How do you find a a postpartum doula in Kansas City and why would you need one? Well, if you’re a mom or mom-to-be, you’ve probably heard, “sleep when the baby sleeps.”
Easier said than done. There’s dishes everywhere, laundry that needs to be folded, and … and …and … Being a new mom is wonderful, but it’s also a lot. That’s where finding a postpartum doula can come in handy.
What is a postpartum doula?
A postpartum doula is someone you can hire to help you after your baby arrives. They can provide information, and physical and emotional support to moms in that exhausting time after you bring your baby home.
“Postpartum doulas are like a best friend who knows a lot about postpartum recovery and taking care of newborns,” says Kristen Mason, executive director of KC Women’s Ministry, which offers postpartum doula services in the Kansas City area. “We are there to help you, decompress with you, and help with the transition into parenthood or the transition of growing your family.”
According to the American Pregnancy Association, research has proven that parents and babies have an easier time with the post-birth transition when they have a good support system.
What exactly does a postpartum doula do?
The postpartum doula does what you need her to do, says Lydia Robinson, owner of Labored with Love. She’s a doula, labor and delivery nurse, childbirth educator and an international board certified lactation consultant.
Robinson said her goal is to take some of the weight and pressure off of the mom. She creates postpartum plans for moms she works with before birth. When the baby comes home, Robinson has in-home appointments to help foster a positive, healthy environment.
When you have a newborn who needs you, it’s easy as a parent to forget about your own needs. For example, just because there’s food in the house, doesn’t mean new parents have taken the time to eat.
“If mom is up all night cluster feeding, when I get there, I can take the baby for a couple of hours, so moms can rest, knowing that baby is taken care of safely,” she said.
Each doula offers different services, but in general, some postpartum doulas also:
- Teach partners or other relatives how they can be the best support to new moms.
- Offer help learning how to use different newborn care items, such as baby carriers,breast pumps and cloth diapers.
- Help moms with feeding the baby
- Do light house cleaning and meal prep.
- Work overnight shifts so moms can sleep.
- Talk to moms about the body and mind changes that can come with birth and a newborn.
- Help out parents if a partner has to go back to work in the early days.
- Take care of baby so mom can attend to older children.
- Reassure new parents they’re doing things right.
- Encourage moms to take it easy and not try to do too much too soon.
Robinson, who is Black, said women of color in particular have different experiences with childbirth — more complications and higher mortality rates.
“For these families, having a doula is a necessity, not a luxury,” she said. “This is just a way for families of colors to set themselves up for success, because the odds are already stacked against us.”
How much do I pay a postpartum doula in Kansas City?
Pricing varies. At KC Women’s Ministry, the full price is $35 an hour with a 10 percent discount if you order more than 60 hours. The organization also offers sliding scale options. When you hire KC Women’s Ministry, 20 percent of your fees go toward supporting low and no-cost services for families who can’t afford the full cost.
Robinson offers different levels of doula support. She can do just the postpartum portion, or she can support a mom from pregnancy throughout the first few months after birth. Her services can range from $75 to $3,000, depending on what families are looking for.
Do doulas help with breastfeeding?
Yes, postpartum doulas receive training in breastfeeding support. Every doula has their own set of skills and services, and they are not lactation consultants, but they can help you find one, if needed.
How long do you have a postpartum doula?
It’s up to you, but Robinson said for her, it usually varies from four to six months. They’re there for the transition time from pregnancy and birth to being a parent.
Why don’t more people use postpartum doulas?
Usually it’s because people think their mom/sister/friend/partner will be enough help, Mason said. The benefit of a postpartum doula is that they’re trained supporters who you can count on to be there for you when scheduled.
There’s a lot of pressure on new moms to do it all. But you don’t have to, Robinson said. You can struggle with your taxes, or you can call in a tax pro. Same with bringing a newborn home.
“This is just new territory,” she said. “For any situation that you face in life, it would be helpful to have an expert in that area.”
Doulas can be a game-changer for families, Mason said.
“We hear over and over again from past clients that the difference between a doula and their original plan is night and day,” she said.
How do I find a postpartum doula in Kansas City?
Ask around: To find a postpartum doula near you, word of mouth is a good bet. You can ask your friends if they’ve used one, or ask your health care provider if they know of any.
Call around: You can also contact organizations that offer postpartum doula services. Many of them offer interviews so you can make sure you feel comfortable with your doula. Here are just a few local resources to help you find a postpartum doula: