Doulas of Orange County has a simple mission; to walk alongside of parents with steadfast support during the most monumental, exhausting, transformative and joyful experience of their lives; welcoming a baby to the world. The fertility journey, the pregnancy, the birth and bringing a newborn home are intense and surreal.
The books don’t fully prepare you, friends can overwhelm you, media can terrify you and your well meaning family can often judge your choices.
At Doulas of OC we believe that you shouldn’t just survive this time, but that you should thrive in parenthood. Through our birth doula support, postpartum doulas, overnight care and sleep training it is our hope that each and every family feels like we’re in this thing together, as we’re rooting you on and reminding you what an incredible mom and dad you are. Whether you are a mom that wants all the information and instruction, the mom that wants a comforting presence through the long days, the mom that needs breastfeeding support at 3am or the mom that just needs more sleeeeeep; that’s why we’re here.
The current society and modern day motherhood constantly share the message that you shouldn’t ask for help, that you need to “bounce back” 3 weeks after birth and that your worth is measured in productivity and image.
In on online moms group, a new mom that was clearly struggling and sleep deprived, reached out and asked if there are any local resources for in-home support after birth. The response she got was shocking to me.
“You can do it by yourself! My husband went back after 2 weeks, and it was scary, but doable…”
“I was by myself with a newborn twins and a 5 year old who went to Kinder. It’s totally doable. Get on a schedule and it makes life so much easier.”
“You can definitely do it. My husband was home for 1 week when we had our first child. I also run my own business so it was a lot to do on my own, but it was special to bond with my daughter without anyone else taking over the mommy tasks. It’s totally doable.”
“Yeah just wondering why you feel like you can’t do it by yourself? You’re the Mother… trust your Mother’s intuition.”
“I would give it a shot and try to handle your baby alone… you will be surprised how much you will be able to do! It’s empowering and your baby will bond with just you.”
“Unless you or baby has a medical condition that will make you feel more comfortable having someone else to help you, you can totally do this on your own mama! We are built for this! Good luck.”
“Oh momma you can do this on your own. My husband went back to work the 2nd day and I was home alone. Trust your instincts.”
Yes, I needed you to read each of these. They all share the same message: You’re weak if you ask for help. You should feel guilty about letting baby “bond” with anyone but you. I did it, so you can too. It doesn’t matter if it’s scary, because you’ll get by.
Trust your intuition, unless your intuition is telling you to ASK FOR HELP.
I’ll be honest, this fires me up and makes me so sad for all these new moms. This isn’t how it’s supposed to be and it’s a reflection of a broken system on so many levels. For centuries (and still in many cultures and areas), women have supported women after birth. It was natural, normal and healthy. It wasn’t begged for, it wasn’t shameful, it wasn’t out of reach. Many people caring for a mom as her body heals, her mind rests and her baby seeks nourishment for weeks to months after birth was expected. The first 40 days was a sacred time for a new mother.
With all of these negative messages constantly filling an expectant and new mom’s mind, we’re here to tell you the opposite.
We flourish when we accept help from others.
You deserve to rest your mind & body after birth.
Yes, the sun will keep rising while you rest in bed and focus on your baby, your wellbeing and your happiness.
It’s normal and okay to be touched out and want a break.
There is no need to bounce back and do it all.
You are your baby’s home and someone else helping by holding and comforting them will not replace or damage your own bond.
Start now by setting up your support system. Whether that is taking a childbirth education class, hiring a birth doula, having your mother stay with you after birth, reserving a postpartum doula and night nanny or making a list of friends to call for questions and support.
Motherhood isn’t meant to be done alone.