In today's society, many parents do not have a solid network of family members and friends who can help when a new baby arrives. A postpartum doula is someone who is trained and knowledgeable that can step in to provide judgment-free assistance where it is needed. Research has shown that families who experience good support during the postpartum period have less postpartum depression, greater success with breastfeeding, and are overall more confident with caring for their babies.
Postpartum doulas help with things such as newborn care, assistance with infant feeding (however you have chosen to do it), provide emotional support, help with older children, meal preparation, and assistance with other minor household tasks & chores.
Although most doulas are educated in birth, perinatal, and newborn care, they are NOT medical professionals. They cannot offer advice of a medical nature, however they can help connect you with resources and evidence-based information to answer your questions or to get you the help that you need. Most doulas are typically well-connected with a network of professionals or have a list of providers that they can refer you to.
Postpartum doulas are partners with parents, but are not nannies or housekeepers. They do help with things like caring for baby so that mom can nap or fold baby's laundry, but they are so much more than that. Their role is to help empower and support parents in various ways and to be part of their "village" in the days and weeks following the birth of a new baby.