Today's blog post is by Krista Maltais. She is a post partum doula and breastfeeding counselor.
Babies seem to bring out the love – and advice – and opinions – in everyone! From the choice of birth place to the choice of baby’s name, there will never be a lack of unsolicited thoughts given to expecting (and existing) parents!
That is one of the reasons why so many families are hiring Doulas! Doulas do not adhere to a specific method or approach because their job is to support the family’s educated choices, philosophies, and parenting styles - all without judgment or unwanted advice.
There are two kinds of doulas; a Birth Doula works with the mother and partner prenatally and will stay with them for the duration of the labor and delivery process. A Postpartum Doula works with the family once the baby is born for the first weeks or months of the baby’s life. Along with doctors, midwives, and lactation counselors, doulas are trained to help their clients have successful birth, postpartum, and breastfeeding experiences.
Successful breastfeeding experiences should begin with building a network of professional and personal support. Breastfeeding mothers should try to build a network of support with professional and personal resources because, uUnfortunately, the choice to breastfeed does not escape the litany of comments, stories, and debates from family, friends, and total strangers! Fortunately though, doulas undergo a rigorous certification program before obtaining their credentials; this includes specific education and training about providing breastfeeding support.
A doula can offer education, techniques, and resources about breastfeeding as well as emotional support and encouragement to reinforce parents’ decisions. Doulas are also great buffers for those who would try to discourage or dissuade mothers from breastfeeding; being able to step in and offer a well chosen comment or gently correcting misinformation is all in a day’s work for a Doula.
So the next time someone starts in with their unwanted comments, jump in and say “Oh gee thanks. I’ll talk to my Doula about that!” and then keep doing what is right for you.
For more information about Doulas, or to find a Doula in your area, visit: www.dona.org