The bond between an infant and mother is the purest form of unconditional love. A postpartum woman not only needs tender, loving care, but someone who is knowledgeable enough to give her the guidance she needs to care and connect with her infant. I distinctly remember the time after my daughter was born. I wish I could say it was purely magical, but it was not. First of all, I experienced a traumatic birth after being induced at 37 weeks due to a health condition. After the birth, I had my mother, father and my husband as my support network. I was so excited to meet my first-born that even after a traumatic birth I could not keep my eyes closed that night and kept looking at my daughter despite my mom telling me to rest. My husband on the other hand was fast asleep after a long 22 hour labor. The connection between me and my child had already been made.
Breastfeeding on the other hand was not simple at all. Hospital staff, nurses and doctors trying to check the well being and safety of me and my infant were all part of the medical care team, but I was not prepared for the time at home.
I thought I was prepared for childbirth, newborn care and breastfeeding by going to the childbirth education course for new parents. I wish I had known to be prepared for a tornado of hormones sweeping through my postpartum body. That tornado not only swept me off my feet, but changed my entire idea of mother-infant connection. I wish I had known the importance of skin to skin contact, the golden hour, and a whole list of other things. I cannot go back in time and change all that for myself, but I can certainly make a difference in the lives of new mothers and babies. I want to help new mothers who have taken the classes like I did, but still feel lost in the stormy winds of the postpartum tornado, have a shelter in the form of knowledgeable help so they land on their feet and not feel lost like I did. Postpartum doulas, not only make the mother and infant connection stronger, but make it enjoyable. As I read a book called NEW PUBERTY by Louise Greenspan, MD and Julianna Deardorff, PhD, there is a quote that resonates with me the most. The little box in the book says ” The strength of the infant-mother bond can influence when a girl goes through puberty.”