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Filtering by Tag: sleep

Overnight Doulas vs Night Nannies

Chelsea Gonzales

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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.

Breastfeeding Focused

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.

3 Overnight Postpartum Doula Myths: Debunked

Chelsea Gonzales

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While the idea of hiring a daytime postpartum doula has become a bit more accepted in recent years, many people are still hesitant to jump on the overnight postpartum doula bandwagon.

It seems there are a number of misunderstandings about this particular set of caregivers that cause some new parents to shy away from looking further into their offerings. This is seriously unfortunate, as it means a large number of individuals are missing out on high-quality care simply because they don't fully understand what an overnight postpartum doula can do for them.

Today I am going to clear up some of these misunderstandings by debunking some of the most common overnight postpartum doula myths.

Myth #1: Overnight Doulas can hurt a nursing relationship.

Many people are under the impression that because a nighttime doula cares for the newborn in order to allow new parents some sleep, she keeps the little one from nursing during the nighttime hours. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

Most doulas actively support nursing mamas by bringing baby to her for feeding times and helping her find comfortable feeding positions. Many doulas even have training in lactation support and are able to provide helpful nursing tips. Additionally, overnight postpartum doulas are alway happy to help nursing mothers stay hydrated and well-fed by bringing water and snacks to her bedside.

So while an overnight postpartum doula is happy to bottle feed if that is what the parents request of her, most are also incredibly supportive of breastfeeding, and some can even help mother and baby establish a solid nursing foundation in those first few nights.

Myth #2: Hiring an overnight Doula is essentially paying someone to sleep.

If you think that overnight doulas are in your home to sleep, think again. Nighttime postpartum doulas understand that while they are in your home, they are at work. Additionally, they tend to take their job quite seriously.

Because of all of this, there is no need for you to provide your doula with a room or even a bed. While they may nod off occasionally when baby is sleeping soundly and all chores are finished, they are not in your home to sleep and will do so after their job is finished.

Myth #3: Daytime postpartum doula services are more valuable than nighttime services.

Most new parents are working with a limited budget. This means they must pick and choose which services, gadgets, and other baby-related things to pay for. For some parents, this means they must choose between a daytime postpartum doula and a nighttime postpartum doula. In many of these cases, the parents choose the daytime doula simply because they feel her services will be more valuable.

While I won’t deny the value of a daytime postpartum doula’s services, I do want to point out that an overnight postpartum doula is just as helpful. In fact, in some cases, I would say an overnight postpartum doula is an even better value than their daytime counterparts.

For instance, a new parent who must return to work shortly after having a new baby will need to have a good, solid nighttime schedule in place to ensure everyone is getting enough sleep when the schedule returns to normal. An overnight doula can help tremendously in this effort, making the return to “regular life” a much more pleasant experience.

There you have it, friends—three of the most common overnight postpartum doula myths debunked. I hope that this newfound knowledge helps you understand the enormous value of hiring a nighttime doula. Not only that, but I hope you share this knowledge with friends and family in an effort to make overnight postpartum doulas as common as diapers and wipes in the homes of newborns.

After all, we all know that new parents can use a break from time to time.