Welcoming a baby is often a major transition for a sibling. We have created a custom class to help your child prepare for having a new baby in the home. In this class we cover unique ways your child can support both mom and baby, as well as safe handling of a newborn. This class is designed to help siblings get excited for a new baby, understand that they are coming, and show them ways that they can still be special to their parents after the baby arrives.
In addition to our Sibling Prep Class we also offer a Sibling Doula service. A Sibling Doula is an on-call Child Care Specialist who cares for your older child while you and your partner begin the labor process. They help keep your older child calm and confident. If you plan to have your older child present during labor and delivery, it’s crucial that they have an adult who is there just for them. A Sibling Doula can entertain your child while you’re in labor and reassure him that you are okay when he sees or hears you having contractions or birth waves. If you change your mind and decide not to have your child present throughout labor, a sibling doula will ensure your child is well taken care of.
If you should want your older child to be present during the birth, The Doula House provides educational training for your child in advance of the birth to prepare them for the experience. We also provide support for your child during the birth while in the room or in the waiting room, so that your partner can be free to fully participate in the birth.
The Doula House begins working with your child a month before the baby is born and continues visiting your child as needed up to two weeks before the birth. In the first session of working with your child, your Sibling Doula will spend one to two hours getting to know your child and helping them be at ease with a new person.
Your on-call sibling support service begins at 38 weeks until the birth of your child. If you are not booking any other services through The Doula House, there is an availability fee to hold your spot before the baby is born.
A Sibling Doula will help to prepare your child for the birth, provide physical and emotional care for them during the birth, and support your child during the birth experience by explaining the process and answering questions in a way that makes sense to the child and is supportive to the birthing mother.
To help prepare your children for birth, your Sibling Doula will:
- Visit with your child at least two times before the birth.
- Talk to them about birth and help them understand what to expect.
- If they enjoy reading, read them books like We Have a Baby, Hello Baby, and My Brother Jimi Jazz.
- Show them images of the baby developing in the womb.
- If you like, they can watch videos together of babies being born to give them an idea of what the birth might be like.
- During the birth they will stay with your child and explain what is going on.
- If you and your child are comfortable, your Sibling Doula will encourage and facilitate ways for your child to support mama, like bringing you water, or by giving you a gentle massage.
- If your child is feeling frightened, overwhelmed, or if you want privacy, your Sibling Doula will take your child to the waiting room or elsewhere to keep them calm and allow you the space to stay focused.
- In addition your Sibling Doula will visit with your family postpartum to see how everyone is doing with the new addition to your family, and possibly read books like My Mommy Breastfeeds, My Baby Brother, and On Mother’s Lap.
Having a Sibling Preparation Class and/or a Sibling Doula will provide peace of mind, and will also give your child special memories that your older child can connect to the birth of your new child that will bring happiness, peace, and security in those special years ahead. Your Sibling Doula recognizes and honors that this is a precious experience for your child, and one they will always remember.