I was inspired to speak on this topic because I just got off the phone with three different expectant parents, inquiring about postpartum Doula services, who want to make sure they have adequate support in place after the birth of their baby or babies, but are overwhelmed with the prospect of planning for something they’ve never done before. Almost always the families that call me say, “How can I know what I need before I need it?”
Some of them will have family members nearby or visiting, but don’t yet know how it will go to have those relatives playing a role they’ve never played before – how much is too much to ask, will there be judgment and unsolicited advice, are they the type who will show up last minute or need things planned out in advance? Others don’t have family nearby at all. Some feel certain their partner will play the supportive role, intuiting their needs and the baby’s needs and sharing the load. Others are certain their partner won’t, and others don’t know until they know. Mostly, none of them know what to expect from themselves and their baby or babies. Will they do well with sleep deprivation or will it alter their mood and resiliency? Will they get a baby with an easier temperament or one that is higher need? Will they want time alone with baby, or will they want company, and how much and how often…?