Postpartum Doulas and Depression Prevention

Some women — for example, those with a previous history of depression or anxiety — are prone to postpartum mood disorders. Other risk factors include a tumultuous puberty, tendency toward intense PMS, a traumatic birth experience and lack of support.

While support from either family members or a professional postpartum doula does not guarantee immunity from postpartum anxiety and/or depression, studies show that assistance before, during and after birth greatly reduces the risk.

A doula in particular brings experienced, mother-focused assistance…free of judgment or agenda. Unlike a well-meaning relative, the doula does not have an opinion on how you feed your baby or where he sleeps.

A postpartum doula also supports the whole health and mental wellness of the mother by:

  • Making sure she gets enough sleep.
  • Keeping her hydrated and well fed with nutritious foods.
  • Talking through the emotions of childbirth and new parenthood.
  • Taking care of household responsibilities so that the mother does not feel overwhelmed.
  • Answering questions, minimizing worry and panic.
  • Offering time to reconnect as a couple.
  • Knowing when to call the doctor.
  • Providing valuable resources.

At the very least, a postpartum doula recognizes the signs and symptoms of postpartum depression and can help guide early intervention, prevention and recovery.