Photo: Andre D. Wagner/The New York Times

New parents are often consumed with a wave of emotions before baby arrives. They spend hours preparing the nursery and taking all the baby care basic classes available. Eventually, mom and dad find themselves as ready as they can be.

Once baby arrives, it’s important for the family to establish a support system. We are finding that more parents are looking to postpartum doulas for that extra level of support and comfort.

You might have thought doulas are only for pregnancy and childbirth, but postpartum doulas are available when you bring baby home (typically through the first six weeks). Professional doula certification programs have seen a significant increase in the number of postpartum doula certifications granted in recent years. Between 2012 and 2017 there was a 37 percent increase in certifications from DONA International, and the Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association (CAPPA) has doubled their certified postpartum doulas since 2008.

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Shannon Gillen Lipinski, 37, welcomed Meema Spadola, postpartum doula, to support her family after the birth of her daughter. As a postpartum doula, Spadola helps parents master the techniques of babywearing, breastfeeding, bathing, and swaddling. She becomes more than a teacher to her families; she’s their friend. Armed with healthy snack recipes for the breastfeeding mom and a sense of peace, she provides the encouragement new parents need to build their confidence.

“This is so scary,” Gillen Lipinski told Spadola.

“We’re being very daring,” Spadola reassured the new mom during one of her visits.

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Postpartum doulas have an opportunity to meet a growing need among parents looking for support and mothers struggling with postpartum depression. 

Learn more about postpartum doulas here


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Sandee Gruner

Sandee Gruner is a full-time working mom with a love for writing and communications. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two children, where she enjoys spending time with her family, exploring local attractions and volunteering.



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