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"mother's help" after birth...

(4 Posts)
MissyH Tue 23-Jun-09 20:03:41

I just wondered if anyone who had had a "mother's help" after the birth of their child had any tips on how many hours they found useful, and what sort of things it was good to get them to do.... I am considering one for a few weeks after the birth of our next baby (am 34.2 weeks) particularly as I have DS1 (who is 2 years and 8 months) to look after as well. Funds are not endless, so I need to think about how to use what we do have wisely! DS1 currently goes to a childminder 1 morning a week, but otherwise is not yet in nursery so with me all the time....

Look forward to hearing from anyone with experience of this.


frAKKINPannikin Tue 23-Jun-09 20:17:40

Do you mean a post-natal doula?

A mother's help usually refers to an inexperienced (but possibly trained) aspiring nanny who wants shared charge experience with children and will help around the house a bit. They can be useful but are probably quite hard work and need a fair amound of guidance.

Most doulas will:

watch the baby while you have a shower/nap/bit of down time
play with other children
cook a meal or shove on a load of laundry, maybe do a bit of tidying/light cleaning
pop to the shops
give you moral support and some advice (if you need it)

If you pop over to the CMs, nannies and au pairs section there are a few floating around.

Of course you may be looking to get an older lady/local mother who isn't a doubla but will just give you a hand around the house/with the children.

magnummum Thu 25-Jun-09 09:29:11

I have 6 week old twins and a 2.9 year old and have had a postnatal doula since coming home from hospital. She has been a complete lifesaver and has helped in retaining sanity. She looks after me, the babies, entertains Dd1 and cooks/irons etc - obviously not all at the same time. Our experience has been 100% positive - I was a bit apprehensive about having someone coming into my home when it's all chaotic and I'm hormonal but I would say she's well worth every penny. We have her for 3 hours a day which is a real help. Helps that she's lovely of course. Good luck. smile

TuttiFrutti Thu 25-Jun-09 09:55:19

We had a mother's help after both my dcs, for several weeks. She was great - she would do anything except cleaning, so childcare, ironing, laundry, making meals.

She was an older lady in her 60s, an ex-nurse who answered my ad in a post office window. She certainly wasn't an "inexperienced ... aspiring nanny", neither was she "quite hard work"! She wanted a bit of extra cash but didn't want to be tied down to a permanent job, hence her liking for short term contracts helping new mothers.

I would say they come in all shapes and sizes but I would recommend an older woman as she had done it all before and taught me quite a lot. Much less stressful than having a stroppy teenage au pair in the house. We are still in touch now, weveral years down the line, and she does occasional babysitting for us now.

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