New parenthood — during which ordinary people find themselves abruptly responsible for a brand-new and sometimes famished, inconsolable being — is famously harrowing.
It’s good to have supportive family and friends during this time. But increasingly, parents are turning to postpartum doulas, as well.
Unlike birth doulas, who assist mothers during pregnancy and childbirth, postpartum doulas step in when the baby is already born, and throughout the first six weeks after birth. They teach the supposedly natural but actually quite difficult to master skills of soothing, bathing and breast-feeding infants, without any personal baggage.