Postpartum Doula Care
Like a Perfect Mother-in-Law
Working so intimately with families, I find that there is an interesting emotional overlay to my work. To put it more bluntly,
I will probably fall in love with your family within about two weeks of knowing you. While I am a professional, I also form a deep and caring bond with the parents and children I work with. This helps me to fit into your household, support your relationships, and understand your priorities. I don’t offer one-size-fits-all advice. I provide both a listening ear and personalized guidance for the varied and unpredictable challenges of postpartum life. I will support your parenting choices and offer information based on research rather than personal opinion or how I did it as a parent.
Women and families need support beyond birth.
For anyone who has ever cared for a newborn, the question of whether it’s valuable to have someone else there to help is pretty much a no-brainer! On top of that, research also shows impressive benefits to postpartum support. Of course, the wisest words of all come from those who have been there >>
Greater breastfeeding success
Less postpartum depression
Reduced instances of abuse
The Parent Perspective
“It was easier to rest when I knew the household work was getting done.”
“She was invaluable in helping us get back into a routine.”
“I wasn’t used to the isolation of staying home – she was a needed companion.”
“I had more time to stay skin to skin with my baby.”
“I needed a referral and I got great recommendations for who to see.”
“Her familiarity with newborns gave me peace of mind as a new parent.”
“She helped me to trust myself.”
“I had time to heal.”
“She helped me to rebuild my confidence following unanticipated difficulties.”
~ Sheri Stankorb-Geiselman, Ypsilanti
~ Haleh, Ann Arbor
~ Stephanie C., Ann Arbor
In order to help you enjoy the newborn period as much as possible, my postpartum doula services include:
With over 100 hours of professional lactation support training, I am well qualified to help you get breastfeeding off to a good start with a good latch, comfortable positioning and guidance with the many questions which arise while getting started with breastfeeding, including how to use your breast pump. If problems arise which are beyond my scope of practice, I help you find expert lactation support and then can help you with implementing your infant feeding plan.
I have supported families with multiples and premature babies, mothers with low milk supply and babies with slow weight gain and physical challenges to nursing. I also teach healthy bottle feeding technique, and can assist you in introducing bottle feeding to your baby when the time is right.
Time to rest, recover and shower
There is a lot of pressure on parents not to miss a beat with the rest of their lives even though there is a great need for recovery and bonding time for the whole family. I can help you to slow down and take the time you need as new parents while ensuring that everyone in the family is cared for and that other important tasks get done. When parental leave is limited or non-existent, having the added support of a doula can make things much more manageable.
Knowing that your family and household are being cared for lets parents take the time they need for things such as naps and showers. When you are cared for as well, you are more likely to have the energy and patience to respond to the challenges of parenting with humor and a positive perspective.
I will support you to stay connected to your older children while caring for your newborn. The extra caring and attention I provide to the whole family helps to ensure a secure attachment for your baby or babies and also get sibling relationships off to a good start.
Baby Care Education and Babywearing
Everything from helping with baby’s first bath, teaching you how to trim those tiny nails and the many other day-to-day aspects of newborn care. I will help you to figure out any baby carriers you own or loan you mine to try. I help you learn to do things so that you are more comfortable and confident when I’m not there.
I help families to understand why babies act the ways they do, and what is normal for newborn sleep. During those very intense early weeks and months, I help you to strategize for your whole family’s sleep rather than trying to change babies’ normal sleep patterns.
I understand the normal ups and downs of the postpartum blues and the inevitable doubts, worries and family tensions that come with the newborn period. I can listen, offer encouragement and reassurance, and strategize with you ways to handle the emotional challenges of parenting. I can also help you to determine whether guidance and additional support for a postpartum mood disorder may be called for.
I am there to support your whole family. I encourage families to schedule so that I can have some contact with both parents on a regular basis.
I can do quick errands or full grocery shops on my way to your home, prepare snacks and light meals for you to eat while I am there or bigger meals to eat later. I am also happy to keep your laundry moving, your kitchen counter cleared and clean, your dishes washed and put away…all of the simple tasks which keep a household running but are hard to get to when you’ve just added a new family member.
Resources and connections to the local community
I will help you to find what you need from the community–services, products, groups and sometimes even introductions to other parents who are a great fit with you and your family.
Scheduling & Service Area
Serving families in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Dexter & Saline.
The length of time I work for a family varies according to their needs. I have short-term packages of two or three weeks, six-week packages and comprehensive packages which include birth services and postpartum doula care for up to 12 weeks. Packages of six weeks or longer offer the option to purchase additional two-week packages at a 10% discount. *Families outside of my service area may be charged an additional travel fee.
I am primarily available weekday mornings and afternoons. Occasional evening, weekend or overnight hours may be arranged for an additional hourly fee. Some families hire me before the baby is born, in which case, I may be available to be your birth or sibling doula also. Others hire me after the birth, often because things are more difficult than they anticipated.
–Stephanie Christensen, Ann Arbor
–Stephanie Steinert, Ann Arbor