Overcoming Self-Doubt

Looking back on the many years of supporting families on their journey of caring for their newborns, I realize how much I cherish the time spent with each and every one.

As my clients and I explore their individual needs, hesitations, fears, and inspirations together, I have observed many of the causes that challenge new parents.

Postpartum Doula’s work is very intimate and requires a great deal of sensibility, patience, knowledge, and experience. When teaching new parents all about their baby’s needs, supporting mothers in their recovery, and teaching them the cues of their newborn, I am often struck by how self-doubting many mothers and fathers can be.

“I don’t think I can do this…” when Baby is crying, and nothing seems to help.

“I am not a good mother…” when learning how to pump breast milk or breastfeeding is going slow and everyday household tasks become overwhelming.

“This is too hard…” when sleep deprivation sets in, and baby blues are in full swing.

These are just a few of the self-doubts that I hear.

Yet all parents I have worked with have inspired me in their own unique ways and many are accomplished individuals. 

One mother, in particular, stands out. Five months after giving birth to her second child, Janelle ran a race called the Grand Canyon Rim2Rim2Rim. Just as you can imagine this is a grueling, 11-16 hour Ultra running race. Not only did she complete this grueling race but while on the trail she continued expressing breast milk to ensure her supply would not be interrupted and fresh milk was there for her little one after the race was completed.

Assuring new parents that in time all is going to be ok and helping them conquer those fears and self-doubts is one of the most rewarding aspects of my work as a postpartum doula.

For more information about Janelle Smiley please visit her at: