What is the difference between a postpartum doula who works overnights and a night nurse?
This is a great question and one that I have given considerable thought to recently. As a DONA certified doula, I can work overnight shifts for families where mom is breastfeeding the baby. I can stay in the nursery or other location of your desire with the baby and watch for feeding cues and then bring the baby to you to nurse. You don't even have to get up! Ideally, you could nurse on your side to be even more comfortable. Once the baby is done, I will take the baby back to the nursery and get him back to sleep. This way, you don't have to listen to the myriad of noises that a tiny baby is capable of making! Since I am also a certified lactation counselor, I can answer any questions you may have while nursing, or help with positioning and latch. If you feel talkative, I am more than happy to talk, or I will just sit quietly by until you are done. I will also make sure you are always hydrated with fresh water and provide a snack if you are hungry. Additionally, when I am working overnights, I can do any household chores that need to be done like, laundry, dishes, gathering trash, etc., anything quiet enough not to disturb the family while they are sleeping.
For families that choose to bottle feed, if mom doesn't want anything to do with the care of the baby at night and just wants to sleep, you would want to hire a night nurse, otherwise known as a baby nurse, night nanny, baby nanny, etc. These women will come in to your home and just feed your baby for you at night so you can sleep. They only do baby care, they do not take care of mom, family, or household.
I hope this blog article has given some clarification to the question. This has actually caused quite a bit of confusion for parents and as doulas, we need to be clear with our clients as to what the differences in services are. Thanks for reading!
Questions that doulas need to ask themselves:
I recently had a potential birth client ask me what guides me during a labor. I thought this was such a great question! The laboring woman is my guide. All I need do is to watch her to see what she needs. She will tell me without words, if I just watch her face and body.
What guides my company? The desire to provide the best services possible.
What services do we provide? Birth doula, postpartum doula, lactation counseling, and childbirth education.
What do we have to offer that is unique? We are older than the average doula, so we have more maturity and life experience behind us and tend to make the new mom feel more mothered because of this.
What areas do we service? The Philadelphia area, including Center City, The Main Line and a one hour radius from Philadelphia.
What information can we provide about doula services? The word doula is an ancient Greek word meaning woman who serves. While doulas have been around in other countries, they have really only been popular in the US in the last 19 or so years in the birth field and about 14 years in the postpartum field.