More bliss with your new baby.

The earliest months with a new baby are so tender. We're raw, vulnerable, and learning new skills as we heal. We're transforming. Often we're a hot mess. It doesn't have to be quite so hard! Your postpartum doula is the expert in a smoother, more centered fourth trimester.

postpartum doula support kalamazoo

The earliest months with a new baby are so tender. We're raw, vulnerable, and learning new skills as we heal. We're transforming. Often we're a hot mess. It doesn't have to be quite so hard! Your postpartum doula is the expert in a smoother, more centered fourth trimester.

Nurturing, supporting and caring for you and your baby through the fourth trimester.

After your little one is born, there's still more growth and development for both of you. Have your friends told you how it can get a little crazy after a new baby comes? True story, it's intense, and beautiful, and challenging. We call this time the fourth trimester, and it's our job to care for your whole family.

Most cultures around the world and throughout history have had a 40-day "lying in" period after a little one arrives. The new parent stays in bed, nourished and nurtured as they heal and learn about their new baby. Friends and loved ones are in and out, bringing food, offering breastfeeding advice, helping the new parent sleep, and taking care of the older children. We're supposed to have that village of others visiting and helping every day, easing us into being a new family.

This kind of intensive support makes so much sense, given what's happening to you during this time:
• learning major new skills (baby care and breastfeeding/chestfeeding)
• massive hormonal shifts
• sleep deprivation
• weeks of physical healing, whether from vaginal birth or cesarean surgery
• changes in your identity and relationships
• brain rewiring on a scale not seen since adolescence.

This is a huge shift, and the postpartum doula's role is our modern way to help. Your doula will visit you in four-hour shifts, supporting whatever you need in the moment. Our doulas are professionals who are trained to help you find your own way with this baby, with no judgment, just options. We have solid, evidence-based, up-to-date information about feeding and caring for your baby, including the inside scoop on why your newborn does such funny things — these little ones can seem pretty mysterious sometimes.

You don't have to do it all. Supermoms aren't actually real. We'd love to help by taking care of you, your baby, and the whole family.

(Twins, triplets or more? Postpartum doulas are incredibly helpful. Double helpful and triple helpful, we'd say. Read our special notes for you below.) 

postpartum doula word cloud kalamazoo

Does "postpartum" mean I have depression?

Not at all. Everyone who has just had a baby is in their postpartum time. If you have a history of anxiety or depression, the expert care of a postpartum doula is even more valuable. But postpartum doulas are for every new parent. If you'd like, you can call us fourth trimester doulas or after baby doulas. It's all good! The label doesn't matter, but the support does.

Exactly how do our postpartum doulas help?

Oh, these little people. They are so precious and amazing. And they sure can turn our world upside down. Your postpartum doula is focused on helping you get to know your baby, and helping you ease into to your new role.

We typically work in four-hour shifts. When we walk in the door, we'll sit down with you and figure out exactly what's needed on that particular day. Usually we start with a chat about how the night went, or how the last few days have been. That gives us a good idea of how we'll be spending our time. Some clients have a list of priorities and needs ready for us at each visit, and that's great too. Here's our postpartum doula dozen — the biggies that we help families with again and again:

postpartum doula services Kalamazoo
  • Education.

    Our doulas are all trained by DONA International, the leading and most respected doula organization. Part of their rigorous training includes learning all about postpartum healing, breastfeeding, and newborn behavior. If it's your first baby, you'll have 532 questions, from belly buttons and postpartum bleeding to funny baby noises and (eventually) sex. Second or later baby? Maybe just 187 questions unique to this particular little one, and specific to balancing several children at once. We've got answers and options, resources and reassurances.

  • Emotional Support.

    This is a big change. If you're becoming a parent for the first time, it's one of the biggest transitions we go through as humans. If you've got other little ones at home, you're connecting with the new baby and transitioning in your relationship with the older children. New parents need nurture and ecouragement, maybe more than at any other time in our lives. In addition to the logistics of your new role, let's be real, the hormones are flying. Your postpartum doula will hear you, process with you, and support you. You might feel better after a little cry on our shoulder. No judgement, no agenda, just attention to what you truly need. We're also on the lookout for signs of postpartum mood and anxiety disorders (one in seven new parents struggle that way). If there are any "pink flags," we can refer you to a trusted professional for an assessment. You won't be alone, we'll stick by your side. We can also help bring joy and laughter into your space — it really is an amazing thing to have a new person!

  • Baths.

    You and the baby are both going to need some bath support in those early weeks. It seems like such a simple thing, but truly, it's such an incredible gift to have some help. We can help show you how to bathe your baby in a way that's cozy and comfortable for both of you — erase those pictures from your mind of a screaming, cold newborn in a hard little plastic tub. And for you, the bath can be so physically and emotionally healing. We'll make sure it happens, and we'll also teach you how to squeeze in a quick shower on the days we're not with you. Believe it or not, that can take some strategy with a little one (or several little ones) in the house.

