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4 Ways a Daytime Postpartum Doula Differs from a Nanny

Chelsea Gonzales

PPD Cooking.jpeg

Many new mamas find they need a bit of help in the first few weeks after having a baby. Sometimes a mother is recovering from a cesarean and isn't as mobile as she would like. Other times, she's suffering from postpartum depression. However, the vast majority of the time, these ladies just need some assistance adjusting to their new normal.

This is perfectly understandable and completely normal. After all, in the past we women have had an entire village of other ladies to help us out after birth. However, many modern women are unsure who to turn to in this time of need.

Of course, there is the option of hiring a nanny. However, a nanny doesn't really offer all that a brand new mother needs. This is where a postpartum doula steps in.

Wondering how the care offered by a postpartum doula differs from that of a nanny? Read on!

Mama Care

A newborn nanny comes in to take care of the newborn and only the newborn. While you can hire nannies who are willing to take on older siblings as well, you aren't likely to find a nanny who'll take care of mama.

Considering that the mother just gave birth, she needs someone to care for her too. Fortunately postpartum doulas are happy to take care of baby while also checking in on mama, making sure she has water, bringing her snacks, and even checking in on her emotional health.

Bonding Help

Good nannies are wonderful in that they take great care of their charges. In fact, most nannies even form strong bonds with the children they care for. This is sweet and can help put a mother's mind at ease, but it isn't enough for the brand new mom who is still bonding with the baby herself.

Women who recently gave birth need plenty of time to connect with their newborns. That said, they also need energy to do this. A postpartum doula cares for baby while mama showers and naps, but is quick to offer the baby up and encourage active bonding when the mother is available.

Breastfeeding Assistance

Postpartum doulas are also great for breastfeeding support. Instead of bottle feeding whenever baby is in their charge, they will bring the little one to his or her mother. This helps the new nursing relationship blossom and grow stronger, something that can't happen when bottle feedings are offered as an option.

In addition to ensuring baby is nursed whenever hungry, postpartum doulas are often able to offer tips and advice to mothers who are having trouble breastfeeding. This can be enormously helpful to a new and frustrated mother.

On the other hand, a nanny might be quick to quiet baby with a bottle, and may have no experience at all with breastfeeding. In any case, a nanny is unlikely to be willing to offer breastfeeding support.

Family Support

A good postpartum doula knows that it's her job to help the family adjust to their new addition and ensure this transition goes as smoothly as possible. She will offer help wherever she sees she is truly needed, but she's also acutely aware that the family needs to find their own rhythm. Therefore, a postpartum doula doesn't inject herself unnecessarily and will often offer tips to help the family get things on the right track.

This is in contrast to a nanny, who is only in the home to care for baby. This care may be helpful in the short run, but will be difficult for the family to wean themselves from later. It may also make it hard for the family to find their own way of doing things.

As you can see, while there is nothing wrong with hiring a nanny in many scenarios, postpartum doulas are a superior option for families with a brand new addition.

Are you looking for post-birth help in Oklahoma City? We'd love to assist! Contact us today for more information on our postpartum doula services.

How to Prepare for a Wonderful Home Birth

Chelsea Gonzales

Wren Birth in pool.jpg

An amazing birth experience begins with preparation, and it's never too early to begin preparing for your home birth. After all, anyone interested in giving birth at home is almost certainly seeking a positive birth experience, something that is easiest to obtain when plenty of preparation comes into play.

So how do you go about getting things ready for a home birth? I recommend checking the following things off your to-do list before the big day!

Take Care of Yourself

This step applies no matter how you plan to give birth. After all, you want to keep baby healthy, and the very best way to do this is to take care of yourself. That said, this step becomes even more important when you're planning a natural birth, something that all home birth mamas are seeking.

You see, birth is a very physical experience, and being in good shape is important for ensuring you have the strength and stamina to help your birth go as smoothly as possible.

Choose Your Birth Team Wisely

Obviously, you’re going to need to find a homebirth midwife to attend your birth. However, choosing the first homebirth midwife you come across is rarely the best way to hire. Instead, interview several options and go with the one you feel most comfortable with. Trust your instincts on this one!

The same goes for your birth doula. Your doula will be with you throughout your labor and will actually spend more time with you than your midwife, so be sure to choose one you click with.

Take a Quality Class

All too often, women go into labor expecting to experience what we are shown in movies and TV shows. The reality however is that labor and delivery rarely match what media shows us. In fact, the process is much more complex than you might imagine, and knowledge is power when it comes to working through labor.

For this reason, a quality birthing class is a crucial step in the preparation process. There are a good number of in-depth class options out there, and by taking two or three different sessions you can make sure you know all the important things before delivery day arrives.

Get Your Home Ready

Of course, if you're going to be delivering at home, you will want to prepare the space to an extent. No, this doesn't mean you need to deep clean from top to bottom—though your nesting urges may tell you otherwise.

What it does mean is making room for the birth tub (if necessary), keeping clean sheets and towels on hand, keeping the pantry well stocked, and keeping your birth kit readily available.

Prepare for Postpartum

Giving birth in the comfort of your home is a wonderful thing. However, it does mean hospital staff won't be standing by to help for the couple of days after you give birth. While this is a bonus in some ways, it could also be considered a negative when you find yourself needing to cook right after the birth or when you just need someone to hold baby so you can take a post-birth shower.

Obviously your partner will be able to help with some of this, but they are likely to be pretty exhausted as well. Therefore, you will want to line up some postpartum help to come in. Some people choose to bring in a close relative, but many others prefer the professional help of a postpartum doula. Additionally, you will likely want to prepare and freeze a few meals to reheat and eat in the weeks after the birth.

If you're looking to hire postpartum help, look no more! My team and I are happy to help your family adjust to your new addition in any way we can. Contact us today!