Your hands are full: The Importance of the Postpartum Doula after the Birth of Multiples
There once was a village…
And in that village, for the days and weeks after, a woman who gave birth would be physically and emotionally nourished, hydrated, and cared for by the women in the village while she focused on getting to know and bond with her new baby. Today, many mothers do not have this vital assistance and unfortunately have to figure it out on their own. But what if there are two or more babies? How can there be any time to be nourished?
Motherhood can be confusing and intimidating, even to experienced mothers. Now add two or more babies needing the same thing at the same time. Two tiny humans developmentally doing the same things at the same time. Two newborns crying non-stop and only one person with two hands to meet their needs. Simple things, like eating, drinking, or even going to the bathroom can become a challenge. Eighty-five percent of mothers of multiples experience “baby blues” and anxiety and are forty-three percent more likely of developing postpartum depression.
A postpartum doula is professionally trained to recognize the symptoms of “baby blues” and postpartum depression. They are able to ascertain when it may be more than just the “baby blues” and can refer to providers who are skilled in diagnosing postpartum depression. They can bring the “village” care and nourishment to the family. A postpartum doula can provide breastfeeding support, as well as breast milk pumping and storage guidance or instructing the proper mixing of formula and bottle feeding support, as this can pose many challenges with multiples. She can help with scheduling and make sure that the entire family is well-cared for, enabling all to stay healthy.
The mother of multiples needs time. It will be so helpful for her to have that extra set of hands to rock a baby or two, turn the mountain of laundry into a molehill (of neatly folded fresh laundry), unstack the dishwasher, wash and sterilize bottles, teach a double swaddle, decipher a cry, provide guidance with tandem breastfeeding or teach how to bottle feed two babies the same time, and even prep dinner. Having a postpartum doula will allow mom time to shower (because it has become a luxury). She will do all of this for the new mom while offering judgement free support.
You deserve a postpartum doula because your hands are full but they are full of love. Allow a postpartum doula to nurture you...so you can nurture your newborn babies.
Bryanne M Bradley
DONA Birth Doula
DONA Postpartum Doula
Mother of Identical Twins