Photo Credit: Tim Bish
As a Postpartum Doula, I serve a wide range of families and know the support I provide makes a huge difference in their lives after babies. Most of my clients contract with me before the birth to ensure that they will have the support needed. But I have a whole other clientele that does not contact me until they are dealing with major issues after their births that include breastfeeding problems, recovery from an unplanned C-section, perinatal mood disorders, planned support not materializing, birth trauma, and sleep deprivation to name a few. These are my 911 Postpartum clients and I truly love being able to provide this much-needed service. This part of my business has grown over the years and is now at least 25% of what I do. How can you grow your own 911 business to serve more of those in need and increase your bottom line?
The 911 clients usually need only a few number of hours for days or nights to get back on track, but they need them fairly quickly, so having a little flexibility in your schedule is very helpful. Being able to go to a new mom on the same day she calls or the next day is important as she most likely has already been suffering through whatever issue she is having for a while. We know that getting help on the front side is the best, but sooner than later is always preferable when dealing with these new families. Letting others in the birth world know that you can provide this service will help increase this part of your business. Once the lactation consultants know that you are available for this short-term support, they will refer to you whenever they have a client in need. Visiting breastfeeding support groups and sharing about your services is another way to build this segment of your business. Networking with the Labor Doulas and Homebirth Midwives in your area and making sure they understand the services you can offer will also bring you more of these immediate need clients as well as other clients who plan on postpartum support.
What kind of help can you provide in the very short term that would make a difference? I have worked for as little as 4 hours for a 911 client and been able to help resolve a number of concerns. Things like explaining what newborn and infant sleep really looks like and what can be expected in the future has helped relieve a lot of concern and anxiety. Working with the new mom on latch and positions for breastfeeding especially when there is an oversupply (most new moms are not aware that this can make breastfeeding difficult and think they have a low supply issue) has made a positive impact and can usually be done in a short timeframe. Building confidence in the new mom and encouraging her to listen to her intuition is very important and can also be addressed in these shorter sessions. Having new parents get some much-needed sleep for one or two nights and sharing tips and tricks of how to maximize their sleep can make a great difference in the postpartum period. Just having a fresh set of eyes in the house can often times lead to a better assessment of what is really going on and provide the appropriate resources.
I know many of you may not have the flexibility to provide this type of service, but I would ask you to learn who the Postpartum Doulas are in your area that can do this so you can refer to them. Building your community and knowing the services that others offer can greatly improve how postpartum families are supported. Getting the word out that 911 Postpartum Doulas are available would not only improve doula businesses’ bottom lines but would help support postpartum families with affordable options.
As a certified Birth and Postpartum Doula, I serve families during the critical times before, during, and after the birth of a new baby. I have always been passionate about women taking an active role in their healthcare and find that this is even more important during pregnancy, through the birth process, and the postpartum period. I provide the much needed emotional, educational, and physical support to ensure that this time is the best it can be.
My birth philosophy is pretty simple: Women’s bodies were created to have birth be as natural as possible. When we trust our bodies, amazing things can happen. That being said, supporting women in their births can be as different and as personalized as each woman is. It is your birth and can look many different ways. I am just there to help you make it the best way it can be for you. I have supported many varieties of birth including all natural, medicated, C-sections, adoption and relinquishment, and surrogacy. I believe that if women and their partners are educated about birth and all the variables, they can make more informed choices and be extremely empowered, creating more satisfaction with their births, no matter what happens.
Allowing new mothers to get their much-needed sleep, taking care of older siblings, performing light household chores, and generally being a calming influence for both moms and babies, are just a few of the services I offer after the birth as a postpartum doula. My background includes growing up in a very large family where I took care of babies from a very early age, being an elementary school teacher, a mother, and a grandmother.
|Carolyn Butler – CLD, CPD, Postpartum Faculty||
|Carolyn is a mother, a grandmother, and former elementary school teacher who grew up in a very large family, caring for babies from an early age. In addition to a BA in Elementary Education, she has a Masters in Applied Communication. Carolyn has many years of experience in adult education; teaching marketing, public speaking, memory techniques, and neuro linguistic programming topics. She has pursued a variety of interesting and rewarding careers in addition to teaching that include retail management, marketing, public relations, and interior design. Everything Carolyn has done before led her to finding her true passion in this doula work. “I see it as making a huge difference in the world of families and babies, as well as making a difference in our present and future world.” She is committed to sharing and teaching the experiences and information she has learned, making doula services more available to more families.