beginning days and that is Mother Love. Mother Love makes a variety of birth and postpartum products that I adore, such as the organic nipple cream and birth and baby oil. I have personally use these products for years on my kids. Plus, I want to mention that their morning sickness blend saved me during my first trimester nausea with Mila's pregnancy. Every time one of my clients mentions that they have a mother love product already on hand, I feel confident in the quality product that's there to support them through the tricky time of pregnancy and postpartum. This is the time in life when non GMO products really matter. And you'll see that stamp of approval on everything that Mother Love has to offer. Go to mother And you can use my affiliate discount code breezy 15 to get 15% off your entire order. Again, that's mother I will have that link in the show notes so you can go and check it out. Okay, Let's go back to postpartum doula. And I'm going to tie more of Mother Love at the end of this towards the end of this episode as I introduce my guests so we'll come back to that. But again, I want to lay a really firm foundation on what a postpartum doula is. So the American pregnancy Association says this, a postpartum doula provides evidence based information on things such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery after birth, mother baby bonding, infant soothing and basic newborn care. Research shows that moms dads and babies have an easier time with this transition if good support team is in place. If you don't know what type of services a postpartum doula provides, then join the club because I even learned a lot while I was preparing for this podcast episode and doing more research on postpartum doulas. And what I really liked what stood out to me is that a postpartum doulas main goal is to mother the mother, okay, they are there to nurture the entire family as they transition into this new life with this new baby. So, some things that they would do to help the parents feel more confident in their new roles could be helping with feeds, helping again with emotional and physical recovery after birth and everything that goes along with that. They may even do some light housekeeping. They could run errands, they could change diapers, give baby a bath, be baby comfort baby. They could do light mill preparations, they could sue the baby and take care of the siblings and help refer to other helpful team members such as lactation consultants and support groups and pediatricians. So I really love everything that the American pregnancy Association kind of lays out about postpartum doulas to make this just as simple and clear and concise as can be. Now a postpartum doula can stay with a family for a few days after birth. But they can even stay for a few weeks after bringing a new baby home or just after the birth. Even if you were to deliver at home. A postpartum doula could come into your home one to three days a week, or maybe even five days a week. There are even some postpartum doulas that I have met personally that offered nighttime services to help babies turn to help babies and families transition to these nights with a newborn. And there are there are people that you can hire to come and be with your baby during the night. It doesn't mean that you can't breastfeed during that time. They even can care for a baby and help soothe baby back to sleep and bring baby to you for feeds, that can be a great fit for some families. Now, when it comes to how much a postpartum doula charges, that really is going to look different depending on where you live. Where do you live in the United States? Do you live outside of the United States, even from state to state it can look so different on what the cost will be. And not only that, but how skilled is your postpartum doula? Have they been doing this for a while? Do they have any extra trainings, that makes them extra qualified, like maybe for example, they are trained on CPR, and that helps you feel more confident in their skills and so you pay them a little bit higher. On this website that I'm reading from, it says that the cost can range anywhere from 15 to $50 an hour. So that's a pretty wide range. But if you don't have any family nearby, you don't have any much of a help or a support system and and maybe you have family who live out of state who do want to help you but can't be there physically, you could ask for them to help donate to a postpartum doula fund. And that's a great way that they can help. Maybe your postpartum doula even accepts a healthcare spending account or flex, flex, flexible spending account for payments, that could be a great way to help pay for those services as well. If you're not sure how to find a postpartum doula in your area, you may want to connect with a mommy Facebook group. Reach out to lactation consultants in your area, your pediatrician in your area. Just anyone they pull likely have some referrals for you for someone who does postpartum doula work and would be a great fit for you.
Now, as I prepared for talking about this topic, I thought it would be fun to do a little bit of a poll on my Instagram, and I asked my Adi ants. Do you already know what a postpartum doula is? And 12% of my followers said, Yes, I had one 12% which was actually a little bit higher than I was expecting. 60% of my followers on Instagram said, yes, they know what a postpartum doula is, but they never had one. Okay, so that's by far the majority. And 28% of my followers said they have no idea what a postpartum doula is. So if you're in that 20% Now that I just explained a little bit more about postpartum doulas, hopefully you've moved over to a different category that yes, you know what they are, but you've never had one before. So then I asked my audience on Instagram if you had a postpartum doula, what was your favorite part? And I love these responses and I want to read some of them off to you. Because one follower said her postpartum doula was allowed to come and support when family didn't live close by another said her postpartum doula helped around the house. Someone else said having someone I could ask to make me food without guilt while I sat down. Doesn't that sound like a dream after having a baby, just not having to worry about food is always a plus. In fact, if I you know, am ever looking into a vacation as a family, if we can go someplace where I don't have to worry about feeding my family, making food finding food, then that vacation just got about 100% more relaxing, just taking that out. And it's the same after having a baby not having to worry about food is huge. So how cool that a postpartum doula can help with that aspect. Someone else responded and said their postpartum doula helped them with meal prep, laundry, help extra support, so amazing. Another follower said she told me over and over that I was doing a great job. I needed to hear that. Oh, I love that so much. Couldn't we all just take that every day? Like couldn't we all just use someone in our corner saying you are doing such a great job. Someone else said she took care of my toddler while I slept and then made me breakfast and vacuumed again like, wouldn't you just feel like a queen if you have that? And then someone else responded with she helped me with whatever I needed help with. I guided her involvement. It was the best gift. I loved that because she was basically saying that her postpartum doula was gifted to her. Isn't that so smart? To have your family and friends and loved ones who want to help and and you know, want to to help take some load off in your postpartum period? Why didn't a postpartum doula help so much more than another cute outfit? I know baby onesies and baby jammies are so cute and baby bows and all this stuff. But man, I if I could go back honestly with my first baby, that is one thing I would have changed not got a bajillion newborn outfits and instead got better support for me after having a baby. Okay, and then I went on to ask my audience. For those that did hire a postpartum doula. How did you make the cost work? Because by far that was the biggest response that I got about postpartum doulas is that the cost was the most prohibitive thing. And actually, let me back up a little bit and before we get into that, let me talk about some other things that prohibited people besides just cost from getting a postpartum doula someone said lack of availability. Another said not common here. One person said cost availability logistics made it tricky to have a postpartum doula someone else said not available where I live and someone else said cost which was the the most common by far another one said cost didn't feel like my house was clean enough. Not many available here. Another follower said didn't feel like I needed one. Don't regret not getting one. totally valid cost COVID and not wanting others around baby. Okay, I could see that one being really common last few years with so much sickness COVID going around. So really valid. Someone else said I had a friend who was the doula who offered to provide similar support. Okay, so they kind of found a little bit of a different option there. Someone said they didn't want a postpartum doula because of the cost and a stranger in the house. Again, totally valid cost. Someone said not needed cost didn't know it was a thing. Cost again, babies are expensive, not available in my area. Cost mostly there's so much to pay for. So again that by far was the most prohibitive was cost and also people not knowing it was a thing it wasn't an option and maybe not having the option available in their area okay so now let's go back to our question those that did hire a postpartum doula How did you make the cost work since I think that was the most common response again was cost so let's let's hear some examples. some real life examples how some of my followers made the cost of a postpartum doula work. One follower said was gifted some hours and budgeted for the rest and other said seemed worth it to have the right support no family close so made it a priority for us and other followers that asked for it as the only gift for my second everyone mostly contributed I love that. And then someone else said when I knew I wanted a second baby I stopped buying things I didn't need and started saving, good self control there. And and then last was saved knew it was worth it. So I planned for it. Loved those responses. Hopefully that got your juices flowing a little bit with number one, if you even want a postpartum doula. And number two, how to make the cost and logistics work. So now I want to introduce you to today's podcast episode guest Brooke Nielsen. She is from the Empowered mama and she also is a team team member at Mother Love, which you remember is sponsoring today's podcast episode, Brooke comes from a background as a graphic designer with over 10 years of experience in print and package design. After the birth of her first daughter she felt called to help mothers plan and better prepare for the realities of postpartum Brooke became a certified postpartum doula and created the online postpartum prep course. Postpartum planning 101. In addition, she hosts the podcast let's talk postpartum, which shares real and raw postpartum stories from mothers. Brooke is also the Design Specialist at Mother Love where she gets to live out her passion for empowering mothers throughout the journey of motherhood each day. So Brooke is going to share her top three tips as a postpartum doula to all the families considering hire one, hiring one, she's going to talk about how she became a postpartum doula and how anyone could get started doing that if you wanted to do that work. And I'm going to turn the time over to her. She's going to share a bit of her expertise with you on postpartum doulas. Go ahead, Brooke.
