Your Doula Questions Answered

After 20 years in childcare, Tanya Grabbe decided to focus on her on her favorite part of the process - helping parents find solutions. From sleeping to feeding after the baby is here to making an impact on the birth experience and helping with the postpartum period, Tennessee Family Doulas helps parents by supporting the entire family.

What is a doula used for?
I like to say we are “peace in the chaos” especially for the birthing person. While we do focus on the birth experience and postpartum, we support the family, partner and siblings. We address concerns the partner is having as well as assist in sibling care and adjustment to the new member of the family.

When is the ideal time to hire a doula?
Like a lot of other items related to the pregnancy, it’s the time that works best for birthing person and support system. It can be as early as six  weeks pregnant for those who like to plan or as late as 38 weeks. Typically, though the time frame is 15-20 weeks pregnant.

How do you find the “right” doula for you?
There is an initial consult with me and I will match the family with one of the several female doulas we have. Typically, the first match is a great fit and the families fall in love with their doula immediately.

Can I afford a doula?
We offer a wide range of flexibility. Some families want someone just a few hours a week and others much, much more. We can fill both family’s needs. Our contracts are customizable to meet various needs. And, in some cases, Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Savings Accounts can be used to pay a doula. In addition, we also have had grandparents or others gift our services to a family.

What is the biggest question you get from parents after birth?
“When will I sleep again?” or some other variation about sleep and when it returns to something “normal.” Your doula can come stay 3-5 nights a week and get up with the baby. This incredibly helpful. It helps the main caregiver completely shut their brain off because there is another person on call for the baby. Your doula will come get you if you are needed but your job in the time is to sleep. It's helpful also in that the doula is not trying to get sleep like the main caregiver who needs restful and meaningful sleep to function well.

What does a doula do for the birthing parent after the birth?
Since we worked with the client before the birth, we have a knowledge base with and about the client plus a close relationship. We walk through big hormone changes with them along with mood changes. We know how isolating having a newborn can be and work through that. If postpartum depression
(PPD) is a concern we can point our client to those who will help treat it. We have a great set of resources. And we allow the birthing parent to have all the thoughts and feelings that come with birth. True care for self shows strength and we support without judgement.

What’s the best thing about having a doula from Tennessee Family Doulas?
The best thing is having someone in your corner without bias, judgement or seeking to give unsolicited advice. We help people become the parents they always wanted to be to their child. There is no shaping, just educating. We are the person who will say, “Ok, let’s do it!”  And will follow it up with, “What information or help do you need?”

Curious about Tennessee Family Doulas? Want to meet Tanya or learn more? She and over 40 vendors will be at “Bump to Baby Franklin” August 28th at The Factory in Franklin. There will be shopping, local providers and educational talks. TennesseeFamilyDoulas.com

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