Posts Tagged ‘postpartum doula training’

Postpartum Doulas: Solving a Problem Many New Moms Experience

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

{By: Jill Reiter CPD, CAPPA Postpartum Doula Faculty} I became a mother in a flurry of chaos. Was it the same for you? My husband had been deployed in Iraq for four months. He arrived home less than 24 hours before our daughter was born. Yippee! Together we welcomed our daughter into the world. I blinked and 17 days passed. He had to go back to Iraq to finish his deployment. Saying goodbye and not knowing if he would return to us broke my heart. I was alone and isolated. The isolation wasn’t only because my husband was in Iraq. Many mothers experience this feeling after their baby arrives. I wished for someone to give me permission to share how hard it is to be a new mom. My family and friends tried to be supportive. For all their advice, what I heard was, “You’re doing it wrong.” They knew where my baby should sleep, what she should eat, and how I should do things. Even books on parenting vastly differed on what was “right.” No one asked how I was feeling, or why I made the choices I did. I wished someone would have said…
  • “You are doing a good job!”  
  • “I have answers to your biggest questions.” How do I calm her when she cries? Am I feeding her enough? Is she getting enough rest?
  • “Go take a nap or shower. I’ll watch your baby.”  
  • “I made dinner for you.”   
  • “Why don’t you relax and snuggle your baby while I tidy the kitchen?”
woman in rainy window Fast forward a few years. I was a mother of three and looking for work. I wanted a job with flexible hours. I wanted to do something that was empowering to me and other women. I wanted the time I spent away from my family to be meaningful. I wanted to make a difference. That’s when I learned that I could give other women the kind of support I had wished for. I became a postpartum doula. Baby bathtime You haven’t heard of postpartum doulas? I get that a lot. I also work with a lot of new parents. People search me out to support them. I believe we’ve heard the word “postpartum” so often when discussing Postpartum Mood Disorders like Postpartum Depression, as in, “I have postpartum,” that we’ve forgotten the true meaning of the word. Guess what? “Postpartum” actually means the time after you have a baby. Experts disagree on the exact length of the postpartum period so I describe it as the first few months after you have a baby. After birth, every woman is “postpartum” or in the postpartum period. Postpartum doulas support families who recently had a baby or babies. The more people talk about postpartum doulas, the more families will benefit from our care. What do postpartum doulas do? We “mother” the mother. We answer questions. We listen. We teach. We help make life easier for new parents. We are non-medical. We follow a scope of practice.  My career is now full of snuggle time with newborns, aha moments with new moms, and dads who grin ear to ear while calming their new baby so mom can rest. So many people I talk to about my journey say, “I could have used a postpartum doula after I had my baby.” Are you the kind of person who answers questions for new parents?  Do you bring them a meal?  Do you give them tips and tricks that make life easier for them?  If a friend or family member has a baby do they look to you for answers? Could you see yourself as a postpartum doula? Whether or not you are a mother, you can join me in supporting women. The value you offer as a helper can become your career. This journey begins with a three-day postpartum doula training. Training creates a foundation of knowledge. You’re invited. You matter, and if you are reading this, I bet you are called to make a difference in the lives of parents and their babies. During training, I’ll share all the information you need to help you start this journey as a professional. I’ll be there to mentor you. I will provide you with the support you need to help others and to make a difference. And together… we’ll create a new story of early motherhood. We’ll support new mothers so they don’t feel isolated. We’ll help them understand their babies. We’ll mentor them to find their way. We will change the world, one family at a time. Mixed Race Young Family with Newborn Baby Join Blooma’s upcoming Postpartum Doula Training with Jill Reiter. Learn, laugh, and share space in a training filled with like-minded women who are all seeking to help mamas navigate those first tricky months of motherhood. For more information about Jill Reiter and her work as a postparutm doula, go to or find her on Facebook  

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The Postpartum Period (Part 2): Postpartum Doulas — A Missing Ingredient

Monday, December 2nd, 2013

by Alisa Blackwood

If you’re pregnant or a new mother, you’ve probably heard countless times, “Sleep when the baby sleeps,” and other advice about how to take care of yourself postpartum. But living that advice is tough for most mamas. We lead busy lives. We want to be on-the-go and feel productive. Most of us aren’t so great about slowing dowwwwwn … even after such an earth-shifting change as becoming a mother.

Debra Pascali-Bonaro

Debra Pascali-Bonaro

Today we’re running part two of my interview about the postpartum period with Debra Pascali-Bonaro — mother, filmmaker, gentle birth activist, and doula trainer. (See part 1 here.)

In this next part of our interview, Debra talks about postpartum doulas — women trained in helping a mother and her family adjust to life with baby. Even if you have family in town to help, and even if you think you already know what a postpartum doula does, I urge you to read on. Don’t miss the opportunity to gift yourself a smoother postpartum transition that will benefit you and baby for years to come!

BloomaHow can a postpartum doula help? What could a family expect?

Debra: I think postpartum doulas are a missing ingredient in our American healthcare system. She is a woman who has extensive training in understanding the physical and emotional adjustments a mom is going through, caring for a newborn, breastfeeding support, and helping as mom, dad and family partners transition. She helps you find a new rhythm in your home. She can be especially important for women who are far from home and haven’t developed their community quite yet. In other cultures around the world, the family structure or the postpartum traditions are more intact. America is one of the few countries where there has been this social breakdown of community.

