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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 >>

The Research

Increased confidence
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.”

pinkacornThank you, Catherine, for making this transition so easy, enjoyable and supported. Your ability to anticipate my needs at every stage in the postpartum period has been really amazing. Every family needs a doula like you–it was an investment in our sanity, mental and physical health and peace of mind. We love you.
~ Sheri Stankorb-Geiselman, Ypsilanti
blueacornCatherine understands the needs of both the mother and the baby. Her knowledge covers a wide range from postpartum recovery, breastfeeding challenges and care for the baby. She is a great listener, too. She is great with the babies and knows very well how to communicate with them.
~ Haleh, Ann Arbor
yellowacornI learned new things about breastfeeding from Catherine, and this was our third breastfed child!
~ Stephanie C., Ann Arbor

In order to help you enjoy the newborn period as much as possible, my postpartum doula services include:

Breastfeeding Support

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.

Sibling Adjustment

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.

Sleep Strategies

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.

Emotional Support

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.

Partner Support

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.

Errands/Cooking/Light Housework

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.

You will especially love postpartum doula services if you are:
  • Caring for a newborn for the first time
  • Caring for multiple children
  • Feeling overwhelmed by conflicting advice
  • Concerned about how becoming parents will impact your relationship
  • Recovering from a surgical birth (C-section)
  • Especially sensitive to lack of sleep
  • Living far away from family and friends
  • Not bouncing back from birth the way you had hoped (physically or emotionally)
  • Encountering breastfeeding problems
  • Bringing a baby home from the NICU
  • Single parenting, or with a partner who won’t have much time off of work
  • Feeling like parenting isn’t what you expected.
You and I will be a great fit for postpartum services if:
  • You want to trust your instincts and you want up-to-date, research-based guidance for infant care, attachment, sibling adjustment and the emotional challenges of parenting.
  • You think it’s natural for parents to need support and you want to build your team, ie, you know that it “takes a village.” This is something a lot of us learn the hard way…
  • You have been around the block already once or twice with bringing babies home and know how hard it can be.
  • You are a new parent who wants to gain confidence without being overwhelmed by conflicting advice from the internet and well-meaning family and friends.

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 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, others hire me after the birth, often because things are more difficult than they anticipated.

pinkacornOur days are smoother and more peaceful when Catherine is here, and I simply can’t say enough about how positive an experience her support of our family has been. She is equally comfortable taking care of our baby or our older children (ages four and two) while making sure the household tasks are accomplished and our needs as parents are met. We wholeheartedly recommend her to other families looking forward to the arrival of a new baby.
–Stephanie Christensen, Ann Arbor
blueacornCatherine was a calming presence in my home. Her support, encouragement and guidance gave me the skills that I needed to succeed at breastfeeding and be the mother I wanted to be. I highly recommend Catherine.
–Stephanie Steinert, Ann Arbor

Further reading:

Newborn Sleep

Baby Sleep Basics: Newborn Sleep

Sleep: yours, your partner’s, the baby’s….where do we begin?   Society would have us focus on the babies and the correct way to “train” them to sleep well.  But wading through the conflicting information (which all seems to be supported by research) in your state of exhaustion only adds to the confusion. That’s why this rant about… Read more

When Birth Doesn’t Go As Hoped

A woman’s experience giving birth will stay with her for the rest of her life.  I haven’t met many women who’ve had enough opportunities to talk about and process their birth experiences. When a woman feels disappointed or traumatized by her birth, then the need to process the experience on her own terms is often stymied by… Read more

Three Reasons Why Postpartum Support Is Not Just For Mothers

I once got the sweetest client feedback when a new father wrote: “You helped me to find the bond with my son.” I don’t mean to imply that men cannot do this on their own, but, for this particular father I was able to help him build his confidence in that bond. How did this… Read more

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