We recently discussed the difference between a nanny and a daytime postpartum doula. If you read that article, you now understand just how valuable a postpartum doula can be to a new mother and her baby, and why a doula might be a better option than the more common nanny.
This is all great, but what about nighttime care? The family will be sleeping at night, so does it really matter if you choose a night nanny over an overnight postpartum doula?
Because a doula is more expensive than a night nanny, many new parents may be tempted to go the cheaper route. However, there definitely is a reason overnight doulas charge a bit more, and the extra cost is well worthwhile.
Just as daytime postpartum doulas want your breastfeeding goals to be met, so do nighttime doulas.
Many night nannies give bottles in order to allow mama to sleep. This is thoughtful in a way, but it also makes building a nursing relationship difficult. Obviously, you could ask a night nanny to bring baby to you instead, but she still may not realize the importance of this, and she probably will not provide support when doing so.
Postpartum doulas, on the other hand, understand how important those first few weeks are when establishing a nursing relationship. They also have knowledge that can help you improve your breastfeeding skills.
For instance, most postpartum doulas recognize hunger signals quickly, meaning that many times you and baby can be ready to nurse before the actual crying begins. Additionally, a doula will set up a nursing station for you, ensuring you have any pillows you need, as well as water. This is invaluable in the middle of the night when getting up is less than ideal.
Help Establishing Routine
In addition to supporting your breastfeeding relationship, doulas are also excellent at helping families establish nighttime routines. Whereas a night nanny will be focused entirely on caring for your infant, a postpartum doula focuses on the family as a whole, meaning your entire family will be getting the nightly rest they need by the time your doula leaves you.
This is, of course, extremely helpful when it comes to adjusting to such an enormous change.
Light Housework or Cooking
Generally speaking, night nannies focus only on baby. Postpartum doulas on the other hand, are happy to lend a hand straightening things up while baby sleeps. Some may even make you a light breakfast before leaving for the day.
Of course, mama and baby are a doula’s number one priority, but when both are taken care of, she makes a point of seeking out other ways to help before taking a break herself.
Expertise and Respect
Many nannies have tons of experience with kids. However, not all nannies do, and since there is no true nanny certification out there, you really never know what you're going to get.
Because postpartum doulas must be certified, you can rest easy knowing the caretaker you hire has a certain level of expertise. This means you will feel no doubt that baby will be safe, and you both will be well cared for by a doula.
Doulas also do not impose their own parenting tactics on clients. Instead, they will follow your lead and respect your wishes, offering helpful tips and helping you ensure your parenting methods are safe along the way.
An overnight doula is definitely the way to go when you need nighttime help with a newborn. Do you need some overnight postpartum help? Please contact us for information on our Oklahoma postpartum doula services.