A Night In the Life of A Postpartum Doula | Fort Worth Texas Day in the Life Photographer
I have unofficially been a labor doula for the past nine years and officially for the past two. Helping families during pregnancy, birth, and the immediate postpartum period has been a HUGE passion and joy of mine.
My friend Stacey asked me to be a backup for her with a postpartum client and I thought "why not???" Up until that point, I had no desire to be a postpartum doula but I didn't mind being her back up. That night everything changed. I was able to walk into a families home during such a special time, a new time, and a raw time in their lives. I checked on the Mama and then was able to love on her new baby while she got some much-needed rest. What an honor it was to be trusted with this new little life. That is when my passion for postpartum work started.
The funny thing is, just like with being a labor doula I had already been a postpartum doula for several of my friends without even knowing that was the role I was in.
I have had the incredible honor of serving a family for the past 4 weeks as their postpartum doula and I am LOVING it. They have the most adorable 9-week old triplets. Y'all, I get to love on THREE adorable, sweet, brand new babies for my job... It doesn't even seem real sometimes. It took me a good 30ish years but I have finally found my passion and joy and I'm LOVING it!!!
My business partner Stacey and I had Kourtnie come out to document "a night in the life of a postpartum doula" and I'm so so thankful we did. There are moments in time that should be remembered, frozen in time with photography, and Kourtnie did just that for us.
Here is a glimpse of what my night looks like with The Hill Triplets.
11:00 pm I arrive at my client's house. I take off my shoes at the door, greet Mr or Mrs. Hill (whoever opens the door), I then use bleach wipes to clean my phone, and wash my hands. I spend some time with Mrs. Hill asking how her day has been, ask how her recovery is going, and we go over any questions she might have. I refer out for any medical needs they might have. She gives me an update on the babies then heads off to bed.
11:30 pm I wash all the bottles, oh wait someone is crying, I go soothe a baby, go back to washing bottles and now someone else is crying. I go soothe that baby and finish washing bottles.
12:00 am I start putting away the babies clean clothes, a baby starts moving in their bassinet, I go check to make sure they settle back down, which they do, then I finish putting away tiny adorable baby clothes.
12:30 am I get Baby Georgey out of his bassinet, grab a bottle out of the fridge and put it in the bottle warmer, take him over for a diaper change... he starts crying so I soothe him, his sister starts crying but he doesn't have a diaper on so I quickly finish changing his diaper, sanitize my hands, rush over to soothe his sister, but now he is crying. I go grab his bottle and put him in the boppy with his bottle propped up where he happily eats.
12:45 am I grab Ms. Lena, who started fussing again. We head to the fridge to get her bottle out, place that in the warmer and I walk over to change her diaper. She screams (they don't love having their diapers changed), I quickly finish, sanitize my hands, we grab her bottle, I check her bracelet to make sure I have the right baby (Gemma has a milk allergy so I always double check before feeding the girls to make sure they have the right bottle) I prop her up with a bottle...
1:00 am I pick Baby G3 up and burp him. He lets out a good one. Then I place him back down on the boppy with his bottle propped up. After that I pick up Lena to burp her, she also lets out a good burp. Now it's Gemma's turn. I pick her up out of her bassinet as she snuggles into me my heart melts a little... I grab her bottle out of the fridge and put it in the bottle warmer. G3 starts fussing so we walk over to him. I place Gemma in my lap while I burp G3, then place him back down, I go ahead and burp Lena too... we walk over to change her diaper, she cries, I soothe her, quickly change her diaper, sanitize my hands, go get her bottle, put her on a boppy and prop her bottle up.
1:15 am I get G3, who is now finished with his bottle, swaddle him back up, and burp him. He falls right to sleep on my shoulder so I put him in his bouncy chair for just a little bit after he eats. After that, I get Lena, who is done with her bottle, swaddle her up, burp her and she also falls right to sleep. I put her in her bouncy chair as well. Both the girls struggle with reflux so we try to have them upright for a little bit after they eat.
1:25 am I burp Gemma and hold her while she finishes her bottle. G3 starts fussing so I put her back on the boppy with her bottle propped up while I get her brother back to sleep. He falls asleep fairly quickly. I pick Gemma back up and give burp her again. She finishes her bottle so I swaddle her and rock her back to sleep. Once she is really asleep I put her in her bouncy chair.
1:30 am I write down what time the babies ate, how much, and what type of diaper I changed.
1:45 am I go wash their bottles. I put all the bottles I washed into the sanitizer and turn that on.
1:55 am I put all the babies in their bassinets.
2:00 am I lay down on the couch and fall asleep until it's time to feed them again. They stir a little but stay asleep so I am able to get some good rest.
4:30 am The waking/changing diapers/ feeding process starts all over again and lasts until about 5:30 am
6:00 am Mrs. Hill comes out of her room. I update her on how the babies did throughout the night, ask if there is anything I can do for her, then head home.
Every. single. time. I get in the car I have a HUGE smile on my face and sometimes I even clap like a big dork because I'm just so excited that this is what I get to do for "work". I LOVE my job and find it hard to even say it is work because I enjoy it so much. To have a family invite me into their home, to have them trust me during such a raw, hard, joyous and often challenging time in their lives is such an honor and a blessing. Being a postpartum doula is such an incredible joy in my life. I am truly thankful Stacey started me on this journey and has trusted me enough to add me to her team at Little Lilacs!!!