Having a baby can simultaneously be the most joyous and the most life-changing experience of a woman’s life.
Bringing home that beautiful tiny bundle which requires 24-hour care, almost constant feeding and a never-ending supply of nappies can also mean that fitting in day-to-day tasks becomes at best daunting and at worst almost impossible. And with increasing pressure on mums to look their best while surviving on minimal sleep and copious amounts of coffee, running a house and looking after other children, a mum-of-four from Sabden says they should not be afraid to ask for extra support.
It’s just talking to somebody in that position and telling them they are doing a really good job, helping people to get back on their feetLouise Armitage
Louise Armitage (40), has launched a mum’s help and post-partum doula service which will help parents adjust to life with a new baby.
The former childminder came up with the idea after seeing a friend, living in the South of England with no family support network, get some help with looking after her baby as well as household chores such as cooking and cleaning.
“I see my role as a nurturer, looking after mum, doing a bit of cooking and cleaning, going for a walk with mum and baby or doing anything that needs doing,” she said.
As opposed to a maternity doula, who provides support for women during pregnancy and birth, Louise goes into homes after the birth of a child to make the transition a bit smoother.
“People are afraid to ask for help but it’s so important to reach out. A friend of mine had a baby and she had no family around to help out. She had someone going in to help her two or three times a week.
“It’s important to nurture mums so they are in the right mental state to look after a baby. I wish I could’ve been there for my friend and I thought why don’t I just offer this to people.
“You are supporting people physically and emotionally, sometimes it’s easier for people to talk to a stranger than someone they know.”
Referring to her own experiences with her own children, Beckie (19), Joseph (15) and twins Oliver and Lola (6), Louise said she was lucky to have support from husband Jason (39) and family members.
“Some people don’t have that family support. It’s just talking to somebody in that position and telling them they are doing a really good job, helping people to get back on their feet.
“There’s so much pressure on parents, particularly mums, to have home-cooked food on the table, to have a clean house and have school uniforms all washed and ironed.
“I think people are afraid of asking for help because if they do they think they have failed but that isn’t the case.”
Louise can be contacted via her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Postpartum-Doula-1635452743390799.