Breaking Down the Myths: What Intended Parents Need to Know About Postpartum Doulas

dad holding baby next to mom

We hear it all the time: “I’m not birthing my baby so why would I need a doula?” The short answer: because you’re becoming parents and experiencing all the joys, worries, and transitions that come with having a new baby to care for.

As postpartum doulas who provide care to intended parents, we thought it was time to break down these myths and share the many benefits postpartum doulas provide to intended parents as they welcome their new baby.

Myth #1: Postpartum doulas are only for those who are giving birth to a baby.

While postpartum doulas can certainly provide valuable support to those who have recently given birth, their services are not limited to birthing people. Postpartum doulas can assist any individual or couple who have recently become parents, including intended and adoptive parents, surrogates, or same-sex couples.

Myth #2: Postpartum doulas are only for those recovering from childbirth physically.

Postpartum doulas offer a range of support, and their services are not solely focused on physical recovery after childbirth. They can help with emotional support, infant care education, feeding and sleep support, feeding new parents, and providing a nurturing environment for the entire family.

Myth #3: Postpartum doulas are a luxury or unnecessary expense.

Some intended parents may perceive hiring a postpartum doula as an unnecessary expense or a luxury they can’t afford. However, the support provided by a postpartum doula can be invaluable during the early weeks or months of parenting. They can help reduce stress, provide guidance, and enable parents to get much-needed rest, which can have long-term benefits for the well-being of both the parents and the baby.

Myth #4: Postpartum doulas will take over parenting responsibilities.

Postpartum doulas are there to provide support and guidance, not to take over the role of parents. Their goal is to empower parents by offering assistance, knowledge, and reassurance while respecting their parenting choices and preferences. The doula’s role is to work collaboratively with the parents and provide them with the skills and confidence to care for their baby.

Myth #5: Postpartum doulas are only for the first few weeks after birth.

While many families hire postpartum doulas primarily for the early weeks after birth, their services can be beneficial for a longer duration. Postpartum doulas can provide support for several months, adapting their assistance as the family’s needs change and the baby grows. They can provide ongoing education and guidance on infant development, feeding, and sleep, as well as emotional support for the entire family.

Myth #6: Postpartum doulas only support breastfeeding.

Postpartum doulas are inclusive and supportive of all feeding choices. They provide education, assistance, and emotional support regardless of whether you choose breast/chestfeeding, bottle-feeding, or a combination of both. By respecting your individual preferences and circumstances, postpartum doulas ensure that you feel empowered and confident in your feeding decisions. Their goal is to support you in creating a positive and nurturing feeding experience for both you and your baby.

Myth #7: Postpartum doulas replace the need for support from family, friends or partners.

Postpartum doulas do not replace the people closest to you; instead, they enhance the support system. They collaborate with your “village”, provide education and guidance, offer respite care, and add to the overall emotional support by creating a more nurturing and supportive experience. Partners often feel “left out”. Postpartum doulas are trained to have conversations with partners to assess their well-being, too.

Myth #8: Postpartum doulas are only for “first-time” parents.

Postpartum doula support is not limited to “first-time” parents. They provide valuable support to all parents regardless of the number of children in the family. By offering personalized assistance, emotional support, along with new strategies and systems for a growing family, postpartum doulas help families transition into life with their new family addition.

It’s so important that we put the myths aside and recognize that all parents, no matter how they become parents, benefit from hiring a postpartum doula for a short 4-hour daytime shift, overnight support, or even live-in care. Support in early parenthood creates a stronger family foundation. Postpartum doulas are an integral part of a new family’s support system.

Intrigued? Learn more about our postpartum doula services for intended parents.

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Family Tree Doula Services

From the day you leave the the day you no longer need us, we’ll help you adjust to life with your new baby and give you all the tools you need for a healthy, confident start.

Not a client yet? You'll find many of our favorite tips & resources for new parents here on our blog.  Learn more about our daytime, overnight, and live-in postpartum doula services as well as our postpartum support offerings for intended parents.