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The first thing you should know about her is this: She is a Dutch woman. When Jolande gave birth to her first child in New York City, her favorite sister-in-law, Bertie, came from Amsterdam to be her “kraamverzorgster.” In the Netherlands this is the postpartum professional who visits the new mother at home and helps her transition to motherhood. Not being a registered nurse, Bertie was not a real kraamverzorgster. But she had given birth to two healthy children and knew exactly how to, as she put it at the time,“mother the mother.”
This strong, wise woman taught Jolande everything: how to bathe and hold her baby; how to care for the umbilical cord; and, most importantly, how to nurse her baby. If she needed to take a shower or a nap, or just needed a good cry, she was always there to comfort her. She also made her coffee and tea, whipped up steaming pots of soup, and prepared tasty snacks that gave her the energy to breast feed 10 times a day.
Amazing, right? Actually, the amazing thing is that the Dutch government understands how difficult the first few weeks of motherhood are. That is why they make sure that every new mother receives both the practical and emotional support that a kraamverzorgster provides during this stressful period. As a postpartum doula, that is the service that Jolande provides in NYC. Lucky us! She is the special caregiver who knows how to “mother the mother.” Jolande is a certified lactation counselor, a DONA-trained postpartum doula, CPR certified, and an accomplished cook. She is honored to help any new mother though the exciting but emotionally draining first few weeks of postpartum life. Remember: The best thing you can do for your baby is to take good care of yourself.