The Supplemental Doula
When we look at the current model of care in the hospital, are we satisfied with what we see? No no no...this is not going to turn into an us against them blog post. Not in the least. I would like to talk about the team approach of supporting the birthing person and their partner. The "village" approach, per say. And also maybe begin to consider that the term #VILLAGE is outdated. For many of us that village does not exist, so we must instead assemble a TEAM.
The amazing #nurses we work alongside in the hospitals have a huge responsibility to care for your and your new baby. That means that at regular intervals they are required to check in with you, take your vitals, your baby's vitals, do their charting. They are responsible for keeping you healthy enough to be discharged.
With all of the necessary disruptions in your postpartum room at the hospital, you can see why it is so hard to begin to rest and recover while you are there.
Imagine if you had someone there with you to maintain the calm and home-like atmosphere. Someone to keep the lights turned low, to help keep the voices to a whisper, remind you and your partner to eat, drink, take a bathroom break. Someone to be the support for when your partner leaves to check on the toddler at home.
Doulas do more than apply #counterpressure through #contractions at the hospital and wash #babybottles at home. We are there for the in-betweens. The moments that tie all of the phases of becoming a parent together. The pauses between contractions, the moments after baby is born, the immediate postpartum when the hormones peak. We are there for the first visit to the #pediatrician, the day your milk comes in and all of a sudden you lose your sweet baby's little face amongst the #engorgement. The first bath with a slippery little helpless baby. That first time you clip baby's nails because why did NO ONE TELL YOU THAT WAS THE SCARIEST PART OF HAVING A BABY.
We believe that new parents benefit from support not only in the birth room, but in the postpartum room, and the moment they step into their home with their new bundle. All through those first 6 weeks. And first 4 months. And the months thereafter. Daytime, and in the overnights. Someone to pass them their hungry baby at midnight, 2am, 4am, keep them company and awake during the feed, and someone to take the baby so they can retreat back to the comfort of bed. Someone to wash the bottles and fold the laundry so they can start the next day head of the game.
I do not believe we need to necessarily CHANGE the current model of care. But I do believe we need to add to it. #SUPPLEMENT it with the village....the team. Let's do this together.