Hi. I’m Kelly Vossberg, a postpartum doula.
I feel so fortunate and honored to support families during such an important time in their lives. The postpartum period although filled with excitement and joy, may also present challenges that can overwhelm even the most prepared families. During this time of transition, I provide parents with nonjudgmental support and encouragement as well as practical advice and resources so they feel confident in their new roles.
As an at home parent for over 15 years, I know firsthand how easily feelings of doubt and inadequacy often undermine your confidence as a parent. My experience and training provide me with the insights and strategies to ensure a positive postpartum transition for you and your family. I am trained as a postpartum doula through DONA. I completed my Lactation Educator Counselor training and certification through the University of California, San Diego CLEC program. I am also certified in both infant and adult CPR.
I am a lifelong resident of the Twin Cities and I love all things Minnesotan, including snow! Married to my childhood sweetheart for 25 years, we are the proud parents of two sons, ages 22 and 19 years old. In my free time I enjoy running, remodeling projects, rock concerts, and spending time with my family and my golden retriever at our cabin in Alexandria, Minnesota.
Formal Education and Training
- DONA International Postpartum Doula Certification
- DONA International Postpartum Doula Training
- Certified Lactation Educator Counselor (CLEC) University of California, San Diego
- Master of Education, Elementary Education, University of Minnesota
- Bachelor of Science, Urban Studies, University of Minnesota
- CPR Certified, Red Cross
- Baby Wearing
- Addiction Recovery
- Over 40
Emotional support and encouragement
Guidance with newborn care
My services are tailored to your individual needs. I charge an hourly rate of $40 per hour. I do not require a minimum number of hours for you to utilize my services beyond my retainer fee of $150.
A typical schedule that often works well for many postpartum families as they adjust to their new roles is for me to provide support multiple times a week. Some clients benefit from just a few shifts to help them build their skills, while others desire support over a longer time period. We will work together to determine your anticipated needs and adjust the schedule as needed.
After an initial complimentary consultation to discuss your anticipated needs and schedule, as well as to ensure our compatibility, I will schedule a prenatal visit to your home. At that meeting, we will create a plan to foster a positive experience during the postpartum transition. An individualized support plan may include any or all of the following services:
- Emotional support and encouragement
- Guidance with newborn care (bathing, feeding, baby wearing, and comforting the baby)
- Self care opportunities (time to rest, recover, and reconnect)
- Breastfeeding education and counseling
- Positive interactions with siblings
- Household maintenance (laundry, vacuuming, tidying the house, dishes, and pet care)
- Preparation of light meals and snacks
- Referrals to other professionals as needed
Breastfeeding education and counseling
Household maintenance and preparation of light meals
Referrals to other professionals as needed
The Value of a Postpartum Doula
A postpartum doula’s most important role is one of non-judgmental support.
Teaching Skills and Providing Resources
The excitement of an impending birth and all of the preparations leading up to it often focus more on the labor and delivery of the baby than the needs of the family once the baby arrives. While likely prepared for sleepless nights and a chaotic household, parents often underestimate the emotions and feelings of inadequacy that life with a newborn may present. The real value of a postpartum doula lies in her or his ability to provide emotional support and encouragement in addition to teaching practical skills and providing resources during this special time.
Encouraging a Positive Start
Making sure the mother feels rested, nourished, and confident in her new role is crucial to the support a postpartum doula provides. Doulas do an excellent job modeling a variety of self-care strategies as well as suggesting ways caregivers can provide support for the new family. Postpartum doulas also work to help create smooth transitions for the entire family. If the mother is experiencing issues in any of these essential areas, it is the doula’s job to assist those involved with her care and support to create a positive environment and provide referrals when needed.
Although they may have support from friends or relatives, parents sometimes feel obligated to maintain the perception that they are doing great, despite feeling overwhelmed physically and emotionally. In addition, extended family relations are not always ideal and may be further strained by the arrival of a new baby. This may compound even normal feelings of sadness, confusion, and disappointment. Supporting parents with sincere words of encouragement, active listening, practical strategies, and sometimes a simple hug, all help to create a positive environment where families can grow.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I hire a postpartum doula even if I did not have doula at my birth?
Positively! Any family that would like to feel supported and cared for during the postpartum period can hire a postpartum doula. The end goal is to help parents achieve independence and confidence in their parenting skills as they bond with their baby. First time parents welcome the care as they adjust to their new roles and families with older children often benefit from the practical support. A postpartum doula may also be especially helpful for a woman who is recovering from a caesarean section or a complicated birth.
My partner is taking two weeks off work when the baby is born. Do I still need a doula?
Positively! A doula supports the entire family, which includes the partner. The household tasks and care of other children often become the sole responsibility of the partner, which leaves little time to bond with the new baby. The doula can help minimize the strain on the partner, while providing nonjudgmental support and encouragement to both parents during this time of transition.
If my family is going to be near, do I still need a postpartum doula?
Positively! A postpartum doula specializes in ensuring a healthy recovery for the mother while promoting a positive, supportive environment for the whole family. The doula helps the extended family understand the mother’s needs, and encourages them to honor her and her partner as they find confidence as new parents. Also, support from friends and family tends to peak within the first few weeks, but parents often need help for a longer period of time.
What if this is not my first baby? Do I need a postpartum doula?
Positively! The needs of a mother during subsequent pregnancies and the postpartum recovery period may be completely different than her other experiences. Both parents might encounter new challenges unique to this pregnancy, while also trying to balance the needs of their older children. New parents are often surprised at how exhausting simultaneously caring for an infant and younger children can be.
I adopted my baby/babies – do I need a postpartum doula?
Positively! It’s just as important for parents who begin their families through adoption or surrogacy to have support and encouragement of a postpartum doula as they transition into their new roles. New parents have the same questions regardless of how their baby came to be part of their family. Also, postpartum support can be especially helpful to adoptive families as they often face several uncertainties in anticipation of their baby’s birth.
Do postpartum doulas have specialized training to support families with multiples?
Positively! Postpartum doulas are trained to provide families with multiples with practical and efficient ways to organize their home so infant care is as streamlined as possible. They also accomplish as many household tasks as possible for the parents so they can focus on bonding with their babies as individuals. Doulas understand that although all parents face their own challenges during the postpartum transition, there are unique needs among families with multiples.
Kelly helped me transition my 3 month old daughter from breast to bottle so I could return to work. I cannot thank her enough! Our kiddo absolutely loves to nurse and refused the bottle no matter what we did. We tried for about 5 weeks before Kelly swooped in and saved the day. Her patience and love towards our daughter was absolutely amazing! She not only showed me different techniques, she also offered support via email and phone. After two visits with Kelly, our sweet girl took 2-1/2 ounces! Kelly was gentle, loving, and calm the whole time which I could tell made our little one feel safe and loved. Because of this, she didn’t get frustrated when introduced to the bottle, which allowed her to learn what she needed to do. I wish I knew Kelly with my other two sweethearts; she truly is wonderful! She not only has a love and joy for babies, she has a love for nurturing us mamas during this amazing (yet sometimes stressful) time in our lives. Kelly is full of knowledge, encouragement, thoughtfulness, respect, and she is oh so caring. She truly was a blessing to my family during this stressful time. We never had a problem introducing the bottle to our other two girls, so this was foreign to me. Returning to work is hard enough and having a baby refuse the bottle was even tougher! Kelly helped calm this Mama down and make the transition a lot easier. Thank you, Kelly!