Blooma: What if you do have family in town willing to help out?

Debra: If you’re blessed to have extended family and community to support you, a postpartum doula can weave them together. On one hand it can be a blessing, but it can also be hard if everyone is trying to come do something and you’re the one trying to coordinate. The doula can look at everyone’s strengths and help plan what they can do so you’re being served best, rather than those people coming in and being in your way. The doula can coordinate when people are dropping off meals. She can listen when you’re having that day when the tears just flow. And because she’s trained in this, she can often help you find a deeper sense of peace during this time, rather than you having to piece it all together. pullquote Blooma: It’s often tough to convince new mothers to take it easy. How does a postpartum doula help with that? 

Debra: In those first six weeks a mother should be waited on, served, and nurtured. Too many of us are not good at accepting support. Too many women still say “no,” when a friend drops in and asks, “Can I do anything for you?” The doula is there to always flip that around and make sure that all the people coming to visit are nurturing the mother, father, children, the family. Doulas can help set boundaries even on how long visitors stay, so that mom gets the rest she needs.


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The Postpartum Period (Part 1): Why It’s Essential to Protect This Time

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

by Alisa Blackwood

I recently had the privilege of speaking to the lovely Debra Pascali-Bonaro — an impassioned activist for mothers, babies, gentle birth, and the importance of honoring the postpartum period. She has traveled the world training thousands of birth and postpartum doulas. As a woman and mother who has been featured on ABC’s 20/20, The NBC Today Show, in The New York Times and numerous parenting and health magazines around the world, I wanted to pick her brain: what is it about the postpartum period that’s so important? How can we make the most of this time?

Debra helps put the postpartum period into perspective. Her heartfelt way of framing this time in a woman’s life — also called the “babymoon” period — is all about allowing yourself to be nurtured and cared for so you can be more fully open to the mother within.

That means accepting help. And sometimes, even asking for it. “This is a time a mother will never get back. When you’re in the middle of it, it can be really overwhelming. It can be our highest highs and our lowest lows all within the same hour,” Debra says. “But when women who have taken that time look back on it, they are much better off than women who didn’t give themselves that opportunity to slow down.”

This may mean shifting your perspective of postpartum during pregnancy. Consider it. Consider spending those first few weeks with baby in bed, snuggling, being gentle with yourself. Napping. Eating well. Limiting visitors. Going within to listen

Imagine the possibilities of emerging from those first sleepy weeks as a new mother feeling more like a woman in tune with herself and her baby, than an exhausted crazy person (though there may still be some of that, too!). Are you ready to embrace this change? Then read on!

Blooma: How important do you think it is to plan in advance for the postpartum period? What should parents be doing? 

Debra:  It’s such a sacred and special time in a woman’s life. Particularly in American culture we’ve lost touch with this time. It’s really up to moms, dads, families and partners to make these six weeks as restful, peaceful and nurturing as possible. The more you have a good support network set up, the more supported you’re going feel. Some of the things people forget to think about are who is going to do the day-to-day things? A mother’s job is take care of herself and feed and bond with her baby. So that means other people — family members, friends and her community — need to take over the day-to-day responsibilities. I really encourage moms to make a list of things like: who will bring food? Who will do the laundry and all the other tasks that need to be done? When friends and family stop by, this is a chance to ask them to do a load of laundry.

ppd training 2

Blooma: What is the best thing a mama can do to help herself and her baby during the first few months?

Debra: Mothers in the early days — ideally they’re resting when their baby is resting and really doing the things that nurture themselves. Sadly, today I still see too many moms feeling obligated to work, to be on Facebook, to text, to tweet. This is a time to disengage from those outside responsibilities. This babymoon time is to really reconnect with yourself and develop an essential bond with your baby. This relies on awakening to your inner wisdom and intuition. In order for that to happen, we need to disengage from those outside distractions.

Blooma: That can be easier said than done though, right?

Debra: When you’re in the middle of it, it can be really overwhelming. It can be our highest highs and our lowest lows all within the same hour. But when women who have taken that time look back on it, they are much better off than women who didn’t give themselves that opportunity to slow down. This babymoon time is a time a mother will never get back. This is the time nature intended for us to awaken and discover a part of ourselves that is beyond words. We must give ourselves that time.


{Next week I’ll post part 2 of Debra Pascali-Bonaro’s interview, in which she details how postpartum doulas are “the missing ingredient in our American healthcare system,” and how they can help — even if you have family in town!} 

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Inspirational Postpartum Doula Training with Debra Pascali-Bonaro

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

Do you have a passion — or even an untapped interest — for nurturing mothers? For empowering, educating and supporting them, especially during the postpartum period? Whether you want to explore that calling for the very first time, or continue your education, Blooma (Minneapolis) is thrilled to offer a postpartum doula training with one of the world’s most inspiring and revered doula trainers. Debra Pascali-Bonaro‘s DONA-approved postpartum doula training (Feb. 10-13, 2014) is unlike any other. ** Early birds: sign up by Dec. 15 and get $50 off! ** Debra laughing Rebozo 2 Women who took her previous training at Blooma rave about it:
I cannot recommend (Debra’s training) highly enough, even if you think you are not interested in being a postpartum doula. It made me a better birth doula, for sure. She is totally inspirational and a fantastic trainer. —Jess Helle-MorrisseyREAD MORE

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