National Capital Doulas was thrilled to participate in the Tummy to Tot event that was held on Saturday, October 21st at iNSiDE Out STUDiO barre in Westboro. The free drop in event was a joint venture between Mommy Connections & Kallababy, and gave expecting and new parents a chance to meet with and mingle with a number of experts working with local families from pregnancy through the first few years of parenting. It was a fun and relaxed event and we had a great time munching on cookies and tea and answering all kinds of questions from the parents that wandered through. We thought it would be fun to share some of the most frequently asked questions, and our answers.
Top Five Questions
1. When is the cut-off for postpartum support?
Well, as the saying goes, “the first 40 years of parenting are always the hardest!” While some people view the postpartum period as only the first three months after birth, at NCD, we feel it is more important to respond to our clients needs than to a fixed end to the postpartum period. Postpartum mood disorders, challenges with breastfeeding, sleep issues and even changes in mom’s or baby’s health can happen at any time, and sometimes these issues don’t occur until several months after baby is born. As a result, we work with families whose babies are only a few days old, to babies who are already starting to crawl. We believe the postpartum period is defined by the client and we are ready to support them whenever they need it.
2. What if I hire a birth doula and end up having a ceasarean?
We get asked this a lot, but the answer can vary. If you need to have a planned ceasarean, often your doula will be allowed into the operating room with you and your partner. Once baby is born, your doula will stay with you until the surgery is complete and follow you to the recovery room. However, this often depends on the hospital, or the specific doctor, so ask your care provider in advance.
In the case of an unplanned ceasarean birth, your doula may or may not be able to go into the operating room with you, but will often be allowed into the recovery room. Again, this depends on the specific hospital policies, individual doctors’ comfort levels, and the reason for the unplanned ceasarean.
In either case your birth doula will be able to help you navigate the hospital system, can answer questions, or prompt you to ask questions so you can advocate for yourself. After your birth, your doula will help with skin-to-skin and breastfeeding, as well as let you know about what to expect from your baby and your body as you recover from birth.
3. What is the First Night Package?
Most new parents are never more insecure that that first night home from the hospital. NCD offers a one time overnight shift called The First Night, to help ease new parents through that transition from hospital care to flying solo at home with their brand new baby. When you book The First Night package, we go “on call” for you, and when you go into labour, you let our team know. When you get discharged from the hospital, you can feel secure knowing that a trained postpartum doula will meet you at home to support you through that first night alone with your baby.
4. When should I take my Childbirth Education class?
You can take your class at any time, although with our birth clients we always recommend they take their class before they have their prenatal meetings with their birth doulas. It’s to your advantage to have a solid understanding of the birth process before you meet with your doula so that you are able to focus on your birth preferences, and are aware of possible scenarios that can happen during labour and delivery. Our Childbirth Education classes are held privately in your home and we tailor each one to you, your medical situation (whether low risk or high risk, single or multiples) and your place of birth (whether home, birth centre or hospital). We also cover breastfeeding basics, newborn behavior, and postpartum planning and recovery. We strive to provide our clients with the information they need to understand and navigate their birth in an informed and enpowered way.
5. When should I hire a postpartum doula? Before, or after my baby is born?
It’s better to hire your postpartum doula as early as possible. That way you know that the support will be there when you need it, and you’ll have first pick in terms of availability and frequency of your postpartum doula’s visits.. Waiting until shortly before your due date, or after baby arrives means you may not be able to find the support you need on your preferred schedule. Even so, we do have clients call us after baby is born and we always do our best to accommodate them. Our ‘shared care’ system means that we can handle a number of clients and we are able to offer greater availability. There is always a doula available for you and we are ready to support you when you need it.
Have more questions? Contact NCD today and find out how we can help ease you through this exciting time.