There are few things in life as precious as a sweet-smelling newborn snuggled up in your arms. The ‘baby stage’ has passed me by with alarming speed, and I occasionally long for the days of curling up with a frog-legged newborn, with a cock-eyed head to my chest, peacefully sleeping in a cozied up milk-coma.
You’d think, given the field of work I’m in, that I get more than my share of baby-holding. While I’m fairly well versed in the act of holding, cuddling, swaddling, rocking and bouncing a newborn, it’s not always a usual part of a day in my life with a family. Whether after a birth, during a postpartum visit, or as a postpartum doula, holding babies is actually a lot more scarce than you’d think.
Why? Because I won’t ask to hold your baby.
It’s not that I don’t want to. Oh, I want to. But it’s simply not my job to assume that’s what you want or need from me.
My job as your doula is to support you in the ways you need most, giving you the space to bond with your baby.
Those precious hours after birth - those are your moments. That is your time as a family to revel in the miracle you’ve just welcomed into the world; to take in every quick breath your baby takes, to keep him warm and close; the place he wants to be most.
The weeks postpartum, you may want to revel in every sleepy moment with baby. With visitors coming in to sneak in their cuddle, you may be longing to simply soak up these fleeting moments.
And perhaps you gladly welcome an extra set of arms so that you can sneak in a nap or a shower, or a hands-free trip to the grocery store. Ok, let’s be honest…a solo trip to the bathroom might be a luxury experience at this point. While I am (more than) happy to provide this for the parents I work with, l also know that sometimes (often) the most valuable way I can support them is to keep the house tidy, prep a meal, do a few loads of laundry, or play with little sister.
My greatest goal is to be there to give you exactly what you need, and that may not include your newborn, and that is absolutely fine by me.