Saturday, January 30, 2010

Postpartum doula, at your service!

I finally took a big step in the right direction this week. About a year ago, I discovered something important about myself. I found that I was being called to serve women as a midwife, and I wrote a post about my feelings.

Our dreams, however, aren't always practical. As a full-time military mama, going back to school right now isn't an option. I still have a few years left on my military commitment, and Brett isn't done with school yet. Heck, I'm only two classes away from my Master's in Intelligence, and I'm starting those classes next week. Still, I felt that I could be doing something, somehow, to work towards my ultimate goal.

When Lucy was born, we had the help of a wonderful doula, Wilma. Inspired by her amazing care, I pondered becoming a birth doula. However, a full-time job isn't conducive to that kind of doula-ing, considering the lack of a master baby-birth-scheduler planning the birth of babies between the hours of 5 and 9 pm! Recently, though, I learned of another type of doula- the postpartum doula.

What is a postpartum doula? According to DONA International, a postpartum doula:
  • Offers education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester
  • Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying
  • Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and makes appropriate referrals when necessary
I realized that although I couldn't realistically pursue a career as either a midwife or birth doula at this point, I COULD begin taking classes, attending seminar, and working towards my certification as a postpartum doula. As of right now, I am finishing up my breastfeeding class, registering for seminar, and finishing up the reading prerequisites (lucky for me, I already have a home library full of many of the required books).

So there you have it. I'm working full-time, finishing up my Master's degree, embarking on a new career, AND still keeping up with my most important job- attachment-parenting/semi-crunchy/co-sleeping/exclusively breastfeeding/baby-wearing mama to Lucy. Call me crazy, but I'm loving life right now, and I can't wait to see where it takes me.

....and if you (or someone you know) is seeking postpartum care in the Warner Robins/Macon area, be sure to let me know!

As a side note, I am currently starting a parenting group up in the Warner Robins area. Gentle Beginnings has kindly offered us the space, and I'm planning on scheduling a weekly, weeknight get together, to best allow us working mamas to attend. Of course, mamas and daddies of all kinds will be gladly accepted! If you are interested, please comment your thoughts, and look for updates via here and Facebook.

This picture has nothing to do with being a doula, but I've
lately missed being pregnant, so...
I'm posting it anyway :-)


Ida Mae said...

wow Momma! You make me feel so un-productive..jeesh.

but seriously, go you! That is nothing short of amazing, and i have to say when I was pregnant I toyed with the idea of becomeing a Midwife or Doula myself. Seems like you have found the perfect fit for youself.

Now I hope I can be so lucky :)

~Ida Mae

Ed and Elizabeth said...

Emily I think you would be an amazing post-partum doula!! :) Maybe one day when you are finished with the Air Force you can go into it full time.