Postpartum Reality

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I get it. I had a total light bulb moment tonight. But I'm not 100% sure I should share it with you.

You see, I own a doula agency. I encourage people to hire Postpartum Doulas. But I honestly haven't fully understood why it's necessary. The picture in my mind.... well, it wasn't right.

I went to a postpartum appointment today with one of our doulas. I was just there for the first 15 minutes. And the memories of my own first postpartum days hit me like a freight train.

It's been almost 22 years since my daughter was born, but I went back to that moment in a heartbeat today.

And I got in my car and cried all over again.

I vividly remember our first day home. My husband drove us home from the hospital. Then he left to go back to work. (Yes, paternal leave sucked even more in the olden days.)  I sat in our new rocking chair, looked down at my daughter, and cried. CRIED. I had no idea what to do with her. 

Breastfeeding hurt. A lot. No one told me that breastfeeding could hurt. She cried. She spit up. She pooped. And then she pooped again. She cried more. I cried more. She peed on the new outfit I tried to put on her. She would't sleep. I was so far past exhausted. She cried. I had never felt so alone.

I called my mom. 

My mom invited me to her house for a nap. That was the best nap of my life. I imagine it compared closely to Heaven. I curled up in her bed while she took care of the fussy one downstairs. I don't know how long I slept, but it was beautiful sleep. 

It was so beautiful that I went to her house day after day until I wore out my welcome. Those short naps saved my sanity.


I knew being a parent would be hard, just like labor was hard. The difference? I had a support team for labor. I had no support plans for afterward.

I needed a Cre'shea.

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I needed someone who would come into my messy home, ignore the fact that I hadn't showered in days, and support me as a parent. I can only imagine how much more successful I would have been with breastfeeding if someone had helped me figure out how to make it more comfortable. I would have felt so much more human with the opportunity to shower... with clean clothes to put on after the shower... with food to actually eat during the day. 

I knew children. But I had no confidence in being a mom. That brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. I desperately needed a woman to walk beside me and help me to figure out my new role. I didn't need a 'nanny' to watch my child for me. I needed someone to look at me and tell me that I could do it and that I was enough. 

I needed someone who could empower me.

New Parents,

Consider a Postpartum Doula. Make that investment for you, your partner, and your child. It's not all about someone to take care of the baby. It's incredible support for you.

And you are worth it. 

Andrea WillemsComment