“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making Mothers ~ strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.” Barbara Katz Rothman
New York families, especially new mothers have unique challenges and needs. Most often, their familial support systems live outside the city and are not geographically assessable to lend sufficient help with transition and recovery needs after a birth. Making matters worse, partners are typically unable to take extended time off from work making for a very difficult recovery and transition for everyone.
During my follow up (after birth) visits as new doula I became very aware of this additional challenge and immediately began offering continuous care tailored to the varied needs of each family wanting nurturing and support from someone they journeyed with intimately during pregnancy and birth. Over the years supporting not just my birth families, i’ve come to understand the “Motherside” as a very different “birth” altogether that needs far more guidance and nurturing support than most can imagine while pregnant and few openly share (even the closest of mother friends). The 4th Trimester as it’s often called is finally becoming more openly discussed and recognized as a precious and valuable time of transition and healing. Mother’s everywhere are educating and empowering themselves for better births and quality aftercare ~ it’s not a luxury, it’s essential and perhaps the most important work I do. Certainly the most meaningful and at the very heart of my doula practice.
So why a doula and not a baby nurse? A baby nurse exclusively for the newborn sharing her personal ideas and beliefs about baby care, typically with more regimental advice meaning each family pretty much receives the same information. A postpartum doula is a nurturing presence for the whole family offering a much more natural approach designed to strengthen and build confidence by reassuring new parents to follow their instincts and their baby’s cues to discover their own unique parenting style, Most importantly, special attention is focused on supporting the mother while she recovers from birth and cares for her baby. Babies are not all that complicated, but when you are sleep deprived or feel insecure about what to do, it’s easy to get confused, overwhelmed or both. You already know a lot about what it takes to be a good parent. We are all born with an innate understanding of what our babies need, and having someone you trust when you second-guess yourself will keep you calm and out of panic-mode so you can enjoy these glorious first weeks more comfortably and confidently as a new family.
Breastfeeding Support: Lactation Counseling and assistance for comfortable breastfeeding. Optimizing milk supply, understanding baby’s feeding cues, troubleshooting, ensuring proper latch, offering recommendations for local resources and professional referrals (as needed) including finding your TRIBE of mothers in your neighborhood.
Bonding: Physical and emotional support, supporting the mother through emotional vulnerability, demonstrating infant care techniques, helping bonding with your baby, providing information about nutrition during postpartum period.
Emotional support is offered as they transition to their new roles. Although suggestions may be made with regard to infant care, I am happy to do some basic food preparation or light housework and food shopping if necessary.
Holistic Infant Care: New parent education including: techniques and tips for natural sleep training, soothing and swaddling, baby wearing, and bathing. Help is also available to assist with new sibling adjustment and transition.
Holistic Nurturing: Nutritious, delicious meals to support recovery and nourish mother and family. Errand running, household organization. Aromatherapy and other relaxation tools and methods that are safe to use for breastfeeding mothers.
Emotional Support: Sharing your birth story and celebrating with a nurturing person who understands and honors your experience is a very important part of the first days and weeks after your birth Even the most ideal birth, where everything goes according to your “plan” brings up challenging emotions, fears and vulnerabilities for both parents. There may also be times when sharing your anxieties, a really good cry, time for longer shower, nap, or joining a new mom’s group isn’t enough. If this is the case, and there are signals that this isn’t the common “Baby Blues,” typical of fluctuating hormones after birth, I can provide excellent resources to ensure quality care and treatment for PPD. The quicker the treatment the easier the recovery. Having a doula’s nurturing presence will significantly reduce the risk of PPD.
Postpartum care is available in 4-hour blocks of time throughout the morning, afternoon, and/or evening. Occasional overnight support can be arranged based on my birth schedule and availability to do so. Package and/or hourly rates available contact me for details and availability.
Kim Kushner, CD,(DONA), CLC, Prenatal Consultant, Birth & Pospartum Doula, Woman’s Circle Facilitator
Supporting women and their families in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens
247 West 76th St. #10/New York, New York 10023/ (646) 221-7278/ firstname.lastname@example.org