A Doula Shares the One Thing All New Moms Want to Know

new mom and dad

Right. Wrong. Life. Death. Few things are ever that black and white. But when a new parent brings home their little baby for the first time, the fear of caring for them can feel that stark. It was the hospital’s job to keep that baby alive and now it’s all on them. Every hour. Every day…

As a postpartum doula, my job is to offer support to a new parent — usually mom — once the baby leaves the hospital. This in-home support can look different on any given day. Some days I help mom and baby find an optimal breastfeeding position. I sterilize bottles; prepare mom a nutritious snack; help with baby’s first (or second or third) bath; listen to mom’s frustrations, musings, concerns, joys and sadness; do the baby’s laundry or soothe the baby while mom naps or showers.

The one thing that all my clients have in common are the questions they ask: How long should I breastfeed? Should I swaddle during the day? Should I cover his hands with those little mitts? Why can’t I calm her down? Should I dress him in more layers? Why does she spit up after I nurse? When should I do ‘tummy time?’ Will the food that I eat upset the baby’s stomach?

These are all important and valid questions, worthy of thoughtful responses. And if needed, it’s my responsibility and duty to clearly instruct new parents on safe practices. But I’ve come to realize that these questions are all manifestations of a worry that unites many new moms: Do I have what it takes to be the best parent to this baby? Am I a good mom?

…continue reading “new moms” on Kveller.com

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