I was meeting a dear friend in Oakland for a celebratory "oh my gosh you had your baby and I'm so happy for you" lunch, when I noticed a mom who was really stressed out. She was at the bus stop, her newborn was crying, she was struggling with a nipple shield, and it seemed like the least I could do was offer her a hand, or at least a sympathetic ear.
I walked up to her and introduced myself..
"Hi! My name is Megan, and I'm a postpartum doula here in the Bay Area. I noticed you've got a lot going on right now... Is there anything I can help you with?" At the same time, I handed her my rack card and business card, because you can't always take the word of a stranger.
She hesitated for just a minute before nodding. I asked her for permission to hold her baby and calm him so that she get her nipple shield ready. I helped to get him settled and it was much easier for her to get ready to nurse. I helped prop her diaper bag under her arm to make nursing a bit more comfortable, and asked if she needed anything else. She replied with one question:
What's a postpartum doula?
I take care of the family. I do what I can to alleviate stress. That might be doing the bottles and the baby's laundry, or it could be taking the dog and the baby for a walk so that the parents can shower, nap, and recharge. If I have time to do meal preparation, or start a crock pot meal, I'm happy to do so!
I answer questions, provide evidence-based information, and have a lot of midnight conversations about breastfeeding support. I offer gentle sleep support that goes hand in hand with breastfeeding goals, but I'm also experienced in bottle feeding as well.
I listen to your goals, fears, desires, and I do what I can to help you with all of those things.
There are so many things that I do, and I love doing it. Supporting new families through the postpartum period is a special glimpse into a family's heart. Periods of transition can be so life changing, and I am honored to help.