New Parents – Why You Need a Doula Before AND After Your Baby is Born
My name is Astrid Hufnagel, and I am a birth and postpartum doula. Many of you may already know what a birth doula is but have you ever heard of a postpartum doula?
When the exhaustion of a new baby sets in, lots of families start to Google “baby nurse” or “night nurse.” What are the differences between a baby nurse/night nurse and a postpartum doula?
My Role as a Postpartum Doula:
Bringing a new baby home can be overwhelming! As your postpartum doula, I will support your entire family in your home in whatever capacity is most needed. I can answer questions on newborn care and feeding, help with the first bath, assist you in wearing your infant in a newborn carrier, take care of your infant while you nap or shower, prepare meals, run errands for or with you, perform light housekeeping such as laundry and cleaning baby bottles…. and so much more!
Even if you have TONS of family support, doula support is incredibly valuable. Both you and your partner will receive evidence based education (if you want it) and non-judgmental support, allowing you to gain confidence in your new roles!
In addition, I do a lot of listening. I recently worked with a family facing breast-feeding struggles… there were nights of crying, phone calls of desperation, and also moments of sheer joy. Sometimes all you need is someone to listen.
As this family’s postpartum doula I also scheduled a late night visit with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). I spoke with the family about options, relayed that info to the consultant, and ultimately scheduled this visit, which proved to be a total game-changer for the family.
Finally, I also provide overnight support. I can be the sole caretaker of your baby overnight, or if the birth mother is breastfeeding, I can stay in a separate room with baby and bring your baby to you when he/she needs to nurse. Then I will burp, diaper, and soothe your baby so you can get back to sleep!
How does this compare with the role of a baby nurse? A baby nurse’s focus is on your newborn, not on you, your partner, or other siblings. She may be a wonderful individual and have the best of intentions – fabulous with your baby – but she will not personally call up an IBCLC, schedule appointments, nor will she be available by phone for your questions.
No Secrets Here: You Know Who You Are Hiring:
If you hire me, then you will see me at your doorstep. Most baby nurses are a part of large agencies and you often don’t know ahead of time who your baby nurse will be. I think it is really important to trust and click with the person who will be so involved in your family life. The families I work with often become friends and I always want you to feel like you can vent to me.
A Postpartum Doula’s Schedule:
I have worked with families for as little as two weeks and as long as four months. For some families I have only provided support during the day, others only nights, and others a combo of the two!
My number of contracted hours has varied a great deal as well. Some families need support every day and some only once a week. You may need me the night before a busy day and then have me return later in the week to accompany you during your little angel’s pediatric appointment. The bottom line is that I offer extreme flexibility as a postpartum doula!
A baby nurse, on the other hand, requires a set schedule. Furthermore, if you are hiring a baby nurse for overnight support, she will require a set schedule that doesn’t change from week to week.
So What Does This AMAZING Support Cost?
My services cost more than that of a baby nurse. Why? My availability.
By offering you complete flexibility, I am limited in the number of families I can work with. And when I’m not at your side, I am available by phone and email throughout the day and even at night for those moments where you just need reassurance that you are an amazing parent! I offer a number of package options to suit your needs – I’m sure that you’ll find something that works for you!
Please click here to learn more about me, the services I offer, and package pricing. And of course, contact me with any questions your may have. I am flexible, compassionate, a good listener, and resourceful. I have also recently added an option that includes just overnight support.
All the best with your new little one!