Guest Post: On Doulas and Customized Support for Moms and Families

This month, we have a sweet guest blog post from Emily Chaffee, owner and founder of Carolina Birth and Wellness.

To start with, we asked her to explain what a doula does. Here’s what she told us:

This lovely mama in labor was captured by  Hanna Hill Photography.

This lovely mama in labor was captured by Hanna Hill Photography.

Doulas provide emotional, physical and education support for pregnant individuals and their families during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. Birth doulas specifically work with clients prenatally to help plan and prepare for the the birth of their baby by going over birth preferences and options available during the birth process, provide emotional support during the challenges that come up during pregnancy, and also are physically present during the birth. Postpartum doulas work with families as the adjust to life with a newborn, both during the day and overnight. The support they provide is for the entire family, and thus can look different, but includes infant feeding support, emotional support for new parents, meal planning and prep, light housework, and much more.

From there, Emily wrote a little about the need for customized support for new moms. Check it out:

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In our years of working with clients, the biggest take away that I have learned is customized support is the best type of support. Each person is unique, thus the support that is most beneficial for them needs to be just as unique.

This doesn’t change when you are trying to start your family, while you are pregnant, as you prepare for your birth, when your baby is a newborn, or even when your baby is getting ready to head to college.

So what does customized support look like?

Well. It is what you need. Whatever that is.  

At Carolina Birth and Wellness, we have built a team of like minded professions that share a similar vision of advancing maternal health and supporting women and their families through transitional time periods of their lives, such as conception, pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period.  

Our Birth Doulas have a general plan of what providing emotional, physical and educational support to our clients looks like during pregnancy and birth through evidence-based practices in a non-judgmental way. Yet, how we execute that plan is customized for our clients. We are a hand to hold, a shoulder to lean on, an ear to hear concerns, a voice to reaffirm your wishes and heart to hold the space. 

We will be there to adjust your crown, change the temperature in the birth tub, add more essential oil to the air, dim the light when needed as well as turn up the lights when we need to change the mood. We will be there to change the TV channel to distract you, get more ice chips, find your water bottle, remind you you are safe, or hold your hand when things change. We will hold the space as you bond with your baby, support your partner if they need to leave for a minute, and admire your grace. 

Our Postpartum Doulas support your entire family. So yes, that means we do see it all. But it also means we are there how you need. We are a trusted person when things are up in the air, we are alert when no one else has slept in days or a shoulder to cry on because you just had a baby. Our compassion is felt in our care your entire family, dogs included. Our skills are appreciated as you awake to clean bottles, folded laundry, fresh coffee, and a snack. We give you the permission to care for the individual that you are, while becoming the mother that you have dreamed of for 40ish weeks. We are the person that carries on conversations when you need it, while on giving you permission to rest and recovery.

Now, if unbiased support isn’t enough, we offer wellness support through in-home prenatal and postpartum massage therapy, placenta encapsulation, belly binding, and coming in the spring, fertility support and sleep training for older babies. Wellness also cannot be classified into a one size fits all deal, nor should it be. So again, each of those aforementioned services are in the comfort of your own home, around your schedule, and catered to your specific needs and concerns.  

In whatever way we support our clients, it becomes exactly what they need. And that is what makes doula support so powerful. Not many times are you given the freedom to choose what is right for you with an unlimited amount of support behind you.  

If only we had life doulas all the time, right?? 

Emily with a sweet new mama and babe.

Emily with a sweet new mama and babe.

Carolina Birth and Wellness (www.carolinabirthandwellness.com) is a full service birth (http://www.carolinabirthandwellness.com/doula/) and postpartum doula (http://www.carolinabirthandwellness.com/postpartum-doula/) agency offering wellness support through in-home massage therapy (http://www.carolinabirthandwellness.com/massage-therapy/) and placenta encapsulation (http://www.carolinabirthandwellness.com/placenta-encapsulation/) all while being backed by evidence-based educational birth and parenting classes (http://www.carolinabirthandwellness.com/birth-and-parenting-classes/) throughout Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. 

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