One year ago today I officially launched Proud Mama Support Services, a doula agency that offers top-quality mother-centered postpartum care to families as they transition to life with their baby.
It's difficult to describe the essence of what postpartum doulas offer to families. Part of what we do is easy to describe. We provide customized practical support for the daily living needs of each family we serve in the weeks--and sometimes months--following the birth of their baby. Sometimes we run errands, cook meals, and fold a lot of laundry. Sometimes we organize the baby's things, or help set up a piece of baby equipment. Sometimes we provide information about baby products that may be helpful in a particular situation. We bring water and food to moms who are recovering in bed. #postpartumdoulasdothat
But that's not the heart of what we do.
As Rachael Sudhalter puts it, "I doula for all those families who want a non-judgmental set of ears that they can just talk to. I doula to be another person who can support a family as they start their journey with this new person in their life. I doula because I remember what it was like to have a new little one at home and to feel overwhelmed. I doula because sometimes just having someone getting your snacks ready and filling up your water makes all the difference."
Underneath whatever our hands are busy doing, we are doing something else: we are PRESENT and ATTUNED to our clients. We listen. We anticipate needs. We are a sounding board to new ideas, new worries, new discoveries. We laugh with our clients often, and sometimes we cry together. We commiserate about diaper blowouts and fussy babies. We pay attention. We notice when things are falling apart, and when a mom or dad really hits their stride. We celebrate the smallest successes that nobody else but the parents would notice. #postpartumdoulasdothat too.
We bring the gifts of simplicity, rest, and peace of mind to a time that can be stressful and overwhelming. And most importantly, it's never about us. When we are with our clients, we are there to support and serve their needs. Of course we love babies and are honored to be trusted to care for these small, most precious ones, but our love for babies isn't the topic of conversation, and it's not the focus of our work. We offer the best support for our clients so they can be the best for their babies. That's what it's all about.
In May 2015, Rachel Brinker launched Proud Mama Support Services as a solo postpartum doula business and served several families. By November, Rachael Sudhalter joined the Proud Mama Support Services team. Over the last twelve months, we served over ten families and logged over 400 hours of in-home postpartum support. It has been an honor to be a small part of each family's intimate journey into parenthood, and we think of our clients often. We also offered a number of classes on baby sign language, safe sleep, postpartum nutrition, postpartum adjustment, and postnatal core recovery and fitness. This year took Rachel to Portland to train with Wendy Foster in the mamalates method of core recovery. Rachel has been teaching mamalates workshops at Live Well Studio and this coming year will also offer classes at Corvallis Birth and Women's Health Center as well as through Corvallis Parks and Recreation.
In the coming year, we are excited to be expanding our team of doulas. We look forward to offering even more services, classes, and availability to Corvallis and the Mid-Willamette Valley. We believe in the importance and value of professional postpartum support and look forward to the opportunity to serve growing families in the next twelve months.
If you know someone interested in becoming a postpartum doula, we would love to hear from them. We are looking for our next team members and training opportunities are coming up soon! There are many benefits to working as a doula team through an agency like Proud Mama Support Services and we look forward to welcoming professionally trained doulas of excellence to our team.
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