  • Breastfeeding help.

    Our doula are trained to support normal breastfeeding and chestfeeding. Imagine having a professional in your home every day (or every few days), checking on how things are going, showing you new positions, sharing secret breastfeeding ninja tips, educating you about what to expect, and cheering on all of your work. We also know when a higher level of support is needed, and we'll get you connected to a lactation consultant if there are big challenges. After that visit, your doula will be there day after day, to help you carry out the plan. Once you've mastered the nursing relationship, we like to help you through those first few pumping sessions (breast pumps can seem ridiculously complicated when you're new and over-tired). Not breastfeeding? We support however you are feeding your baby, and we can help with bottles too.

  • Referrals.

    Just like we might help you connect with a lactation consultant, we've got connections to all kind of professionals. You never know what might come up during the postpartum time, and we love tapping into our resources to help families get advanced support. Some of the referrals we've made for past clients include: counselors, pelvic floor physical therapists, chiropractors, dog trainers (for real!), lawn maintenance crews, exercise classes, sleep educators, mother's helpers, massage therapists, placenta encapsulators, doctors, and more. Every one of our doulas has access to the collective brainpower of everyone in Birth Kalamazoo, too. If your doula doesn't know the right resource, we'll work together to figure it out for you.

  • Partners and Grandmas.

    This is a big change for everyone. We'll be checking in with your partner to see how they are adjusting, and how we can answer questions or offer support. Are they bonding with the baby? We can make suggestions and offer encouragement. You two might need a little time alone together to snuggle, talk or have a meal. Your doula can make sure that happens. As for grandmas, we love them! They often need information about breastfeeding and current newborn recommendations. After all, it's usually been awhile since they've had a baby. Our doulas are also really great at listening to how the grandma's own birth and postpartum time went, and processing how things have changed. Your own mother or mother-in-law can be an amazing support for you after the baby. We'll fill in around the edges, and reinforce your connection.

  • Sibling support.

    You're adjusting to this new baby, and your older children will be too! If you have other little ones in the house, we've got all kinds of tips and tricks for managing everyone at once. We'll talk with your older child about how things are going for them, and help them know positive ways they can get involved in the new household rhythm. Maybe you need a little time alone with your older child — that connection shouldn't fall by the wayside just because there's a new baby in the house. That one-on-one time with your older child (or children) is important too, and we'll make sure that you have the space to make it happen. And sometimes, we just go out with a big brother and sister and play. We'll help them run out all of their energy, so they'll be tired when we leave. A toddler that naps well or goes to bed without a fuss is heaven sent when there's a new baby in the house!

  • Nutritious food.

    New parents should be nourished with the most delicious, comforting foods. We'll make your recipes, or we have our own time-tested favorites for postpartum families. We can cook in batches and freeze some meals for you, and we also focus on getting you through the time until we'll see you again. How about some healthy snacks and lunches that you can eat one-handed while you're nursing? You're going to need those, for sure.

  • Sleep.

    There are great reasons why newborns sleep the way they do, and we can talk through all of those with you. For most parents, the challenge is that those newborn sleep patterns just don't line up at all with the way grownups sleep. So how can a doula help? We'll help you learn more about newborn sleep, and we can offer tips and tricks for finding a good rhythm with your baby. Healthy sleep habits really can start from day one. But we also want to be real — sleep whisperer secrets and hacks only go so far, because babies have really important reasons for sleeping in short stints. The first few months are rough for new parents, and our doulas will make sure you're catching up on your rest while we're in the house. Some days the very first thing we do is to make sure the baby is well fed, happy, and then we're off to another room with the little one while you curl up in bed for some sweet, sweet sleep. Ask another new parent — sleep is worth everything.

  • Shopping, cleaning, organizing.

    Let us swing by the store on our way to your house. You doula isn't the same as a housekeeper, but we can also take on some of those tasks. The goal here is to give you the time and space to focus on your baby. Light cleaning might include running the vacuum (hair management for those with pets), doing the dishes, wiping down counters or washing and folding a load of baby clothes. Years ago, one of our doulas did a deep cleaning inside a client's refrigerator, and that mom still talks about it as the most amazing thing ever. Even just changing the sheets on your bed can help you feel pretty incredible in those early postpartum weeks, and we don't mind at all. Partners sometimes feel like they'll be able to handle these things, but in our experience, everyone is pretty exhausted and overwhelmed at first with a new baby in the house. We're so happy to help.

  • A walk.

    It seems so simple, but one of our favorite things to do with new parents is to just go for a walk together with you and the baby, not in the earliest days, but as you're healing, growing, and settling in. This companionship is so lovely. Remember, our doulas are experts in listening and supporting. Sunshine + exercise + nurture = bliss.

  • Whatever else will help you feel nurtured, supported and connected to your baby.

    For real, as long as it's within our scope of practice, we'll do just about anything you need. It makes us so happy to support new families, and our #1 goal is that at the end of our time together you're feeling strong, confident and bonded with your little one.

