This past week has been a good doula week!
At the end of last week I did a prenatal with my client who is due at the end of May. It was interesting to go into a prenatal visit with several successful doula births under my belt! I felt a lot more calm and competent.
On Monday I got a new client! She's my first paying client (woohoo!) and is already at 38 weeks. I've had a camping trip planned for a while, though, this coming weekend and we're all hoping that she doesn't go into labor until I get back!
I visited my primip (first time mom) client for our postpartum visit. She told me that they had a rough first couple of days after coming home from the hospital. She said they had prepared SO MUCH for the birth and barely at all for what life would be like for a newborn! The baby was feeding every 2 hours but wasn't staying on the breast for long periods of time. She had pumped and dad had bottle-fed him, so I guessed maybe he was having some nipple confusion (probably getting frustrated when her breasts didn't give milk as fast and strong as the bottle did!). He was jaundiced and because it was showing up in his eyes they took him to the doctor. He was very cute though and I got to hold him for a little bit! And they gave me a gift to remember them by, which was very sweet.
I tried to help give breastfeeding and sleep advice, and I brought them a meal. I also brought her a birth story written out from my perspective. Unfortunately, still being a trainee and never having had a baby myself I didn't quite know what more I could do to help her. This is definitely something that I want to learn some more about (maybe some postpartum doula training one day?) so I can be more helpful next time.
I'm not sure how to go about calling/emailing with advice. I want to keep checking in on her and offering advice because she hasn't done a lot of her own reading, but I don't want to be annoying. But she's a first time mom and I feel for her!
I'm having a different problem with the mom from my home birth. She hasn't been returning my messages, and its been almost 2 weeks now! I know answering phone calls is the last thing on postpartum mom, but she does have two other kids so she's got to be up and about by now in the real world! And so I'm starting to get worried that something happened... It just doesn't seem like her to flat out ignore me because she is very kind. She is a little too far for me to just go stop by and chance her not being home. Not sure what to do about that situation.
I had another postpartum visit, this time with my multip client who was the first part of my doula double header. She was doing awesome! This baby was doing much better at everything - sleeping, breastfeeding - than her first baby, and mom and dad are so relieved. He is gaining weight really well (a lot more than the baby who was born the same night as him, which just made me more worried for her!). I was very pleased to see that they were doing well.
This evening I did my first prenatal visit with my recent-hire client and met her husband and family. She is having baby boy #3. She is not as adamant about going all-natural as some of my other moms, so this may end up being my first epidural birth if the labor is long and difficult. But it may be quick since its her third baby! She is worried about getting to the hospital on time; I'm worried about another labor too fast to count for certification! :]
And that's all in my doula-world news!