Have Doula, Will Travel
Maybe the title should be “DOULA! WILL TRAVEL!”
Did you know this is a thing? That some postpartum doulas will travel with you and your new family???
Let’s talk about the Why, Who, What and Where of using a traveling doula.?
WHY HIRE A TRAVELING POSTPARTUM DOULA?
Simply stated, having a postpartum doula on a trip or vacation offers a sense of comfort, continuity and relieves stress. Postpartum doulas are professionally trained to care for the family as a whole, and that skill can be taken anywhere.
WHO DO POSTPARTUM DOULAS TRAVEL WITH?
A birthing person within the first 12 weeks postpartum. If travel is necessary (or chosen) during this healing time period, a postpartum doula supports the birthing person’s healing process by limiting physical effort, making sure the birthing person has eaten and is staying hydrated and providing day or night support in a fluid manner with their new baby.
Intended/Adoptive parents who are traveling home with their new baby. Many intended parents travel to other states to be with the surrogate who is birthing their baby (or babies). Not only is becoming a new parent exciting and terrifying all at once, but traveling with a weeks old baby can be challenging. Postpartum doulas travel with intended parents back to their home to provide hands-on support as they adjust to day-to-day life with their sweet baby.
A new parent who travels for work. The traditional postpartum period (4th trimester) is over, and some new parents are back to work, perhaps at a job that requires travel. As postpartum doulas, we travel with working parents is another way to support this time of transition from staying home and returning to work. We help with the logistics and strategies that evolve as working parents travel WITH their babies for business.
New parents who travel for leisure. Some new parents just like to travel, plan on incorporating their new baby into their travel lifestyle, and bringing their postpartum doula along makes sense. A traveling doula can support the family as they navigate airports, hotels, caring for their baby’s needs, and being their personal “guide” to all things related to baby and baby’s first year, both at home or on the go.
WHAT DO TRAVELING DOULAS DO?
Postpartum doulas who travel essentially take postpartum doula support “on the road”. We bring a knowledge of how to accommodate baby’s needs while providing support to new parents outside of the home. We bring tips for traveling with a baby like the ones found here.
Here are a few things a postpartum doula can provide:
maintain routines (day or night) that have been established at home (i.e. feeding, napping, bedtime routine,etc)
manage the baby’s care while in transit
work with new parents to create a streamlined packing list for their baby and assist with packing
provide new parents free time to enjoy the destination, visiting friends or relatives, or having some time for yourself
gather meals or run errands for the parents
support working parents while working away from home
unpack and care for baby’s items upon return home
support families as they readjust upon returning home
implement strategies around breast feeding, pumping, bottle feeding, breast milk or formula supplies and storage
WHERE DO TRAVELING DOULAS GO?
The short answer: EVERYWHERE!
Some postpartum doulas are experienced at traveling internationally, while others travel with new parents domestically. Some postpartum doulas, like some of those at Family Tree Doula Services, travel TO families in other states to provide extensive or live-in support.
Planning on traveling during baby’s first year? Have your postpartum doula travel with you.
Sheryl Cooksley, Certified Postpartum Doula
Sheryl Cooksley is the owner of Family Tree Doula Services located near Portland, Oregon. Family Tree’s team of doulas includes postpartum doulas who are internationally traveled and knowledgeable in providing support to parents through baby’s first year at home and “on the road”. You can reach us here to design your customized postpartum doula support package.