Frequently Asked Questions
What is a postpartum doula?
Doula comes from the Greek word “doulos,” which means a willing servant. A postpartum doula is someone who comes willingly into to your home to support the needs of your family in the days following the arrival of your precious new baby. We offer care and comfort for you and your newborn, and will guide you as you learn to parent. We are available to answer all of your questions whenever they arise.
How are After the Stork’s postpartum doulas different from a baby nurse?
Baby nurses typically move into your home and care for your baby, and only your baby, during their first couple of weeks home. You provide them with room and board, as well as any travel they may require, and they are with you twenty-four hours a day (but not necessarily providing around-the-clock care). They are typically not required to have any training, and most only address the needs of the baby. Once they’ve provided a couple of weeks of assistance, they are finished and off to their next family.
Our doulas, however, will come into your home for as many days, nights, and/or weeks as you would like, and will act as a support as you adjust to life with a newborn. Our doulas have extensive experience and training with issues such as breastfeeding and lactation, postpartum mood disorders, newborn sleep issues and more, so they are able to care for your new family as a whole while also helping you care for your newborn. They are available to provide support where it is needed most, and will help you ease into parenthood. Most importantly, they will slowly taper off services when you feel you are comfortable and ready.
Why do I need a postpartum doula?
Every new family needs a postpartum doula! Having a new baby can be a very challenging, and confusing, time. We’ll be there to assist you with your newborn and to ease your mind as you learn to navigate parenthood. We will assess and assure you that everything is fine. Or, in the unlikely event that a challenge should arise, we’ll let you know when it’s time to call your obstetrician or pediatrician. It’s our job to encourage and empower you in your new role. We are there to give you peace of mind, a great night’s sleep, and answers to all of your questions.
Why do I need nighttime services?
Over the past 15 years we’ve catered to the requests and needs of our clients, and we’ve learned that overnight hours are the most requested. Typically, friends and family are not volunteering to help you out during the nighttime hours – this is where we come in! We’ll be there to answer your questions, help with household tasks, and take care of your newborn. Once your questions are answered and you are feeling comfortable, you’ll head off to bed while we care for your baby, and your home, during the night. Since your body naturally wants to sleep at night, we will do everything we can to maximize this time for you. At your request, we’ll bring your baby in for feedings. Then we’ll take over, allowing you to rest while we settle the baby back to sleep. We aim to keep your wakeful time to an absolute minimum during the overnight hours so you’ll wake up refreshed and able to enjoy your new baby during the day.
Do you offer daytime support?
Yes, we offer daytime support. We are available to help out during the day, especially initially when everything is new for you. Full support is available day and evening; please contact us for more information. We can also provide trusted nanny resources if and when the need arises.
How long do I need services?
The length of your service will depend on your anticipated needs. You can schedule services for as few as 12 days or right up until your baby is sleeping through the night (several months). During your initial, no-obligation interview, we will discuss our services and work with you to customize a schedule based on what you feel you will need. We also have packages designed based on what past clients have found most helpful. Everything is customizable; we will tailor our services to your needs.
When should I start to plan?
While we suggest you contact us about twelve to sixteen weeks into your pregnancy, it is never too early or too late to call for our help!
Can I afford it?
Our services are an investment for your whole family; you can’t afford NOT to have a postpartum doula! We’ve been told our services are invaluable, and we’ve never heard from anyone that they regret spending the money. In fact, MOST of our clients opt to extend services past their contract once they realize just how helpful our services truly are. By contracting with us, you’ll be helping to insure that your baby gets off to a great start and that you will have a smooth transition to parenthood. Please contact us for pricing and details, and to plan your services.