This week, we had Doula Danielle on to talk about her experience working as a postpartum doula in Helsinki. Through her personal practice, Mothers Transition, and as a member of The Nest Helsinki International Doulas+, Danielle offers needed support for new mothers and their families.
Growing up, Danielle moved around quite a bit. Born in Israel, Danielle also lived in Copenhagen, Finland, and Amsterdam. She recently returned to Finland in August of 2020 with her husband, a Finn, and their four-month-old baby.
Her international background presented both strengths and challenges: she became adaptable, but also had trouble feeling at home anywhere. Before relocating her family, Danielle sought social groups in Finland that would help her build a community.
Danielle began her practice after earning advanced degrees in psychology and serving in the Israeli military. Her love of psychology and her passion for parenthood brought her to her current career.
After learning about the role of postpartum doulas from a podcast, Danielle began reaching out to doulas in her area. She visited a workshop in Amsterdam, and left with the conviction that her passion lay in supporting the wellbeing of mothers after they give birth. She was motivated by an interest in understanding how parents’ behavior impacts relationship with children and by a belief that mothers are the foundation of our society.If you’re like us, you might be a bit unfamiliar with the term “postpartum doula.” Unlike a birth doula, who is physically with a mother during birth, a postpartum doula is not present during the birth. Instead, she joins the family after the birth to offer support in areas ranging from environment preparation, emotional support, guided meditation, and more.
It is easy to see why services like those Danielle offers are necessary. The shift to motherhood is a massive life event, and the difficulty of new motherhood can be difficult to anticipate.
“You notice when it hits you in the face,” Danielle said. “Mothers tell me, ‘Nobody told me I would feel so tired and alone!’”
Families who haven’t yet experienced childbirth may be unaware of the importance of postpartum care, Danielle explains, because of the focus placed on the birth itself
“While the birth is such an important event, it is just the beginning!” Danielle said. “It’s so important to have realistic expectations of early motherhood.”
To help new mothers, Danielle offers a variety of online and in-person services. Her online platform (linked below) offers tips and content for new and expecting mothers. Danielle holds free online workshops once per month for expecting couples. She also offers in-home care in the Helsinki region, postpartum planning sessions for expecting families, and birth story listening for mothers who have already given birth.
In addition to the services she offers in her personal practice, Danielle is one of six birth professionals that make up The Nest Helsinki International Doulas+ collective. The doulas of The Nest collectively hold 46 years of experience, and they offer support in pre-conception, childbirth education, lactation consultancy, and more.
Danielle feels that her work is important in supporting a healthy society, because, as she put it, “when mothers are well, society is well.” She has observed a lack of appreciation of mothers in our culture, and works to advocate for their inherent value
In Helsinki specifically, Danielle recognizes that many mothers with international backgrounds go without familial support. She hopes to step in to help these families, because she believes that the transition to motherhood a journey not meant to be walked alone.
Tune in to episode 41 to learn about Danielle’s experience as a postpartum doula, the international positive birth movement, what on earth ‘matrescence’ means, and more! You can find links to Danielle’s online presence below.