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  • Writer's pictureChardá Bell, IBCLC, CBE, CD

What I don’t do as a Postpartum Doula…🙆🏾‍♀️

Updated: Jan 6, 2022

I‘ve received many inquiries lately looking for a postpartum doula but upon hearing their needs, they are really looking for a nanny, a housekeeper and a personal chef. Don’t get me wrong, the word doula literally means servant and serving people is my business, I love doing it. However, there is a difference between those jobs mentioned above and a postpartum doula. Many of doula friends will appreciate this as they have been running into the same conundrum.

A postpartum doula is someone who helps and/or reminds you to take care of your basic needs after birth and more so you can focus on care of the baby. As a postpartum doula, my job is not to sit all day with you and watch the baby, clean your house, or make your food. I’m not a genie, nanny, maid or chef. However, if you need a few naps, meal prep ordered or just a mental health break, then I’m there to watch over your baby while you sleep or eat a meal without your baby attached.

A postpartum doula might ask if you need help loading or unloading your dishwasher, wipe down the counter or get rid of clutter so you have a clear mind. This doesn’t mean I’m going to play Molly the maid and put my elbows into it but I can take the trash out on my way out. Light household work should not be confused with heavy cleaning duties or even expect any of it unless stated in your contract.

As a postpartum doula I will bring you some yummy food on occasion for certain ceremonies, reasons or seasons but I will not be cooking in the kitchen when you say you are hungry. I will remind you to eat, make suggestions and offer re-heat meals for you. Even better, I’ll help you with Instacart or Target pick up and create an email/text to send to your friends and family to bring you meals or snacks.

I‘m speaking for myself on this whole topic but I’m sure some can relate. Basically, If you don’t have it in your doula contract don’t expect it. Be sure to ask questions ahead of time and clarify what tasks will be done as a postpartum doula if you are one or hire one.

Lastly, be sure to interview your postpartum doula. They will likely spend more time with you in the comfort of your home than they would at a birth. Make sure the person you choose is a good fit for your family and feels like a friend or family member themselves. The last thing you need is to feel uncomfortable mentally or emotionally, so if it doesn’t feel right try another.

Be sure to have a contract for services before any work is done for liabilities on either side.

Enjoy your postpartum time and relax into it and mama you slay!

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