12 Days of Doula #6
On the sixth day with baby, my doula gave to me,
She helped me with my feelings.
5 freezer meals!
4 loads of laundry!
3 hours of napping!
She helped me feed my baby.
And she sat down and listened to me.
Everyone loves to blame "the hormones" for wild feelings after birth. But can we please acknowledge that the birth of a baby (and a parent!) is A LOT to process.
Wonder, anger, awe, worry, confusion, grief, bliss, joy, shame, longing, fulfillment, and love to name a few. Your life has been changed and no matter how joyful or sad that has you feeling, change can be rough.
Family and friends frequently only want to focus on the warm fuzzy feelings. A postpartum doula will listen deeply and honor those darker feelings too.
I’ve heard parents describe the newborn stage as simultaneously the most wonderful and most awful time of life.
You are flooded with love and adoration for your tiny human, yet this same being doesn’t seem to have any respect for you.
You would do anything for your baby, and they demand everything of you.
Your baby is so cute, you just want to stare at their sleepy little face forever!
It’s a good thing your baby is so cute, because you won’t get the chance to see anything else for years.
You desperately want to sleep, but there’s always something keeping you from it.
Your baby can sleep through anything…except a parent taking a nap!
Babies are adorable and fun, but let’s face it, life with a newborn is probably not as richly stimulating and rewarding as life pre-baby. The days take on a monotonous pattern of feeding and wiping and shushing. It’s ok to mourn the loss of drinks with friends after work. It’s completely human to long for the days when you could leave the house on a moment’s notice to do whatever you pleased. You’ve given up a lot to become a parent and it’s fine to have second thoughts.
Your feelings are valid. Even the scary ones. Even the angry ones. Bad feelings don’t make you a bad person. You can share with me, I won’t be scared away! Some of my greatest friendships have been forged in the sharing of dark thoughts. I will listen without judgement and I won’t try to fix you. We can talk about next steps, or you can just vent. It's up to you.
Postpartum doulas can help you discern if you're feeling "the baby blues" or if it might be postpartum depression. And your doula is ready with a referral to a mental health professional if you want one. If you don’t have a postpartum doula and you're experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety, please check out www.postpartum.net
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