So, what do you do as a Postpartum Doula?

Even though my potential clients have some idea on what Postpartum Doulas do, they still like to ask this question. It’s a great one! First of all, it’s hard to imagine what you will need as a new parent since you’ve never done it before. Secondly, postpartum doulas are all slightly different, many specializing in different areas, such as lactation or placenta encapsulation.

The easiest answer is: it depends. Each family is different and everyone has different needs. Originally a postpartum doula “replaces” a close family member, such as grandma or aunt. We know that nowadays it is unrealistic to expect our mom to move in for a few weeks to help. Additionally New York is a very specific place where many of us are far far away from our families. Also, since this natural family oriented support is not so common, many people don’t know how to give the support needed.

 Here comes your Postpartum Doula, a person who will listen to you and help you in the first days/weeks with your baby. My shift lasts a minimum of 4 hours which is a good amount of time to observe at least 1 feeding. If you’re breastfeeding, you might have many questions about positioning, latch, milk transfer or any possible pain; in case of bottle feeding, you might want to know if the bottles you’re using are good, how to wash them most efficiently and how to hold your baby for feedings and burping.

Then our next priority is often rest/self-care. This is the time for parents to take a shower and a nap not worrying about the baby waking up. Phantom cries while in the shower are the worst! To be able to relax knowing that a professional is taking care of your precious baby is invaluable.

If your baby happens to be sleeping soundly, then as your doula I will take care of the other important matters, such as fixing you a meal or two, doing the laundry, washing the bottles or pump parts, organizing baby’s nursery etc. When your baby wakes up, I will bring him/her to you for the next feeding.


Then we will have time to discuss your questions and concerns. Perhaps regarding your own recovery after the birth (whether it is a vaginal birth or cesarean, there are LOTS of different things happening to our bodies, some normal and others maybe concerning) or perhaps regarding newborn care such as bathing, nail clipping/filing, diapering, baby care products, sleeping arrangements, baby gear and gadgets or special circumstances, such as taking care of cradle cap or diaper rash.

If times permits, we go over babywearing. Either discussing what carrier would be best for your family’s specific needs or helping you use the carrier you already own. We discuss the benefits of wearing your baby and best situations to use this useful tool in your parenting.

All in all, my goal is to leave your house with you feeling confident and hopefully rested so you can take care of yourself and your baby.

Many parents in NYC who are unsure if postpartum doula support is a right fit for their family, choose to start with a one time 4 hour visit that helps them determine if they will need more hours. Read about the service here:

What's the best carrier for a newborn?

This would be the question I am most often asked. The answer isn't easy or straightforward. There are many carriers that are suitable for newborns, some more ideal than others. Let's take a look at them:

1. Woven Wraps

Wovens can be used from day one (or even in pregnancy as belly support!) and into toddlerhood. They are the most versatile carrier out there, with endless possible carries. Most people start with a Front Wrap Cross Carry (FWCC) and sometimes move on to others, including carries on your hip and back. Woven wraps come in different sizes, ranging most often from 2 to 8. It is encouraged to try FWCC and the ability to do it comfortably determines one's base size. For many people base size will be 5, 6 or 7. Newborn baby can be worn either with its legs in or out.

FWCC with baby's legs on the outside.

FWCC with baby's legs on the outside.

2. Stretchy Wraps

Stretchy wraps are very popular and great for newborns. They can be used safely from 7lbs (with smaller babies it is better to wait until they reach 7lbs or use a woven wrap after consulting the baby's pediatrician). The most frequently used carry is Pocket Wrap Cross Carry (PWCC). Stretchy wraps come in one size and are pretty long which is sometimes a bit overwhelming.

PWCC in a stretchy wrap with baby's legs out.

PWCC in a stretchy wrap with baby's legs out.

3. Ring Slings

I love ring slings for newborns! They can be used right away in a front tummy to tummy carry. I've noticed that they do have a learning curve but once learned and practiced often, become a very easy and quick solution. I really like the fact that you don't need to put your baby down in order to put a ring sling on.

Ring sling with baby's legs out.

