I was recently invited to speak on BBC Radio York about the role of a postnatal doula, and how doulas can help new parents who are feeling sleep deprived. If you missed the interview you can listen to it here... (from 1:46:41)
The one thing I didn't have a chance to say in the interview is that it is ABSOLUTELY normal to feel exhausted and overwhelmed in the first few weeks/months with a new-born.
In most cultures around the world, new mothers are supported and cared for by their family members for at least the first 6 weeks after their baby has been born. This gives new mothers time to adjust to their new role of caring for their baby, which is a 24/7 commitment, as well as themselves - and sometimes other children, too. In our society, many new parents don't have that support available from their families because of where, and how, we live.
It's OK to ask for help! We all need help, sometimes, and a postnatal doula is there precisely for you and your family in the first weeks and months to provide person-centred, practical and emotional care and support to you, as you care for your new-born.
Having someone skilled and experienced to walk the journey with you through the dark and lonely hours as you transition into parenthood is invaluable. Mental health and wellbeing improves, and has a direct link in influencing early childhood development and infant-parent bonding. Find your village, get support... and if you don't have the support available from friends and family, find a doula who will be there for you as you enter your journey into parenthood.