I Get By with a Little Help from My Doula

Getting a postpartum doula was GENIUS! I can’t take credit for it, but hopefully you’ll be distracted by the capitals I used for GENIUS and just assume it was my idea (see, now I did it twice).

I didn’t even know such a thing existed until someone on the local parents Yahoo group suggested it. To which the response in my head was a post-a-what-a?

But let’s backtrack. When Aiden was born, we went to my mother’s house where she reassured me that the baby would survive my pulling a onesie* over his head, he won’t hate me forever for making him cry by bathing him, and that it was okay that he had an explosive BM all over her couch and shoes (I’m still sorry/dying of laughter over that one).

*There are more names for different articles of baby clothes than I could ever have imagined before I became a mom, hopefully you’ll just know what I mean

Aiden's first bath out of the hospital- I was terrified

Aiden’s first bath out of the hospital- I was terrified

It was wonderful having that help, but Tuvia and I are homebodies and we knew we wanted to be settled at home right away this time. Could we have managed without help? I am sure, but everything was infinitely easier with it.

Tuvia and I knew we wanted someone who could be there to help during the hours between Aiden coming home from daycare and going to sleep. We didn’t need anyone for overnight because I’m nursing so I’m getting up every couple of hours anyway and I have a wonderful husband who takes care of the burping, diaper changes, swaddling, and putting back to bed (not to brag, but right?!) We figured that by having help during those hours, we can give Aiden more attention and help ease the transition for him. I was also pretty nervous because between work and school, Tuvia is pretty busy during those hours and I knew I could use help with the transition also (cue image of Mia crying, Aiden throwing a tantrum, and me in a huddle on the floor…a recurring nightmare during pregnancy)

Back to the the parents group: I had heard of a birth doula, but never a postpartum doula. I did some research online and figured why not speak to both baby nurses and the postpartum doula?

Karla Pippa (how great is her name?) called and from our phone conversation I was already convinced that I needed her in my life and after we met a little bit later, it was a done deal. This is what I got from the conversations we had: she wouldn’t just be taking care of Mia so I could do what I needed to do, she would be helping the whole family find our rhythm again so that when she left we would be set, so to speak. She asked me a lot of well thought out questions to figure out what it is that I wanted/needed most post-birth and we came up with a tentative plan for what she would do when she came. (And she was always flexible about when she would come if our needs changed)


Best decision ever. Tuvia and Aiden brought Mia and me home from the hospital Saturday night and Karla came the next morning. She never failed to ask what she can do or if there was something I could use right then, but, and for me this was the real help, she always had suggestions for what she could do. And she always always did it with a smile.

I don’t just mean that she took care of all the chores that would have totally bugged me if they had been left undone, I mean that she did ALL of them top to bottom and took care of Mia and made sure I was taking care of myself and was a support for the entire family. She gave me a massage. A MASSAGE people! Tell me you don’t want her. Because you’re lying.

Karla and Mia. This photo does neither of them justice.

Karla and Mia. This photo does neither of them justice.

I’m so grateful that we had Karla. I felt so taken care of and like the house was taken care of and like I could have the energy to take care of my kids because at the end of the day, I want to be the one to take care of them. What can I say, I love the little stinkers.

Aiden: "I like she" also "Mia sounds like a baby dinosaur!"

Aiden: “I like she” also “Mia sounds like a baby dinosaur!”

Now I would advise all of you expecting mamas out there to giver her a call and book her ASAP. And if you can afford to have her as a birth doula, I would definitely recommend that too. I didn’t have her but I can only imagine that someone that caring, helpful, supportive, and presence of mind would be the perfect addition to a labor and delivery room.


Have any of you had help after having babies? Did you stay at home or go somewhere? How was your experience?