We've been so busy these last few months that we haven't gotten around to introducing you to one of our incredible team members. Everyone, meet Jayne!
Jayne has been working hard behind the scenes providing excellent postpartum care to our Flourish families. Her hard-working, sweet and gentle spirit have been a breath of fresh air to our clients and we are so thankful for her (and they are too!)
Here is a note from her introducing herself:
I am a mother to two wonderful children and married to their amazing father. Despite the loving home we’ve created, I struggled with postpartum depression after the birth of each child. As a result of my experiences, I have made it my mission to help other mothers during the precious, but often chaotic postpartum period. I am DONA trained and received additional training from Postpartum Support International in detecting and recognizing perinatal mood disorders. As a way to help multiple mothers directly, I recently started co-facilitating a support group at Winchester Medical Center as a survivor with peer support training from Postpartum Support Virginia. The postpartum period is such a beautiful, fleeting time in a family’s life, and it is my goal to make it a time looked back upon in love and joy.
So what is a postpartum doula?
A postpartum doula is defined by the American Pregnancy Association as someone who provides evidenced based information on things such as infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, mother–baby bonding, infant soothing, and basic newborn care. A postpartum doula is there to help a new family in those first days and weeks after bringing home a new baby.
In short, she's your fairy godmother during that critical postpartum time. So what does a day with a postpartum doula look like? Well, that is up to you! She's there to make your life easier in whatever way she can. Most of the time that includes infant care while the new mama naps or has some self care time (heeelllooo shower!), sibling care while mama bonds with baby, light housework so the new family can rest and relax (yep, that includes folding laundry, cleaning up the kitchen and even doing simple meal prep!), and she even helps solve basic breastfeeding issues that may arise. At night time, a postpartum doula keeps watch and helps care for baby so mama and daddy can get as much rest as possible. She even keeps a journal for you letting you know what happened when so you are completely in the know. But even more than that, a postpartum doula is specifically trained in recognizing and helping prevent postpartum mood disorders such as postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, and postpartum psychosis. She will make gentle suggestions if needed or if she recognizes some red flags, she may encourage you in the right direction to make sure you are being well cared for emotionally.
A pilot randomized controlled trial printed in the Journal of Primary Care and Community Health in 2012 released results led by researchers at the University of Minnesota which examined mothers diagnosed with postpartum depression. The research showed that out of three control groups (participants were assigned to one of three groups: postpartum doula support, peer telephone support, or a control group), those who had the support of a postpartum doula reported higher satisfaction with the postpartum period.
Postpartum is a tricky time. So many of us spend months preparing for labor and the arrival of our sweet babe, but we seldom think about what happens next. Family and friends can be wonderful, but they often aren't consistently reliable for the extra help we need and they aren't trained to care for the postpartum woman emotionally.
We've said it before and we will say it again- it takes a village. So build your village. We would be honored to be part of yours.
Happy postpartum, my friends!