"Tammy’s presence in our home for the first two months after our twins were born saved my sanity."
“Tammy’s presence in our home for the first two months after our twins were born saved my sanity. I am not exaggerating. She cared for all of my family members’ needs so that I could get some rest. She rocked two babies for hours, just to keep the house quiet enough so I could sleep. She played with our toddler while I fed babies. She cooked nutritious and yummy meals for me, my husband and our older child. She offered advice about breastfeeding and pumping so the babies were taken care of, too. She was an all-hands-on-deck type of help—changing diapers, doing laundry, cuddling babies, cooking, cleaning… in general, if she felt that by doing something it would help me, she did it with a smiling face and a glad heart. She became a loved member of our family. I was comfortable to confide in her about any challenges or questions I had regarding new born care (also about being a mom and wife, in general)—and her years of experience as a mother, a grandmother and a mother’s helper gave her the confidence and ability to offer sound and helpful suggestions. Her natural instincts and experience made those first two months do-able. We loved her company and her willingness to help in any situation. My husband has some disabilities and her willingness to help him be involved with the care of his babies was so heart-warming. I could probably go on forever about how much we all grew to love and appreciate her. Most importantly, I will whole-heartedly recommend her services to all of my friends and family. Even if people don’t NEED a doula, I know their lives will be enriched by her services. If I can become half as wonderful as this woman, I will be proud.”
"Bringing a newborn into your home is stressful and tiring..."
“Tammy was there for each of my children’s births and proceeded to help me as needed for a short time after. Bringing a newborn into your home is stressful and tiring, especially being a first time parent. Tammy helped me around the house while I was busy tending or bonding with my newborn. She helped assist with meal preparation for my family and also assisted in light house work. She would take over midnight feedings or diaper changes if I was too exhausted. With my first born she helped give me tips on how to soothe my newborns tummy ache from being lactose intolerant which was very stressful for me. She is very knowledgeable and informative especially when I would ask questions on whether or not something was normal regarding my newborn. Most importantly though, she has a soft, soothing presence about her that instantly put my baby and I at ease. She is gentle, calm, and very patient in every aspect. When she told me she was pursuing postpartum doula work I knew it’s what she was meant to do!!”
"Tammy helped me after the birth of each of my four children..."
“Tammy helped me after the birth of each of my four children, her support and encouragement was so uplifting. After my first birth I was 19 years old, and trying to balance a very unhealthy relationship with the father while recovering from an emergency c-section and adjusting to life as a new mother. Her compassion and understanding in my unique situation was amazing. With my second pregnancy, two and a half years later, I was in a much better place with my new husband and my toddler. I scheduled a repeat c-section, and after the birth she was so helpful while I adjusted from being a mother of one to a mother of two. My third birth my husband and I decided to try a VBAC (vaginal birth after c-section) with an epidural, thankfully the birth went well but I did have some problems with post partum depression and anxiety. Tammy helped me and my family adjust to having a new baby, and the advice and encouragement she gave me helped me in so many ways. With my last pregnancy, I had a VBAC without any medication. While the birth was successful, I did have an anxiety attack during labor. After the birth, my depression and anxiety were much worse than I had expected it to be. This being my fourth child, I thought I knew what to expect and what to do, but I found myself unsure and in need of some guidance. Tammy’s support left me feeling empowered and confident, I can’t thank her enough.”
"... I've had the pleasure of working with three different postpartum doulas...Tammy Huguenin was, by far, THE BEST..."
“In my experience, I’ve had the pleasure of working with three different postpartum doulas…Tammy Huguenin was, by far, THE BEST…Her help was paramount in pulling me back from the dark and lonely abyss that I sank into after the birth of my third child…
It was a difficult pregnancy, resulting in a Cesarean section, involving the NICU, severe anxiety, coupled with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and (of course) Postpartum Depression—all with little to no support. I was drowning. And I knew that I was in no condition to take care of myself or my children.
