Sandra Janovitch is a postpartum doula in Durham, North Carolina. Let’s hear about her experience becoming a Certified HUG Teacher.
As a Postpartum Doula I recognize that new parents are overwhelmed by how their lives have changed since they brought their newborn home. An easy postpartum transition has proven to be the most effective defense for postpartum depression. Being a PP doula gives me the opportunity to gently guide families through the postpartum time by helping parents learn the signs of baby communication and the skills to attend to the baby’s needs thereby promoting strong bonds.
At first I presented The HUG in a disconnected manner, as if it were information separate from having a baby. As I became more comfortable with the concepts and had the opportunity to work with more babies, I realized that as a postpartum doula I’m like an instruction manual myself. It’s my job to help parents understand their baby.
The HUG has given me the training to integrate necessary information and skills into my regular PP visits. During visits I pay close attention to the mother/baby and partner/baby interaction as well as to the baby’s behaviors. I like to introduce parents to their baby’s behavior by broadcasting what I observe. “Oh look, your baby has her hand to her mouth/ sucking on her tongue.” Then I make a suggestion, such as, “I wonder if the baby wants to eat. Let’s try to feed him. Wow, look, he must have been hungry!” Next I reiterate the baby’s behavior and what it meant. The next time the baby puts her hand to her mouth/ sucks her tongue I’ll point out the behavior to the parents and ask them to say what the baby is telling them.
I use this method, incorporating all the HUG Zones, SOS signals and calming techniques, over the course of several visits. After I’ve visited with the family 2-3 times we watch the video and go over the slides and discuss any questions or concerns. I love how the parents will say, “Oh yeah. We talked about that" or "I remember you showed that to me.”
I am grateful to have a program that answers the age-old question: "Does this baby come with instructions?”