How I Got Here
As a mother to three wild and beautiful young sons, I know well the joys and challenges that come with bringing a newborn home. All of our babies were born in places where we had no family nearby to help, and support was scarce in the weeks after doting grandparents left. 'How on Earth am I supposed to do all of this??' was a constant refrain in my mind.
My births all left me with a mix of elation, empowerment, bewilderment, wonder, and a strong need to rest and recover physically. But newborns somehow miss the memo that parents need these things, and instead occupy our every moment (waking AND sleeping) with their needs.
While caring for a newborn, I found precious little time to attend to life's other daily needs --- the need to rest and heal from the birth process, to mentally and emotionally process that experience, to bond with this new being, to feed and clean and clothe and care for other siblings, to spend time with a partner, to read up and educate myself on all the best and latest infant care practices, to SLEEP....
For many women, all the duties that come with mothering a new baby mean that she will forgo care for herself in order to make sure All The Other Things get done. But as on airplanes, it's necessary for parents to first secure their own oxygen masks in order for anyone in the family to be cared for at all.
This is what a Postpartum Doula does --- what I dreamt of someone doing in my own postpartum periods and became determined to be for other women --- The person who helps you find space in your life to put on your own 'oxygen mask'; a servant-helper who takes on the chores and duties that can prevent parents from doing that; a rent-a-mother-for-the-mother, a rent-a-friend, a supportive presence to care for the new baby while you sleep, attend to other needs, etc., a trained expert in infant care, breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, baby wearing, infant safe sleep, perineal care, a nonjudgmental source of support and care who respects your family's wishes --- right there in your home with you.
While my career prior to having children was in immigrant advocacy and ESOL, my heart now lies with the mothers and families of my Anchorage community. I have been a certified La Leche League Leader for the past 7 years and have led bi-monthly meetings here in town since 2011; supporting and helping mothers meet their individual and unique breastfeeding goals. After having experienced Postpartum Depression and Anxiety during all three of my postpartum periods, I now do national-level advocacy work with the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health and am on the Executive Board of the Postpartum Support International - Alaska Chapter, Mothering Wellness in Alaska.
My fantastic professor husband and three boys keep me busy with hiking, cross-country skiing, camping, and exploring all year long. In the rare case I come by any free time, I like to read, eat Mooses Tooth pizza, run, and spend time with my tribe of friends outside on the trails.
As a Postpartum Doula, I provide in-home care for the mother, the infant, the home, and the family --- I make space for the parents to rest, relax, recover, and bond with their new baby. My goal is to help you make a smooth adjustment by means of support and education so you feel empowered to care for your newborn with confidence.
Studies have shown that women who have social support during the postpartum period tend to have less postpartum depression, breastfeed for a longer duration, and make a better adjustment to parenthood.
What Does A Postpartum Doula Do, Exactly?
Having a postpartum doula's extra set of eyes and hands in your home can help make your newborn period a peaceful and stress-free time.
Services provided include:
- prepare healthy, nourishing meals for you
- do light housework, dishes, laundry, home organization, etc
- watch baby while you rest, shower or sleep
- assist you with any and all breastfeeding or formula feeding questions and issues
- offer you trained, expert advice and support for breastfeeding
- provide links and contacts to a wide array of resources in your community
- assist in perineal and csection healing and recovery
- breast pump and pumping expertise
- provide overnight care for wakeful newborns so parents can get some
- have your newborn brought to you at nursing times during the night, then changed and re-settled back to sleep for you. You don't even have to get out of bed!
- bottle feed your newborn so you can get a full night's rest
- diaper, soothe, and resettle your baby at night
- teach you about evidence-based, general newborn care
- provide babywearing instruction and expertise
- provide caring, nonjudgemental support
- act as a buffer between the bonding mother and baby and other family
members or visitors
- engage and care for other siblings
HOW IT WORKS
Get Some Help and Rest
After beginning our relationship with an initial meeting to see if you think Id be a good fit for your family, we can decide on hours and fill out the paperwork. A non-refundable $75 fee is paid when you select me as your Doula. This retainer fee will secure me for the amount of time you want me to work with your family and is applied to your balance.
I offer both daytime and overnight shifts. You can purchase hours individually, in blocks of 10, or in any of the packages below. Discounts included in blocks and packages.
Daytime shifts are $30/hr:
- 9am-12pm weekdays
- any 3+hr shift from 6:30pm-12am weekdays
- There is a 3 hour minimum per shift.
Overnight shifts are $35/hr:
--can be from 8 to 12 hrs long from the hours of 9pm- 9am weeknights.
Some weekend daytime and overnight shifts are available. Please call to inquire.
Both daytime and nighttime hours can be purchased in blocks of 10 hours at a discount:
10hr Daytime Block: $290
10hr Nighttime Block: $340
FIRST WEEK HOME SUPPORT:
--15 hours of daytime support;
5 days of 3-hour shifts, or 3 days of 5-hour shifts
NIGHT SUPPORT PACKAGE:
--3 consecutive nights of 10-hour care per week for 3 weeks
DAY SUPPORT PACKAGE:
--20 hours of daytime support between the hours of 8am-12pm and 6:30pm-11pm weekdays.
-- some weekend day hours may be available; please call to inquire.
THE PAY-IT-FORWARD PACKAGE:
-- includes 20 hours of day or nighttime support at the daytime rate, plus a 10-hour donation to our Postpartum Scholarship Bank for lower-income mothers. Bank hours are donated to mothers who are otherwise unable to afford postpartum doula care, yet are in need of help. Scholarship clients are screened and made aware that their care is made possible by generous people like you. This is a wonderful package for anyone with the means to choose it, and would be a tremendous blessing to the Anchorage community.
A PERFECT GIFT -- POSTPARTUM CARE
Offer Local Support and Love From Many Miles Away With a Gift Certificate, Or Give a Perfect Baby Shower Gift
Don't live in the same area as your favorite newborn family but want to offer practical help? Or are you looking for a truly helpful new baby gift? Blocks of postpartum care hours are available to purchase as a gift for new mothers here in the Anchorage area. You can send me any of your favorite recipes or family traditions you'd like me to incorporate for the new family, and Ill make sure they feel your love and care across the miles.
Beautiful, hand crafted Gift Certificate to present to the family included.
Carrie is a postpartum angel! She spent a couple nights with our family during the first week our twins life and was an amazing help. Being a first time parent I had no idea what I was doing and coming straight from the hospital Carrie's presence was really reassuring. I was exhausted so she spent the night in the nursery with the twins, bringing them to me for feeding but she burped, calmed and changed diapers. She also helped with cleaning, baking and nursing education. She is awesome! I would recommend her services to anyone!
Let choice murmur in your ear
And love murmur in your heart.
Be ready... here comes life. -