With so many new parents not having the local support systems of their own mums it’s become common practice for new parents to enlist the help of doula’s, sleep consultants and maternity nurses within the first few weeks or months of little one’s arrival. I myself have worked with many clients who have hired amazing on hand help, with that in mind I wanted to share the in’s and out’s of what it’s all about, and who better but the lovely Anna from Bumps & Babies who also also created a fantastic baby diary that’s not also a keepsake but aimed to help new mum’s record feed times, sleep patterns etc.
What is a postnatal doula?
Postnatal Doula is a non-medical professional who supports new mum in early weeks after the birth of her baby/ babies. Depending on what each mother and family need support can be emotional or practical, during the day or night. A doula will also help to find a medical professional, support or resources to the case or any challenges, i.e., Breastfeeding problems, suspected tongue tie.
Why did you become a postnatal doula?
Before becoming a Doula, I was working as a Maternity Nurse and Night Nanny, which might be seen as a similar role but in fact, it’s very different. As a Maternity Nurse, i often had sole charge of the baby while doula is there to support a mother and be an extra pair of hands and be more for the whole family and support the family as a unit. I saw myself more like a woman who would like to empower new mothers and step back after few hours of work rather than stay 5 or 6 days and be live in help.
What’s been the biggest challenge while working as a Postnatal Doula/ Maternity Nurse?
Saying goodbye to families is always challenging: over the weeks when we share families precious moments, and that experience always brings people closer. I often stay friends with my clients and it lovely to see their children grow. The biggest challenge is working hours, night shift can provide little rest and can put a strain on health and personal life. Planning your weeks and months in advance, eating well, drinking plenty of water and looking after myself is equally important as supporting my clients.
Do you mentor other postnatal doulas?
I mentor other Postnatal Doulas, Maternity Nurses, and Sleep Consultants. When I first started, there was a very small online community and little resources how to run a business in Birth and Baby industry I had to figure everything on my own, from designing a website to creating feeding charts for the babies. It was difficult and took me longer if I had someone to help me navigate in with the business side of things. Once I’ve mastered it I had a lot of colleges and other Birth and Baby Professionals asking me to help with their business. I have now clients in the UK but also in other parts of the world, like Australia, United States or Canada.
Tell us a little about you aside from the world of sleepy babies? Your journey as a female entrepreneur.
I always had lots of ideas even working for bigger corporations like Geggs or Zara I had quick promotions, and I knew I could achieve more meaningful things working for myself. Accidentally I become a Nanny in 2006 and from then I started my journey towards working with newborns, I always looked at improving my skills, knowledge, and qualifications: I believe that self-development is vital for growing any business. As I said earlier, I was figuring out everything on my own and become quite good at what I was doing. In 2014 I decided that I can’t do more on my own and I need someone who can guide me a bit and help me grow my business. I signed up for working holiday ILAB in Bali run by Roger James Hamilton, and that’s where I started to see what I could achieve with my business. The same year I’ve joined Female Entrepreneur Association run by Carrie Green, who is my great inspiration and support. I’ve met some amazing women there, made business and personal friendships and found the team which helps me grow my business.
What inspired you to design the baby diary?
Baby Diary was born out of the need for something better to write baby’s feeding time and amount than two columns chart on a single piece of paper which was often lost. I had this idea of a little book which can be used by parents to write times of feeding, sleeping and nappy content so they can keep track what is going on with their new baby and show it to midwife or health visitor if needed. I also wanted this baby book to be a keepsake.
The benefits of the baby diary?
The main benefit of the baby diary is that everyone who looks at the notes can see when was last time baby ate, slept, how many dirty and wet nappies there were. Based on that information parents can see emerging patterns and can build routines, if desired or necessary (i.e.,. low birth weight, reflux).
The baby diary is also a beautifully designed keepsake, bound with soft, velvety cover, perfect gift for new baby.
Where can they obtain copies?
Copies can be bought on amazon.co.uk:
Or if anyone is interested in bulk orders, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Anna’s tips for content babies?
- Encourage good habits from early weeks, make sure baby is put down for naps awake and can fall asleep on her own. This will help build routine later on if desired.
- Babies sleep better if they spend time outside each day, even if it’s only 15-20 min. It will be good for you too.
- Babies are like little radars; they will sense if you are tired or irritated and they will mirror that. Self-care is as important as care for the baby!