Friday, May 29, 2015

Feature Friday: Manda Lynn's Postpartum Doula Service

It's lovely to be back on a another Feature Friday with you! I hope you've had a chance to read our past post about postpartum mental health problems in preparation for today's feature.  It's heartfelt and eye opening ~ just like the postpartum period itself.

Manda Lynn is a postpartum doula with a mission to improve the postpartum lives of all moms in Utah.  I love her sweet nature and really look forward to hearing more from her.

Meet Manda.

Photo Credit: Tammy Jarman Photography

Hi Manda! Please, tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm happy to have this opportunity! My parents named me Amanda Lynn. When I was a kid, they gave me a mandolin (get it?) --a small one made of metal. Music is my talent. I started piano lessons when I was seven and am teaching our oldest daughter who is eight and a half. I enjoy singing with our kids and other kids. I took an organ class and a guitar class in college, but I haven't (yet) learned to play the mandolin.
When I was about 12, I had a friend who dropped the A and called me Manda. All of that, and a discussion with some women who attended CAPPA postpartum doula training with me, is how I came up with my business name, Manda Lynn's Postpartum Doula Service.
I live with my husband and 3 kids, who bring us joy! Besides music, I love to spend time with family and friends, talk with women at support groups, read (mostly "birth junkie" stuff and other nonfiction), make whole foods plant based meals, exercise (I ran a half-marathon just before finding out I was pregnant with our 3rd child), and take photographs.

Photo Credit: Tammy Jarman Photography

Some of our readers may not know what a postpartum doula is. How would you describe it?

If you are wondering what a postpartum doula is, here's how I am different from birth doulas. A birth doula is with a woman during her birthing time (a.k.a. labor), and usually leaves within a couple of hours after the baby is born. In the days and weeks after that, a postpartum doula can be very helpful. Many parents of multiples hire postpartum doulas. Birth is a small window of time compared to how long you will be responsible for that child--sort of like the contrast between a wedding day and a marriage. I would love to help you adjust to changes after your baby comes out, whether it is your first or not.
I love what the CAPPA (Childbirth and Postpartum Professional Association) website says: "The postpartum doula is a trained professional that offers physical, emotional, and spiritual support to a new mom and the rest of the family. Postpartum doulas also offer breastfeeding support, light household maintenance, family nurturing and instruction to mom and/or other family members in the care of a newborn. The postpartum doula's job is to make the transition to parenthood easier for new parents, to help mom during her recovery period and to ascertain what the family needs help with and to provide the instruction. 
The main objective of a postpartum doula's role is not to take over complete care of the newborn, but to educate and support the family so that they will feel empowered to care for their newborn themselves.
Postpartum doulas do NOT offer any medical advice or perform any medical or clinical procedures, but instead can offer parents referrals to appropriate studies and published books.
Postpartum doulas should be good with children, patient, nonjudgmental, and knowledgeable about newborn care and breastfeeding."

What drew you to postpartum doula work?

My love for my own newborns was one thing that drew me to this work. I heard in 2014 or earlier that there was a need for more postpartum doulas, like there is for more lactation educators, and I want to certify in that through CAPPA as well(I am working on the postpartum doula certification). I like being able to set my schedule. It's wonderful to be able to do something rewarding -- helping other moms -- in short shifts. 

What do you think sets you apart from other postpartum doulas?

I feel I am unique because of 2 reasons: 1st, I can relate to recovery from a cesarean and "failed" VBAC attempts. I labored unmedicated for many hours to give birth to each baby the way I wanted to, and they ended up needing to be born by c-section. Of course, I also can help you if you are recovering from a vaginal birth, and I am available as a bedrest doula as well. I feel that pregnancy and birth are amazing!
The 2nd reason is that I have experience shopping for and preparing whole foods plant based meals and I understand veganism because I am a vegan-nutritarian myself.

What is the 1 thing you think that every mother should have in the postpartum period?

Besides hiring a doula, one thing I think every mother needs in the postpartum period is to journal about what she is feeling and thinking. It doesn't need to be much, or every day, but I haven't regretted times that I have written in a journal. 

How important an issue do you think maternal mental health is?

Maternal mental health is very important. Postpartum depression, OCD, psychosis, etc. often comes suddenly. I learned at a screening of the new documentary Dark Side of the Full Moon that depression during or after pregnancy is more common than gestational diabetes. More common than breast cancer. I can sit and listen and provide resources.

Lastly, please humor us with your favorite chick flick!

My favorite chick flick is Father of the Bride starring Steve Martin.

Wow! There was a lot of information there that I actually didn't know. I can think of a few women who would have loved to have had a bedrest doula. *mind blown*.  I am so grateful that she shared her beautiful self with us. 

Be sure to click on her links and send her some love.
website: facebook: twitter:

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