Ring sling with baby's legs out.

4. Meh Dais

Mei tai (pronounced "may tie") is a great option for someone who likes the simplicity of a buckle carrier but also the feeling of snugness. There are two methods of using it with a new baby: either by keeping baby's legs inside of the carrier (making sure its weight is resting on the bum) or by cinching the bottom of the panel and having the baby's legs on the outside.

Mei tai with a newborn. Baby's legs are inside of the carrier.

Mei tai with a newborn. Baby's legs are inside of the carrier.

5. Buckle Carriers

Buckle carriers, also called soft structured carriers, are generally best for older babies. In order to use them with newborns some require an infant insert. It is important to use an insert to provide the support for baby's spine and neck. Some carriers have an option of narrowing the panel on the bottom in order to fit properly - these can be safely used without an insert with babies' legs being out.

Buckle carrier used with an infant insert.

Buckle carrier used with an infant insert.

6. Others

There are plenty of other options on the market right now! With each carrier it is important to have it sized and adjusted properly. Make sure your baby is well supported and its airway is clear and of course that you are both comfortable!

If you have any more questions or would like to try some of these carriers and decide for yourself what is best for you and your baby, don't hesitate to contact me and schedule a consultation.

Top 4 tips for early labor

Maybe you're past your estimated due date and have been waiting patiently for this moment or maybe it took you by surprise. You've just had your first contraction, and then, 15 minutes later another one. You can still talk through them, can make yourself comfortable but are starting to wonder: should I be getting ready to leave for the hospital?

Obviously your first steps would be to call your medical provider, your partner and your doula. If your midwife or OB says that you still have plenty of time before active labor, what to do in the meantime?

1. REST. If it's the middle of the night, you should try to go back to sleep. If it's daytime... you should try to sleep anyway. Your body is getting ready for some hard work, you need to be well reseted. If getting some zzz's is out of question, then closing your eyes for a few minutes, lying on your side, meditating or simply sitting comfortably should help you relax.

2. ACTIVITY. I know I just told you to rest! But alternating rest with activity can work wonders. You need to get this baby to move down, so staying in vertical position is very important. Walk, dance, sway or rock on your birthing ball.

3. DISTRACTION. Timing your contractions is important but can also be frustrating in early labor when they are still irregular and far apart. Try to find something that can draw you away from thinking about the upcoming birth. Watch your favorite movie or a TV show, cook dinner, bake muffins, play cards or video games, finish your knitting/crocheting project, call a friend, organize baby's nursery, read a book or do whatever takes your mind off.

4. FOOD & DRINK. You need lots of energy for the upcoming marathon aka birth of your baby. Eat your favorite foods or whatever you're craving. Staying hydrated is crucial too.

Most importantly: listen to your body and consult with your care provider.

Why are NYC moms amazing?

I'm walking into her tiny apartment, she just shouts from her bed, "come in!". She's nursing her 2 day old baby and... answering e-mails.

Being a parent in New York City is not easy. You often have a career that you can't forget about just because you're pregnant, giving birth or have just had a baby. Women work until their last day of pregnancy if only possible and then return to work barely 6 weeks postpartum or a little later if they're lucky. During those first weeks at home they say they are not working, they are simply returning phone calls, answering e-mails and finishing some projects. All with a baby. Newborn baby.

Many are so tired that they decide to hire a baby "nurse". Some opt to hire a postpartum doula. Who to choose and how are they different? Well, the first one looks after the baby, period. The latter one does that too, plus she helps the whole family. Postpartum doula teaches new parents how to care for their baby but she also makes sure the mother is eating well, drinking enough, resting and that she has time for herself, be it a nap or a quick phone call with her boss. Postpartum doula helps moms feel confident as a new parent. She fits perfectly into NYC mom's busy lifestyle. When the time comes to go back to work, she can help figure out how to continue to breastfeed by building milk "stash" ahead of time and have a successful relationship with a breast pump.

NYC moms are amazing because while they "do it all", they also know when to delegate to a housekeeper, personal assistant, chef or a postpartum doula.