Many people are unfamiliar with the idea of a postpartum doula. This is an unfortunate situation, because these lovely individuals can be absolute lifesavers in the hectic days and weeks after the birth of a baby.

From making sure the family is fed to holding baby while mama gets a shower, there are a whole host of wonderful duties a postpartum doula might perform to help a new mother out. That said, many women do not understand the steps they must take in order to get the most from their relationship with their postpartum doula. Therefore, we have created a list of things a new mother can do to ensure her doula investment is not a regrettable one.

Hire the Right Doula for Your Family

First and foremost, it is crucial that you hire your postpartum doula carefully. While most doulas you meet and interview will likely be wonderful individuals, it is highly important that the doula you hire can provide you with the assistance you need.

This will mean different things for different people. For some, it might mean the doula is present immediately after the birth of the child. Meanwhile, some mamas might prefer a doula to visit the next week after family support has lessened. Some women will want breastfeeding support or care of older siblings, while others may require overnight assistance or help with light house work or in the kitchen.

Because every woman has different needs, it is important to include any specific needs in your initial interview conversation in order to gauge your doula’s ability to meet your expectations. Additionally, compatibility should be a requirement for anyone you hire. This means you should be able see yourself spending some of the most precious moments of your life with the person you hire. If you can’t, keep looking.

Trust Your Doula

This goes hand in hand with the compatibility tip above. You simply must be able and willing to trust your postpartum doula. A doula is there to help. She probably has a good amount of training under her belt and likely has a great deal of infant care experience. By trusting her, you will be able to 1) relax while she is caring for your little one, and 2) learn from her parenting advice.

If you cannot trust your doula for any reason, it is time to seek out a new assistant.

Communicate Effectively

Believe it or not, doulas are not mind readers. Despite the fact that an experienced postpartum doula will be very good at her job and will likely be very on top of things, she cannot possibly know what you are thinking at all times.

Therefore, if your doula isn’t doing something you’d like her to do, it is important to communicate the need. This can—and should—be done in a kind and thoughtful manner. In all likelihood, your helper will be happy to assist with the task after you make the need known to her.

Provide the Right Tools and Information

Providing your postpartum doula with key pieces of information and the right tools for a given job can make a world of difference in the efficiency and effectiveness of her work.

For example, if your toddler needs a specific stuffed animal in order to go down for his nap, be sure to let the doula know where that animal is. Likewise, if you have a meal in the freezer that’s ready to be popped in the oven, giving your doula this information will help her know how to ensure your family is fed that evening. Letting your doula know these things will make her world a bit easier and will help you relax, knowing your family is well cared for.

By following the tips above, we are certain you will get the very most value possible out of your relationship with your postpartum doula. So what are you waiting for? Find the right helper for your family through Thrive Mama Collective in Oklahoma City so you can begin life with a new addition on the right foot.