What to expect
As postpartum doulas our first priority is to insure that the new mother is rested and relaxed, and to assist her with breastfeeding and nurturing her baby. We bring lots of love to the new family, and try to lighten the load that new moms inevitably feel. ABC postpartum doulas are experienced with multiples, preemies and special needs babies so we can help your family get off to a great start whatever your unique situation might be. The services we provide will vary from client to client, but typical postpartum services include:
- Breastfeeding support and instruction
- Day and Overnight Care
- Baby soothing skills
- Newborn care
- Meal preparation
- Baby equipment expertise
- Referrals to local resources
If you aren’t sure how much postpartum care you will need, or would like a better idea of what a postpartum care plan might look like, the sample postpartum plans below are based on the real-life experiences of hundreds of families we have served over the past ten years. These care plans are not intended to lock you into a schedule but to give you an idea of both the type and amount of postpartum care other Portland area families have needed in order to help you decide on a postpartum care plan that will work best for you.
First day or night home (1 day)
A doula will meet you at your home the day (or day after) you bring the baby back from the hospital or after a home-birth. Care of newborn, breast or bottle feeding support, and organizing the home are the focus for the first few often challenging hours. Start things off peacefully with good support.
Baby Basics (2 - 4 weeks)
A doula will come to the home 2-5 times per week for the first few weeks to support the family and teach the basics of infant feeding and care, soothing skills, interpreting cues, and providing recovery time for new mothers after a non-complicated delivery.
New Baby Consult (preemie - 8 weeks)
If you don’t need ongoing care, but just need one visit from a doula to help orient you to your new baby, answer your many questions, or help you problem solve with a fussy baby or baby who never sleeps, a new baby consult is a great option. This is a prepaid 1 time visit, however if you decide to add ongoing doula care afterward you can add it at any time.
Cesarean birth / difficult delivery recovery (6 - 8 weeks)
This package covers the time it typically takes to recover from a difficult or surgical birth. A majority of our clients fall in this group. Focus is the same as for baby basics, but also meets the needs of families with babies that are experiencing reflux or colic,or may provide assistance for some postpartum mood disorders.
Overnight Care (1 - 7 nights /week for 1 - 12 weeks)
Any postpartum care provided between 9 pm and 9 am is considered overnight care, but most often overnight care is 8 hours – usually from 10pm to 6am. Overnight care can be as little as one night a week as needed for respite or up to 7 nights per week if more coverage is needed (often the case with multiples or high-need infants). Care can be similar to day service, or focused primarily on sleep for the whole family.
Twins or triplets (8 - 12 weeks)
Families with multiples will often have a team of several doulas providing day and/or overnight care with instruction in managing multiples (i.e. setting up the feedings, establishing an efficient routine, and dealing with any special needs). This package is also flexible to each family’s needs as far as hours and frequency, but as we specialize in multiples we tend to fill up quickly, so please book accordingly.
Extended care (established Clients only)
Extended care is only offered as a service to existing ABC clients – generally after basic care has ended. A doula will come to home to care for mom, baby, and household. This service can be arranged with flexibility for several months as needed. This service can be used for evenings out, appointments, and other transitional times as you are looking for permanent childcare. We can provide referrals for ongoing childcare needs.
Sleep Support for babies 4 months and older (adjusted age)
Our sleep specialist will come to the home and provide information on helping baby get to sleep--and stay asleep. We offer a weekend day or weekday evening consult (2-3 hours-flat rate) where we establish a care plan and then follow up through help hands-on with the baby or phone consults (hourly fee). If your baby is older and your Dr. has recommended you start “crying it out”, consider arranging some sleep support. Although each family's needs are different, we have super grateful parents raving about this service for older babies.
ABC postpartum doula services are billed on an hourly basis with a 3 or 4 hour minimum for day shifts and an 8 hour minimum for overnight shifts. Scheduling is done on a first-come, first-served basis. Advanced scheduling is recommended. Rates vary according to the qualifications and specialties of each doula. Contact us for specific rate information or if you would like to purchase someone a gift certificate for postpartum service. Payments may be made by check or credit card.
Because no two families’ postpartum needs are exactly alike, hours can vary greatly from client to client. Ultimately it is the needs of the family that will determine what type of postpartum care is needed and for how long. We will adapt both the type and amount of services we provide to meet your unique postpartum needs.
We customize the plan for each family, however we like to get a sense of what you might need in order to find the perfect doula for your needs. One of the benefits to having such a large team is having coverage for unexpected needs that come up for families. When things don’t go as planned, we can be there to support you in a larger or more comprehensive way.
Conversely, if you decide you are doing better than expected, with some advanced notice, we can taper down your support as well and offer it to another family with greater than anticipated needs. Preference will be given to families who reserve in advance.