Rebecca Towner and her two children, Photo courtesy of Pure Bloom Photography.
Buddha Belly postpartum doula, Rebecca Towner, answers questions about her role in supporting families:
What does a postpartum doula do?
A postpartum doula wears a lot of hats. She is there to provide emotional, practical and educational support for your family during this time of transition. Some days she is helping a mom improve the baby’s latch or helping a dad give the baby a bath. Other days she is folding the laundry while listening to the mom share and process her birth story or doing a craft with the older sibling while mom and baby sleep. No matter what the task is, she is always there to offer nonjudgmental support and answer questions for the family.
Why did you become a postpartum doula?
I became a postpartum doula because I saw the struggle new mothers faced on a day to day basis as they tried to do what was “right” for their baby. We spend so much time educating families about the childbirth process, but so little time on what comes after that. Families have so many questions and don’t know where to turn for the support they need. Most tend to turn to Google, which can be helpful sometimes, but other times it can lead a family to panic that something is a worst case scenario, when it is actually an easy fix. I also became a Certified Lactation Educator and Counselor because of the lack of support that women have while breastfeeding. I am happy to help all families, no matter which way they choose to feed their baby, but I want to help every woman reach their feeding goal.
What is your training?
I have completed my DONA International Postpartum Doula Training class. I have also completed my Certified Lactation Educator and Counselor training through University of California, San Diego.
What is one thing that you find new parents need?
Support and encouragement. Believe it or not, one day you leave the hospital or birth center, the visitors stop coming by, your partner goes back to work and it is just you and the baby. Some women might feel lonely or scared, some might be ready to take it head on, but everyone feels a lot better when they know someone is there to give them a hand or share in their struggles or victories. It is so comforting to know that you have a trained and educated helper by your side during this time.