We'd love to support you on this journey.

What about multiples?

Breastfeeding twins

What a wonderful adventure is ahead for you! All of the things we mentioned above are extra important when you have twins, triplets or more. We love to help families ease the intensity of those early months. In addition to the usual postpartum doula activities, we'll be focused on:

    • Nurture and practical recommendations for you if the babies are in the NICU (not always needed, we've also supported lots of healthy, full-term twins)
    • Helping you find a rhythm with feeding and sleeping, so everyone gets synced up
    • Tips and tricks to juggle all these tiny people, including how to manage when you're home alone with the little ones
    • Help getting out of the house the first few times
    • Specialty help with tandem breastfeeding, pumping or bottle feeding — there are so many variations for how feeding can look with multiples
    • Support to get to know each of the babies individually, and bonding with each little one... they're not just "the twins" or "the babies," they are each a unique little person
    • Tandem babywearing (being hands-free with multiples is incredible)
    • Support and training for the other people who are helping you, especially if they don't have prior experience with multiples
    • Connections to other families with multiples

It's intense with two or more newborns at home, but we'll be right next to you with expert ideas and an extra set of hands. We love being part of a team to help you get off to a great start.

We suggest at least 100 hours of postpartum doula support for families with multiples, and some of our clients decide on a 200-hour package. Any amount of time will be helpful, of course.

Pricing for postpartum doula services

60 hours (days)

$1,856
  • (includes two free hours)

Hourly Rates

$32-$40
  • Our rate is $32/hour for daytime hours, and $40/hour for overnights. We have a 20-hour minimum for postpartum doula services. We recommend at least 60 hours for first-time parents. Most of our clients choose a 60- or 100-hour package.

100 hours (days)

$3,040
  • (includes five free hours)

Why 60 or 100 hours?

When we first started offering postpartum doula services, we offered two packages — 40 and 100 hours. As our doulas worked with clients in the 40-hour package, they often found that when their time was up, things just weren't quite settled. Breastfeeding was still rocky. Clients weren't totally confident on their own. There was still more work to be done together. Clients were often adding on hours at the end, which was more stressful for everyone as the doulas scrambled to find time in their schedules. That's why we offer 60- and 100-hour packages now as our base recommendations. We can customize our support for however many hours you need, but 60 or 100 hours is what we see works best for most of our clients. Everything we do is with an eye toward what helps families get settled, secure and confident. Here's what 60 or 100 hours of postpartum support might look like for you.

60 Hours of Postpartum Support

Week 1 - 3-4 days of care (4-hour shifts)
Week 2 - 3 days
Week 3 - 3 days
Week 4 - 2 days
Week 5 - 2 days
Week 6 - 1-2 days of care

This is just an example of what 60 hours of postpartum doula care can look like, based on our experience with past clients. Every schedule is customized to your family and your needs.

 

Q: Should I use a postpartum doula in the early weeks if my partner is home or if I have family staying with me to help?

A: Yes! Unless your partner or other family members are experts on breastfeeding, postpartum recovery and newborn care, your doula can still be a huge help to the whole family. We also help prepare everyone for the transition when your partner returns to work or a family member goes home.

It's up to you in the end and we're happy to come for fewer hours in the first weeks. But over the years we've really found the early days are when you need the most support from your whole team to get things running smoothly. We're all laying the groundwork together for your great fourth trimester.

100 Hours of Postpartum Support

Week 1 - 4 days of care (4-hour shifts)
Week 2 - 3 days
Week 3 - 3 days
Week 4 - 3 days
Week 5 - 2 days
Week 6 - 2 days
Week 7 - 2 days
Week 8 - 2 days
Week 9 - 1 day
Week 10 - 1 day
Week 11 - 1 day
Week 12 - 1 day

100 hours of support allows us to provide full-spectrum fourth-trimester care. The earliest weeks are survival and "baby boot camp," and the later weeks are focused on gaining independence and confidence, getting out in your community, as well as preparing for the return to work (if that's part of your plan). 

This amount of support is great for any family, but it is especially helpful if you have a history of depression or anxiety, a type A personality, or if you are having more than one baby. An investment on the front end can help your family get off to a great start.

When to get started?

You can hire a postpartum doula at any time during your pregnancy, or sometimes we're also hired after the birth (if one of the doulas has space in her schedule). Please get in touch, we'd love to connect you with a doula. If you're reaching out earlier in your pregnancy, that gives you the chance to use a payment plan while you're waiting for your little one to arrive. You can also make weekly payments while the doula is working with you, if needed. We'll help however we can, and we're always happy to brainstorm.

Mileage fees apply for families outside of the Kalamazoo/Portage area, unless we have a postpartum doula who lives near you. Clients in Plainwell, Allegan, Schoolcraft, Vicksburg, Battle Creek and Marshall can often be accommodated with no mileage fee.

Ready to take the next step?

Let's get you connected for a free consult.