Postpartum doulas are not postpartum depression doulas. Postpartum doulas support women after the birth of a child, with or without depression.
From the Merriam-Websters online dictionary:
adjective | post·par·tum \ˌpōs(t)-ˈpär-təm\
1. Relating to or happening in the period of time following the birth of a child.
It is true that women suffering from postpartum depression (PPD) need support and treatment. The can certainly benefit from the services of a postpartum doula. And postpartum doulas are trained to recognize the symptoms and how to help or locate the appropriate care providers that can help.
However I have heard time and again from a variety of people that they thought a postpartum doula was only or specifically for mothers with depression.
In fact I believe there is a bit of an assumed connection for many people between the words “postpartum” and “depression.” It is almost a cultural language mash that has now become common.
In the article quoted below Drew Barrymore, who opened up about her PPD experience, said this:
“I didn’t have postpartum the first time so I didn’t understand it because I was like, ‘I feel great!'” she shared. “The second time, I was like, ‘Oh, whoa, I see what people talk about now. I understand.’ It’s a different type of overwhelming with the second. I really got under the cloud.”
She uses only the word “postpartum” to describe postpartum depression. Now granted, she was most likely speaking during a recorded interview and when talking we don’t always complete our sentences or say what we mean perfectly. So I don’t hold it against her (I love Drew Barrymore dearly, by the way. She’s been one of my favorites since all the way back to her cute little face in ET and everything she’s accomplished as an actress and mother since.)
But let’s face it – a large number of people hear “postpartum” and often their minds go straight to “depression.”
So we just wanted to make it crystal clear.
All mothers need support after they have a baby. Whether it’s from their spouse, boyfriend, mother, sister, girlfriend or from a postpartum doula – all mothers need support.
Happy mothers, sad mothers, working mothers, stay-at-home mothers, single mothers, young mothers, old mothers – they all need support.
They need help with feeding the baby, taking care of siblings, making meals for the family, cleaning up around the house, laundry, grocery shopping, and more. Sometimes they need help emotionally recovering from a stressful birth experience, or just transitioning to life as a new mother. They need somebody to look after them while they look after their brand new baby who requires nearly all of what they have to give in those first few days.
Every mother needs and could benefit from this kind of support.
Buddha Belly postpartum doulas are here to help.