Confidence is a huge part of our ability to approach and be successful at a new task, and it’s the same for parenting. We have coaches in sports, mentors or trainers at work and guides to help us financially, but when it comes to newborns, many families are left to navigate the new path alone.
Valerie Ybarra, owner of A Doula on the Go, is a trained and certified postpartum doula, newborn specialist, breastfeeding educator, infant massage instructor and birth photographer. Formerly a Beverly Hills Nanny for eight years, she was also a maternity ward nurse assistant in an Atlanta hospital that delivered 1,500 babies per month. In all, Ybarra has more than 30 years of experience caring for newborns and providing new mother care.
Ybarra states, “I really love to be of help to all new mothers and their newborns. I love to educate parents with the many bits of information and how to read their baby’s cues, helping parents understand when the baby has had enough, is still hungry or is sleep deprived. I can make their life easier when caring for this brand-new little baby they brought home from the hospital who came with no instructions. I am here to meet my client’s needs, whatever they may be, within the first three months of their newborn’s life.” Often, as Ybarra works, she helping the new parents develop their own parenting philosophies and she is able to work within the client’s cultural and religious traditions.
All new mothers can use help after coming home from the hospital, but they may live far from their extended family or their own mothers are working and can’t take time off to be with them. That’s when a postpartum doula like Ybarra is invaluable to deliver non-judgmental care and support. Ybarra offers full or part -time days or overnight help as well as new mommy massage and baby massage before bedtime so they may both sleep more peacefully. The “on the go” aspect of the business refers to her availability to travel with the family out of the state or country to care for an infant, unobtrusively keeping the baby’s schedule running smoothly.
If postpartum depression occurs, effects can range from the mild to severe. According to Ybarra, postpartum depression can manifest as high anxiety, oversleeping, hypervigilance, lack of interest in the baby, feeling a lack of control or having frightening thoughts and fantasies. Being an objective observer, a postpartum doula/newborn specialist like Ybarra may recognize symptoms of postpartum depression more quickly than family members, and because Ybarra is often the closest contact to the new mother during the first crucial three months, she can help her avoid inappropriate feelings of shame, guilt or embarrassment from getting in the way of getting help.
Postpartum doulas do not treat postpartum depression, but they do help by creating an emotional safe place for the mother, understanding and accepting her as she passes through each phase of the depression and by lightening the load and helping her ease into her new role. Ybarra ensures the mother is eating, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep. This activity is often referred to as “mothering the mother”.
While not acting as a birth doula, Ybarra is available to be present at the birth and often provides birth photography service for her clients. “My goal is to leave parents confident in caring for their baby and understanding their baby’s signals and needs. Many parents don’t have that understanding at the start,” she says. “They have had busy careers, but bringing home a new baby is a whole new territory. Many moms feel they have lost control of their lives with a baby that came with no instructions!”
For more information, call 972-6658765 or 480-236-2924 or visit ADoulaOnTheGo.com.