Dinner Time Doula
You know that time of day when babies lose their chill? Pretty much right before dinner?
You’ve gotten through the day up to this point and now it comes down to this. Perhaps your partner or husband is getting home from work. You’d like to enjoy that time and be able to relax together. You can try the swing, a darkened room with less noise, music, a crinkly toy, the pacifier, babywearing. Sometimes these options are very helpful for your little. Other times, they might not be. Or you have to constantly change tactics to maintain some calm. This dance tires parents. What are you going to do about dinner?
Postpartum doulas are for days and nights. They are also for this in between space.
Here’s one way this can look: Your doula arrives in the afternoon. She holds your baby while you eat a snack and talk about how your day has gone so far and what your goals are going forward. When you’ve finished, she sets you up with your favorite drink and a comfortable space to feed your baby.
She then goes to the kitchen and begins meal prep. When she’s finished setting you up for success come meal time, she empties the dishwasher and wipes down the countertops. She makes stuff sparkle.
She asks you if any laundry needs to be done. She moves a load from the washer to the dryer, and comes back to where you are sitting to fold the clean clothes. You remember you would like help figuring out the best swaddling variation for baby, because he has started to wiggle out of the swaddle that has worked for so long. She shows you a couple options, and you decide on one you think is suitable. You might take a video of her demonstrating on your phone, and then practice with her help.
By this time, you need to attend to some emails and phone calls quickly before it gets too late in the day. You slip away to check this off your list. While you are finishing, your husband gets home. While he plays with baby (who is starting to get fussy), your postpartum doula is putting away the laundry and laying out baby’s sleeper and nighttime swaddle. You’re able to go to the kitchen and put all the nutritious components of dinner she prepared for you together and into the oven. Your husband has handed baby over to your doula so that he can get changed.
Your doula is attending to your baby through their fussiness in the nursery while you and your partner are able to talk in the kitchen about your days at home and at work. She’s expertly doing all the things that calm your baby during this time of day that are normally keeping you from having a focused moment together.
When dinner is ready, she brings baby to you, or perhaps you prefer that she stay with baby and give them a paced feeding of milk you pumped earlier in the day. This way you can continue your time together at a relaxed pace.
When her shift is over, she gives you your baby in his fresh sleeper. All is calm. Everyone has had their needs attended to. You thank her and wish her well until you see her again tomorrow.