by Debra Tolson, ICEA President
We are excited to announce a new and improved postpartum doula program called Postpartum Doula: Care through the first 1,000 days. This program, unlike the traditional program, allows our doulas to work with families beyond the traditional 3-4 months and encourages them to continue the important work all the way through the preschool years. We have found that the care families need does not magically end at 3-4 months, but instead evolves from educating and providing support surrounding postpartum and newborn care to educating and providing support throughout the crucial first 1,000 days. Far too many families have little to no support between the immediate postpartum period (when their doula leaves) through preschool. Consequently, they are left wondering if their child is growing and developing as they should. Our new program fills in those gaps allowing the doula to establish a long-term relationship with her clientele. Families will appreciate being able to work with someone whom they know well. During those first crucial 1,000 days the doula will help educate the family on normal infant, toddler, and preschool growth and development. S/he will teach about social, emotional, and brain development, and will show families how to use age appropriate play to enhance these areas. In addition, the postpartum doula will be a referral source for the necessary resources that families need within their community. Watch our website for this new and improved program, and consider attending a workshop or bringing one to your area. Let’s help families have the best start that they possibly can have, and help families enhance their babies’ social, emotional, and brain development.