My daughter Molly is expecting our first grandchild. A much younger friend asked if I planned to be a doula during the delivery.
Doula is a new term to me. It refers to a person who provides emotional support before, during and after the birth. A doula is actually in the delivery room. When my young friend told me her husband was Doula 1 and her mother Doula 2 I was aghast. “Do you mean”, I asked, “your MOTHER was in the delivery room?” Oh yes she said.
My daughter and I are close but, let me assure you, not that close.
My husband would be a better choice. When she became a teenager Molly started referring to her dad as “the good parent.” Ron is also a dairy farmer. He has lots of experience in the birthing process,
although his expertise is limited to Holstein cows. When I went into labor, he and the delivery doctor were washing up before entering the operating room (I had to have a C-section). The doctor said, “I guess you are used to this cleaning routine from delivering calves.” ”Yes,” my husband replied, “but we only wash up afterwards.”
I am best qualified to be a postpartum doula. They provide physical support in the weeks after birth by cleaning, cooking meals and filling in when the mother needs a break. They can also share information about feeding and caring for the baby
I doubt I will be very helpful in the area of informational support because things have really changed since I was a new mother 3 decades ago. Things like heated baby wipes and mattresses that monitor the baby’s heart rate were non-existent back then. My best piece of advice? Enjoy the baby. Because tomorrow they will be going off to college (or so it seems!)
I look forward to visiting Molly and staying as long as she needs a postpartum doula. To make sure we don’t tire of each other, this doula will be staying in a nearby Airbnb.