What is a Postpartum Doula?

What is a Postpartum Doula

Oh! Wait! You’re like a night nanny or a baby nurse, right?!?


I could launch into all the basics of how we support parents, birthing people and babies through the first year after birth. I could talk about about how we offer physical, emotional and educational support. You can Google those definitions.

In a recent Scary Mommy article, there are references to the “shit-show known as your new life” (you can read the entire awesome article here). Having a baby is not all unicorns and rainbows. Adjusting to your new baby is no piece of cake. Breastfeeding, pumping and formula feeding can be ridiculously stressful. Yet people around you expect you to look like you’ve got it all together (clothed and showered and hair brushed) while you’re figuring out how to change your newborn without them peeing all over you.

Yes, a postpartum doula can swoop in, show you all the newborn baby care, how to feed your baby, all the swaddling and soothing techniques and, best of all, how to get your baby to SLEEP….or at least stop crying. We’ve been likened to Mary Poppins and even Magic Doula Fairies,

But a postpartum doula is so much more!

As postpartum doulas (take a deep breath because this is a long, run-on sentence) we: sit with you in the middle of the night and talk about all your worries and other feelings you are afraid to share with anyone else, provide non-judgmental companionship on those lonely and isolating days, hold your baby when you don’t want to and remind you this is normal, feed you when others expect you to feed them, dry your tears when you sob uncontrollably for all the reasons or no reason at all, celebrate (maybe with donuts!) the hurdles you’ve managed, or pace with your crying baby while you hole up in a bathroom far away from the incessant crying to name just a few.

We also laugh with you, listen to all the inappropriate things you can’t tell anyone else, pet your dog, play Legos with your kids, and swoon with you over the perfection that is your baby.

Do you see where I went there? We build a trusting relationship with you….and your family.

Postpartum doulas are so much more than washing bottles and dishes and vacuuming and folding laundry and education and…and…and…. 

We are that nurturing sister/aunt/grandma that everyone wishes they had. We’re professionally trained to provide all these layers of support…..and love doing so. The emotional support piece we talk about is, perhaps, the most important care we provide. You see, it helps you maintain your own well-being, offers clarity when everything feels like a “shit-show” and gets you to the next place of “I got this”….or at least “I’ve almost got this”.

Most of all we instill confidence.

What is a postpartum doula? All of that and so much more!


You can learn more about how Family Tree Doula Services’ postpartum doulas can support your family (in-person or virtually) and help you get through any “shit-show” you may be experiencing, by setting up your free consultation.

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Family Tree Doula Services

From the day you leave the hospital...to 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.