A mother who has secured the services of a doula knows how invaluable they are for a successful labor and birth. A doula is someone who has specialized training to provide professional labor support both physically and emotionally to mothers and other family members during the journey of pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. Yet the role of doula doesn’t need to end there.
Miesha Vargas, co-owner of Baby Love Doula Services in Richmond, VA says, “Once your doula, always your doula. We are here to support mothers even months after birth. As a doula, if a mother needs me, I keep in touch.” The most important thing a doula does after birth is help a new mother successfully breastfeed.
“Establishing a good nursing relationship begins immediately”, Miesha explains, “As a doula, I look for a good first latch which ideally occurs within the first 30 minutes of birth. In the days after birth, I help a mother keep a good latch and make sure her milk supply is good. If there are more complex problems, such as tongue tie, I refer her to a lactation consultant.”
Doulas, often being the first person there at birth to help a new mother with breastfeeding, have a wealth of experience with nursing babies and understand the different challenges that arise. When asked if there is a “recipe” to follow for successful breastfeeding, Miesha urges, “Listen to your baby and not a schedule. Some babies will nurse vigorously until full every three hours, but some might like to snack every hour. There are so many variations of normal. Don’t over analyze the baby’s habits.”
New mothers often need support in breastfeeding and a doula is someone they can turn to for help. She can help with many common problems as well as refer the mother to specialist if there are more complex issues. It isn’t always easy for a new mom to first establish a good nursing relationship with her baby, but a doula can help with this.
“It can start out really difficult,” Miesha says of breastfeeding, “But it gets easier, especially by 3 months. There are so many resources out there to get the help you need.”
In addition to Baby Love Doula services, Miesha Vargas is also the owner of Baby Love Lacation Cookies. Her super scrumptious organic chocolate chip cookies are made with several galactagogues such as oats and brewers yeast. They also contain some superfoods like flax and coconut oil.