Friday 23 November 2018

How I decided to become a postnatal doula

I have worked as a nanny now for more than 10 years.  My current position is ending in January 2019 and I have decided it is time to move on to new pastures.

Over the past 5 years, I have been providing support to a very dear friend who struggled after the birth of her first child. Her partner worked away a lot and as such, she was left holding the baby.

When I first managed to visit her, I knew something wasn't quite right. Her baby was very happy and healthy and mum was very proud but there was a certain spark that was missing from her eyes.

I figured I was best placed to talk to her and make sure things were going well for her given that I'd known her for 20+ years.  We were talking one evening after the little one had gone off to sleep. The entire conversation revolved around the baby and how the baby was feeding well and sleeping great. She didn't talk about herself at all.

I asked if she thought she may have postnatal depression and her reaction was unfavourable to say the least. She was incredibly angry that I would even suggest such a thing and she asked me to leave. Of course, I was hurt and upset by this but I understood her response.

Postnatal depression is quite common in new parents. Unfortunately, as with all other mental health issues, it carries it's own stigma. In hindsight, I realise I could have been more tactful when talking to my friend. Just before her little one turned a year old, my friend came to speak to me about postnatal depression. She was incredibly upset and concerned that her baby would be taken away from her. I reassured her that no one was going to take her baby from her and together, we looked up local support for her. After her second child was born, my friend came to me to tell me how she was feeling and again, we looked at services available to support her.

She is now an incredibly confident parent and her two children are happy and healthy. She will still check in with me from time to time and I show her that she already has the tools available to support herself.

It was last year that I decided that this is the area where I would like to work. I spent hours researching roles and courses and I came across Younique Postnatal. The course was recommended by Kicki Hansard of Birth Bliss and in February this year, I applied for their course.

Tune in next time when I will talk about my experience on the Younique Postnatal course.

Testimonials and references available here

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