If you are expecting a new little one, it’s likely that a good number of people have let you know exactly how wonderful those first days will be. Others have probably taken it upon themselves to tell you how hard the days following birth are.
Depending on your situation, both sides of this story can be absolutely true. Therefore, it is best to do what you can to prepare yourself for the hard parts in advance.
One of the hardest parts of those first weeks after birth tends to be the nighttime. A new baby is not likely to understand a regular sleep schedule, and this has a tendency to leave new parents feeling pretty sleep-deprived. Lack of sleep doesn’t help anyone recover properly, and can often lead to anger, frustration, and unfortunate accidents.
Fortunately, there is a way to make this negative much less negative while still basking in the post-birth positives. This is where an overnight postpartum doula steps in.
What is an Overnight Postpartum Doula?
An overnight postpartum doula is a well-informed, patient, and kind caregiver to a new mother, her newborn, and her family. She may carry out any number of tasks based on what the family needs, and she is generally good at recognizing those needs quickly.
An overnight postpartum doula is well-versed in such things as infant care and post-birth recovery, making it possible for her to provide the mother with evidence-based information on such things. Most importantly, an overnight postpartum doula does all of these things while helping parents get the sleep they need and encouraging baby to establish a sleep schedule.
What Does an Overnight Postpartum Doula Do?
As mentioned before, an overnight postpartum doula may carry out any number of tasks. The exact things this individual does will depend greatly on the family’s needs, as well as her skillset and what is offered per her contract. Therefore, it is important to interview your overnight postpartum doula before hiring in order to ensure she offers the services you are expecting.
Some things overnight postpartum doulas almost always do include:
- Bringing baby to mom to nurse when needed
- Bottle-feeding baby if requested by mother
- Burping, changing, comforting, and swaddling baby
- Cleaning bottles
- Supporting mama however possible
Some overnight postpartum doula services might also include:
- Preparing meals and snacks
- Caring for older children, should they wake
- Breastfeeding support
- Keeping a “baby log” for parents to review upon waking
- Help with household chores
Who Needs an Overnight Postpartum Doula?
Almost any new mother will find an overnight postpartum doula helpful. After all, who doesn’t want to catch up on sleep after pulling an all-nighter or two?
Therefore, it is recommended that every expectant mama at least consider hiring an overnight doula of their own. That said, some people who should definitely bring in overnight help with the baby include:
- Those who are returning to work immediately
- Single moms or moms with spouses who are returning to work right away
- Light sleepers
- Those who need large amounts of sleep to function properly
- New moms of multiples
- Mothers recovering from a cesarean
As you can see, an overnight postpartum doula can be an amazing help to any new parent, giving them the opportunity to get some good rest while still ensuring their little one is well cared for.
If you think an overnight postpartum doula might be right for your family, I would love to chat. Please contact me today for information on my availability and the services I offer!