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children. It wasn’t the endless cycle of fatigue and frustration as it sometimes was during the first few months with my first child.” What is a postpartum doula? Postpartum doulas are trained to provide support and information on infant care, feeding, postpartum recovery, mama-baby bonding, and infant-soothing techniques. The first six weeks after a newborn arrives can be a mixture of happiness and anxiety as a mom settles into a

Bringing Home Baby C

Can a Postpartum Doula Help?

By Christa Melnyk Hines

orey Engmann never considered hiring a postpartum doula until she learned she was expecting twins. Feeling overwhelmed and worried about how she would handle the pressing needs of both her twin babies and her two-year-old, she turned to Teresa Marshall, a certified birth and postpartum doula, to help her after her twins arrived. 12 SonomaFamilyLife

Many of today’s new mothers lack the support network that generations of mothers have relied on. Marshall spent five nights a week for four months at Engmann’s home providing support, encouragement, and help after the birth of the twins. Her assistance enabled Engmann to get the sleep she needed to recover from a physically demanding pregnancy.

“I can easily say that hiring Teresa was the best thing I have ever done for myself and our family,” Engmann says. “During the day I could be present, loving, and enjoying all three of my

In addition to helping care for the baby, postpartum doulas often help with light housework, errands, cooking, and caring for siblings. new routine. Many of today’s new mothers lack the support network that generations of mothers have relied on. Close family and friends are far-flung and partners return to work within days of the birth. A postpartum doula can provide the experience and valuable support that a new mother may be missing. “A lot of women are waiting to have children until they are much older. Their parents are older or live in other parts of the country,” says Teresa Marshall, who, in addition to being a birth and postpartum doula, facilitates a support group for those experiencing pregnancy and postpartum depression and anxiety. “With postpartum depression a risk, it’s so important for women not to be isolated.”

March 2017

Sonoma Family Life March 2017  
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