5.19.2005

Introducing Linda

I am thrilled to introduce a contributing blogger to the site, Linda. Linda is a postpartum doula in the New Haven area. We thought we’d ask her a few questions.

Linda, until our conversation, I did not understand the difference between a labor doula, and a postpartum doula. Can you explain?
Thank you for inquiring on information about doulas. A doula is a very special person who is much needed in today’s world. As family’s move farther apart from each other, the immediate support system is lost. A doula can fill that void in a woman’s life when there is no mother, sister, aunt or close friend nearby to help during this stressful period of her life, labor and the postpartum period.
There are three types of doulas:
An antipartum doula helps women who may have a high risk pregnancy and she has been put on bed rest for an extended period of time. She may need care for herself or help with other children.
A labor doula assists a woman in labor, along with her partner, to help make sure all her plans for birth are followed through. She stays with the woman during labor only. She provides much needed support and communication between the woman in labor, her partner and her doctor or midwife.
A postpartum doula cares for the new mother and her newborn baby. She provides emotional, physical and educational support. She helps with breastfeeding, care for the newborn and siblings, helps with cooking, and may do light housekeeping and laundry. A postpartum doula may help with errands, doctor visits or food shopping for the family.

This seems like a very rewarding career. How did you get started?
I was looking for a part time job, about 5 years ago, to fill in some time during my slow season. A local company was looking for a doula, and I thought that was perfect for me. I am a mother of four, 3 boys and a girl, and motherhood came very naturally to me. I am a very nurturing and maternal person. I was always the one to help others with their questions on breastfeeding, childrearing, discipline, schools, whatever. I had fabulous pregnancies, great breastfeeding experiences and no problems with infants sleeping or feeding schedules. I wanted to share all my knowledge with other new moms. I saw how hard this time is for some woman. They have no help, they may never have even held an infant, and some women develop breast infections. Women who have had caesarean births need the most help as they are limited in their movements for some time. This was definitely an ideal situation for me.

What is the most important thing that you do to help a new mom?
A new mom is so fragile in her emotions and decisions. She is unsure of many things, and wants the best for her newborn. Listening is so important and I learn so much about the needs of each new mom, as they differ greatly. I am very adamant about a new mother’s health and well being. She can not care for her baby if she does not heal quickly herself. Her physical and psychological well being needs nurturing at all times. Support is a huge part of being a postpartum doula, and the most important.

Thanks Linda! We truly look forward to hearing more from you.

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