Tammy Huguenin was a light amidst the shadows. She mothered me, she mothered my baby, my other two children—she mothered my whole family while I gained the strength to do it on my own. And Tammy helped me to find that strength. She was there to teach me so much, and to support and encourage me along the way. She aided me in setting up a sleep schedule for my fussy baby; she assisted me with breastfeeding issues such as weening when I was ready and needed to do so; she showed me how to feed my family meals that are both nutritious and economical; she helped me learn to budget my time and run my household more efficiently; she was there for mom to mom advice on everything from teething to sensory disorders…and so much more…Tammy kept me afloat when the postpartum storm threatened to take me down.
Tammy loves her job and it showed every moment she was with me—every moment she was building me back up—every moment she used her talent, care, compassion, experience, and dedication to help me put the pieces of my life back together…
Whatever your situation, you can’t find a better Postpartum Doula (or human being, for that matter) than Tammy Huguenin.”
"I often joke that finding Tammy’s website was the best google search of my life"
Postpartum Doula Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the role of a Trained and Certified Postpartum Doula?
The role of a Trained and Certified Postpartum Doula (TCPD) changes from day to day, as the needs of the individual family changes. They do what is necessary to help the new family with the transition and care for their new baby and mother. A large part of their role is to “mother the mother” and nurture the family. They assist with breastfeeding education, as well as ensuring that the mother is getting plenty of rest, good nutrition and hydration.
2. Is there a specific timeframe that a Postpartum Doula works with a family?
Postpartum support from a TCPD can last anywhere from one or two visits to more than three months. Every family is supported in the way that best suits their individual needs and the length of time needed is determined by the family.
3. What hours do Postpartum Doulas work with the family?
Some doulas work fulltime, several days a week. Others work two to five hour shifts during the day when the need is greatest for support or until the partner or another family member gets home. Some doulas work evenings for a few hours and some work overnights for up to 9 hours. Some doulas work every day, some work one or more shifts per week, all depending on the need.
4. Is there a difference between a Postpartum Doula and a Baby Nurse?
A TCPD’s role is to nurture the mother and the family through the postpartum period. Unlike a Baby Nurse, a doula’s focus is not solely on the baby, but on fostering independence for everyone in the family. The doula is as available to the entire family unit; partner, older children as well as the mother and the new baby. Nurturing the family as a whole is the key.
5. What is the goal of a Postpartum Doula?
The goal of a TCPD is to nurture the parents and older children into their new roles. As the new family succeeds and their knowledge and self-confidence grows, the need for Postpartum Doula support will diminish.
6. Where can a family find a Postpartum Doula in our community?
Trained and Certified Postpartum Doulas can be found locally through the Spokane Professional Doula Association (SPDA), as well as on doulamatch.net and through individual doula certifying agencies.
7. How does a Postpartum Doula nurture the parents/family into their new role?
The TCPD uses a non-judgmental, encouraging approach of support in the family’s individual parenting style. They build self-confidence and encourage involvement of all family members in the new transition of bringing baby home. As the family becomes more confident in their new role the Doula’s role decreases. The Doula will provide educational resources to the family as needed when issues arise. Helping parents to learn strategies and skills that will improve bonding with their babies will create a confident, calm and loving environment for the entire family.
8. Do Postpartum Doulas help mothers who may have postpartum depression or anxiety?
TCPDs are not therapists or psychiatrists. Postpartum Doulas are not authorized to treat postpartum depression at all. However, they can help by creating a physically and emotionally safe place for the mother. The Doula creates a comforting effect by supporting and accepting the mother in each stage that she is experiencing during the postpartum period. By “mothering the mother”, a doula can make sure that the mother feels supported, nurtured and cared for. Making sure the new mother is eating well and getting enough sleep is very important during this time. The TCPD helps their clients to be aware of their emotions and screen themselves for PPMDs, as well as provides referrals to appropriate clinicians or support groups as needed.
9. What is Postpartum Doula’s parenting approach?
TCPDs do not press any parenting approach on a family, but are educated to support the family/mothers’ parenting approach. Postpartum Doulas are supportive, non-judgmental listeners and encourage families/mothers to develop their own philosophies on parenting approaches.
10. How do Postpartum Doulas work with a mother’s partner and/or other children in the household?
A TCPD respects the role of each family member and supports active involvement by all members with the new baby. The doula encourages the partner and older children to help nurture the new baby and mother. The involvement of all family members in the early weeks and beyond will create a loving and positive effect on the entire family.
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