"So I just...pull some out of this tank and put them in with the turtles? How many?" I ask, holding the blue net just above the water.
"As many as you can catch. Just not all of them," my client says.
Hello, I'm a professional postpartum doula, and I feed guppies to turtles. It's not uncommon for clients to make a list of things for me to do while I'm in their home. Small jobs that tend to pile up that aren't easily done or remembered when one is cuddling a newborn all day (and night) long. Usually it's something benign, like catching up on laundry, feeding a hungry toddler (or mama!), and doing some light cleaning. That day, it was sacrificing a few dozen prolifically breeding guppies to some hungry turtles. Normally I'm a bit squeamish when it comes to anything fish-related, and I'm also a bit of an animal-lover, so this was an unorthodox request I might normally balk at. But it ended up not being too hard to honor it for my client, and kind of fun to show her toddler how the turtles snapped up the tiny darting fish. In the end, I chose to support my client by helping her get something off her long to-do list while she healed and bonded with her baby.
So, what else might* your postpartum doula do for you? Check out the list below:
In short, we support YOU. This list is by no means exhaustive or definitive. Be aware, normal duties for postpartum duties usually include light cleaning, sibling support, newborn education, breastfeeding help, light cooking or meal prep, etc. Hire your postpartum doula today and prepare your postpartum plan together!
What does postpartum support look like to you?
*Please note: doulas are individuals with varying comfort levels. Just because you see something on this list doesn't mean your doula will do it! Our focus is on making sure mom and baby are healthy, bonding, fed, and healing. When we do these "extra" things, we do them only to ensure our clients can focus on that sacred postpartum time. Going above and beyond the norm in these situations often encourages healing, eases anxiety or depression, and truly benefits the mother. Again, don't *expect* your doula to do these things, respect her boundaries and honor her right to politely decline a task that is outside her comfort zone.