*At least, that’s how it will feel.
What does an overnight doula do? I get a lot of questions about the overnight support we offer. Many people call asking for a “baby nurse” or “night nurse” (in quotes because they’re not typically licensed nurses), and I love telling them how and why a postpartum doula is so much more awesome. We do everything a night nurse does, and more! So, what does an overnight look like with a doula?
She arrives, and talks to you a bit about the day. If you have questions, she’s happy to answer them. If not, off to bed you go! She keeps a watchful eye on your little angel while she folds your laundry, washes bottles/pump parts/dinner dishes/whatever. When it’s time for a feeding, she either brings the baby to you for nursing or you come to her. You nurse and chat, then you get to just go back to bed. No burping, poopy diaper changing, re-swaddling, settling, finally-getting-the-baby-back-to-sleep-only-to-touch-your-head-to-the-pillow-and-hear-fussing for you! If your baby is taking a bottle, the doula will feed him or her when s/he is hungry – whatever feeding routine works for your family.
In the morning, you ride a unicorn out of your bedroom, or possibly slide down a rainbow, refreshed and ready to have an awesome day with your baby! Depending on your preferred schedule, you may want to enjoy coffee and breakfast before taking over baby duty, or even *gasp* have a long, hot shower.
Twin parents find overnight care incredibly helpful, too. Doulas are experienced in juggling more than one baby, so both Mom AND Dad can get a good night’s sleep.
Your doula will also work toward naturally improving your baby’s sleep, without doing any hardcore sleep training. By the time a client is done with us, the baby is typically sleeping a nice long stretch for you.
There are some who think that having overnight help takes away from the parents’ bonding time. Let me let you in on a little secret – you’re not missing much. The babies will mostly noisily sleep, poop, or be a bit fussy. Your doula is not having long bonding moments with your baby while you dream about
Ryan Gosling your hubby. She is listening to him grunt, snuffle, and fart. She may have to hold him for a while, sitting up, because that’s the only way to keep him asleep. You do this PLENTY during the day, I’m sure! 2-3 (or even 5-7) nights a week of overnight care is going to make you a happier, healthier, better rested mama for your little one(s) during the day, I promise. And that is worth its weight in gold!
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