You have probably heard all of these terms thrown around. Antepartum doula, postpartum doula, labor doula. But really what does all of that mean? Ante- means before baby. Postpartum means after baby. Labor means when the baby is coming.
It seems pretty straightforward as to why you might desire a doula during your labor and birth – so that you have that person with you the entire time you are in labor helping you navigate the decisions you will make as well as the physical comfort that an expert can offer.
A postpartum doula probably also makes sense. Once you have brought this little person so beautifully into the world, you might need some help navigating parenting decisions. Or maybe you will require again some physical comforts that a doula can offer such as preparing meals or helping with breastfeeding issues.
But what exactly does an antepartum doula offer to an expecting family?
We are your nesting doulas.
We are here to help you get ready to bring this little one home with ease and organization! We are here to help you navigate parenting choices before you are presented with them!
Check out some of the awesome things our doulas can do for your family during pregnancy:
- Help to organize the nursery – You have all of these beautiful and useful things from your baby shower – but now what? We will help you launder these tiny little items and get them organized for you in a way that works for your family. We will help to explain when baby gear is age appropriate for your new baby. We will help you set up your nursery in a way that even the most tired parents will be able to navigate it with ease in the middle of the night.
- We will prepare freezer meals so you have nutritious food at the end of your pregnancy or when you first come home from the hospital. Let us help you take something off of your place by putting something nutritious on your plate. We can help by meal planning for easy, low prep freezer meals. Then we can go shopping for the ingredients. We can prepare the meals for you in disposable containers – why wash dishes when you can recycle them? We will write you a list of what is ready to be heated up with instructions posted with it!
- We will sit down and discuss questions or parenting decisions you might have. From epidurals to breast feeding – our doulas are experts and can help you to figure out exactly what works for your family!
- We will help prepare and sanitize all of your new baby feeding gear. That job is a daunting task. All of the bottles. All of the pump pieces. How should you organize these necessities that you may need multiple times a day? How can you prep for formula or breastfeeding? We know how to help you get the right start with your choice on how to feed your baby.
- Many of our doulas are experienced moms and doulas. This means that everything we have learned by trial and error, we get to bring that to you! We know all of the secrets to creating an easier recovery from snack baskets by the feeding chair to creating a baby care basket so you don’t have to go up and down the stairs multiple times a day for clothing or diaper changes. Let us help you figure out your needs before they even present themselves!
- We can help you put together baby gear or nursery furniture. There is nothing worse than sitting on the floor, feeling very pregnant, while opening IKEA box number 2 of 4 for that baby dresser/changing table combination! We are happy to help you put together those items so you can rest well knowing that when your baby comes, you will be prepared.
- Sibling care and routine management. Sometimes you are hiring us because you are busy with work, life and sometimes you are just busy with an older sibling that just does not understand why mom has slowed down towards the end of pregnancy. We can help occupy your older children so you can get a nap or while you are on physician directed bedrest. We will keep you schedule and routine intact to the best of our ability!
- Bedrest? We are your extra set of hands. We know high-risk pregnancies come with added stress and during the time you are supposed to be nesting you’re stuck in bed or on the sofa. Let us help with those tasks. You create the list, we get it done!
Looking back at my own pregnancies, I realize how valuable these services would have been! With one pregnancy my own husband was training up for a deployment. He worked long hours and weekends. He was away for training often. I was left to my own devices of figuring out how to get prepared for this baby to come while I had 2 other children that demanded my attention too! This might be one of the most underutilized services we offer but is probably one of the most beneficial to most families!
Contact us today to get started with your own Nesting Doula!
Written by: Melanie Binversie, Owner and Lead Doula for Stars and Stripes Doulas of Washington DC