Hi, I'm Brooke. I'm a certified postpartum doula. That Design Specialist at Mother Love herbal company and a mom of two. Today I'm going to share three tips. For those of you considering hiring a postpartum doula. Tip number one is to first envision what kind of support you think you'd like to have after childbirth, and throughout postpartum. Some families are mainly looking for support around the house. Some are looking for support with a newborn. Others might need a mix of the two, postpartum doulas offer a range of support, some of which might include in house care with the newborn, tidying up around the house, getting simple meals or snacks served overnight support to the family, providing coping skills for the family and helping the family make informed decision about newborn care such as feeding, sleep and bathing. Postpartum doulas can also provide physical and emotional support to the mother. It comes down to the kind of support you envision and finding a postpartum doula that offers what you need. Tip number two, is to compile a list of questions to ask your potential postpartum doula. Some questions might include, how long have you been a postpartum doula? How many families have you worked with? Are you certified through a doula training organization? Do you have any testimonials from past clients? Are there a minimum or maximum hours? You're available to work at one time? What are your rates? Do you offer any package deals? How soon can you begin after the birth of the baby? How do you schedule to ensure support if the baby is born before or after their due date? Do you have any experience supporting families with older siblings in the home? Are there any standard services you don't provide or extra services that you offer? compiling a list of questions after determining what kind of support you envision is a great way to get matched with a doula who can fully support your needs. My final tip for families interested in hiring a postpartum doula is to look for various options. That not only fit your needs, but your budget as well. Perhaps you're looking for a full package deal with a postpartum doula who can support you in your home as much as possible. However, for some that might not be something you can afford or even something that you're comfortable with. In that case, you can look for alternative options, such as virtual support or an online course. While your postpartum journey may be unique and specific to you, there is still so much you can do to plan and prepare for online courses and virtual support from a postpartum doula can help usually at a much lower price point as well. Whether you choose an in person postpartum, doula virtual support, or an online postpartum course, it's a valuable investment. It can help you feel more secure in your new role, adapt more easily to shifting family dynamics, and improve yourself competence as a parent. I became a postpartum doula. Because I struggled with after the birth of my first daughter, I entered postpartum, completely unaware of what I needed for my own recovery after childbirth. I didn't know what was considered normal. I didn't know what to expect. I didn't have any products that made my recovery easier, such as high waisted underwear, overnight pads, or any products such as mother loves sitz baths, spray, roid, balm, and nipple cream, all of which I needed. Once I recovered, I knew I had to do something to help the mothers who came after me. I became a postpartum doula and went on to create the online course postpartum planning one on one to help mothers plan for postpartum while they're pregnant. A few years later, I joined the team at Mother Love herbal company. Each day, I get to have a hand in helping moms from bump to birth, breastfeeding and baby with our organic herbal products. If you're considering hiring a postpartum doula, again, remember, it's an investment and it's one you won't regret. It will help you adjust to your new role, adapt to your shifting family dynamics and improve your self confidence. So if it's on on your mind, it's something you're going to want to do.
Thank you. Thank you, Brooke. So good. I love getting the perspective and straight from the source of someone who works as a postpartum doula. I love all the work that she's doing. If you want to check out her postpartum planning one on one course, I will link that course in the show notes, and also include a discount code save 50 for $50 off her online course where he talks about a step by step guide for how to prepare postpartum so that when you enter that postpartum period, you feel fully prepared at ease and just have an easier time healing and adjusting to motherhood. So again, Brooks tips for you today we're tip number one, envision what kind of support you think you'd like to have after birth and throughout postpartum tip number two was compiled a list of questions to ask your potential postpartum doula. Tip number three was look for various options that not only fit your needs, but your budget as well. Thank you again, Brooke. You can go say hi to her over on Instagram at the empowering mama. And you can also check out mother love at Mother Love herbs on Instagram. And again, I will link her amazing online course in the show notes. Thank you so much for listening in today. And thanks again, Brooke, for sharing these tips with us. Of course, I'm going to leave you all with you're strong, you're smart, you're beautiful, you're good friends all talk to you next week. Bye. If you would like more help, check us out at breezy It's the happy place for boobs and babies, where you can take an online workshop on topics from breastfeeding to baby gas. Learn baby massage, get a pumping plan before returning to work and even get one on one lactation help from our IBCLCs we meet with families both in home and also all over the world via secure video and guess what? These lactation consultations might even be covered by your insurance. Click the link in the show notes or visit breezy to see if you qualify. Also connect with us at breezy babies on Instagram and YouTube. And last if you love what we do, please leave us a review on Google or Apple podcasts by 

Intro to the show.

What is a doula and what does she do?

What is a postpartum doula? What does it do?

How long does a postpartum doula stay with families?

How to find a postpartum doula?

The value of having a postpartum doula.

How did you make a postpartum doula work?

Introducing my guest Brooke Nielsen.

Tips for hiring a postpartum doula.

How to choose a postpartum doula.

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