What is a Postpartum Doula?

by on August 26, 2015 » Add the first comment.

A guest post by Danni Ventre.


I am a nurturer, an educator, an evaluator, and a resource center rolled up in one package. I am a shoulder to cry on, a nonjudgmental ear to listen, and an extra set of hands to help. I am a master chef, a laundry wizard, an errand runner, and a professional organizer. I am a swaddler, a baby-wearer, a diaper genie, and an expert bather. I am a postpartum doula.

NoClue memeWhen a family brings home a new baby, they go through a major adjustment that needs to be navigated. Babies don’t come with a guidebook and often times a family is just so joyful that the baby is coming, they haven’t thought about what happens once they get home. A postpartum doula can help ease this transition into parenthood. We come equipped with the most recent, evidence-based research regarding child development. We are pros at the basics of newborn care and we know how to educate the family on them as well. As a postpartum doula, we can help with breastfeeding or bottle-feeding; as we are always judgment-free assistance. If we see something that looks awry, we can offer you researched referrals in your area to visit.  We’ve done the research and found the best resources, so that you don’t have to. Because who has time to find a good lactation consultant (or physical therapist, chiropractor, baby class, nanny, etc.) when they have a newborn at home?!

It is my job to take care of the entire family. This includes both partners, baby or babies, older siblings, and even pets (they are your first babies after all). It is important to us that we provide care and assistance to everyone going through this transition. We are trained to work with extended family members who may be around to help, as well. Sometimes, it’s even nice to have a neutral postpartum doula to act as a buffer with know-it-all relatives around.

I work alongside the family. Not instead of the family.”


Hiring a postpartum doula does not have to happen baby-handjpg-b99846e9895c2a3dprenatally. It is okay if you get a few weeks in and real
ize that you may need some help. It is also not as expensive as you may think. Most postpartum doulas will work short four-hour shifts and many have rates that are amenable to your needs and resources.

Asking for help does not make you weak, it just means you know what you want and you want to stay sane.

It is my duty to work myself out of a job. This means that as a postpartum doula, I work alongside the family. Not instead of the family. When I leave your family, my goal is that you have been given the skills and recovery time to do it on your own.

They say, “it takes a village”, but what if that village has been lost along the way? Hands make heart shapeWhat if you’re expecting or you’ve recently had a baby and you feel that your “village” is nowhere to be found? This happens most of the time in our modern American society. It is expected that your new job as a parent is to figure it out on your own and get back to your old way of life as fast as possible! But this approach leaves many questions unanswered, no time to heal, and much more exhaustion and irritable moments.  In other cultures around the world, this “village” is still very much alive (You can read about these practices HERE) . It is a part of the birth process that you have a long resting period after with around-the-clock help. Recovery from birth is faster, new mothers become more knowledgeable, everyone is more rested, and babies are well taken care of. No one should have to go it alone.

If you are either a new parent or about to welcome a new addition to the family, honor these moments- cherish them, find the enjoyment in this time, and hire a postpartum doula.  

1501785_10100429778612028_1659564313110004901_nDanni Ventre is a DONA trained postpartum doula. She hlogoas taken care of babies and families in some fashion for the past ten years. She has her Masters in Teaching from the department of  Child Study and Human Development at Tufts University. Danni now owns her own postpartum doula practice called A Hand at Home and provides help to new families during the day and overnight. She lives in Somerville with her fiancé, her dog Toby, and cat Flo. Danni can be contacted through her website, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to her with questions.


Find more like this: Doula Services, Family, Postpartum

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