Multiple options – Baby nurse, newborn care specialist, postpartum doula or night nanny
Whether you choose a baby nurse, newborn care specialist (NCS), postpartum doula (PPD), or a night nanny is up to you and it depends on your needs. If you consider hiring overnight help it is important to know that you have options.
Providing overnight newborn care is the most rewarding thing i’ve ever done. I became a newborn care specialist out of love for babies and people in general. Getting to work so close with my families during such a fragile and beautiful time in their lives is incredible. I am humbled by the trust all of these wonderful families have in me, they hand me their most precious possessions after all. People gasp in surprise when I tell them that I care for other’s people’s babies at night. There are usually two categories… those who get it and say “heck, where were you when I had my babies?” and those who don’t get it and say “why would someone hire a stranger to hold their baby at night?”
One Purpose – Empowering new parents
Here’s the thing. I don’t force myself into anyone’s life. I am invited there and almost always for a good reason. You would be amazed how many parents struggle through the haze of the first few weeks at home with a newborn baby (or babies). It’s hard, it’s confusing, and it’s friggin’ exhausting!
Hiring postpartum help doesn’t make you lazy or selfish. It means that you need help and you are not afraid to ask for it. If a few hours of uninterrupted sleep hold you together and make you a better parent, then make it happen. I realize that hiring constant night help isn’t feasible for everyone, but even a little bit of help could be life changing.
Reason #1. Health.
Birth is complicated and rough on a mother’s body
32% of the US babies are delivered by C-section (CDC). That means 3 in 9 mothers have to care for a newborn baby, day and night, right after they undergo a major surgery. They get split open, put together, and then they are handed a perfectly round, adorable and hungry little cherub that needs to be fed, changed, fed, rocked, fed, changed, and cuddled… around the clock. Most women do it… but it’s a heck of a gig!
Hormones out of whack, sleep deprivation, and anxiety about being able to care for a newborn make the perfect recipe for disaster. About 1 in 9 women who give birth suffer from postpartum depression in the United States. That means around 600,000 women get PPD each year!
There is a long list of postpartum health issues here if you are curious to see what other issues women may be dealing with right after they give birth to a tiny human.
Reason #2. SLEEP!
Good for the body and mind
I can’t possibly be the only person in this world who can’t function without sleep, am I? Probably not… So I guess we can all agree that sleep is vital and the lack of it will do a number on your health and overall wellbeing. Other than feeling groggy and grumpy, the long-term effects of sleep deprivation are serious. You may experience trouble thinking and concentrating. Accidents, mood changes, a weakened immune system, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart disease, weight gain, increased risk for diabetes, low sex drive, and poor balance. Researchers are currently studying the link between sleep and cancer. Next time when you think that you can get by with 4 broken hours of sleep per night, think twice.
Coffee might work to keep you upright, but hiring experienced postpartum help is a better, cheaper option for your health. A baby nurse, NCS, or PPD is trained to care for your precious baby while you snooze peacefully. We will wake you up to nurse if that is what you choose to do, or feed by bottle. Your baby will be changed, burped, rocked, and swaddled right back to sleep until it’s time to start it all over. Meanwhile, you recharge for a day full of cuddles, smiles, and magic with your little miracle.
Reason #3. Chores.
Save time for cuddles with your baby
We’ve all seen that scene… laundry piling high on every surface available, hundreds of tiny items waiting to be washed, folded, and put away. Bottles (have you seen those Dr. Brown’s ones? They come apart in a bunch of tiny little pieces that need to be individually washed), pacifiers, breast pump parts, steam bags, brushes, soapy water, lots of spit-up, and a fussy baby. I’m getting a bit of anxiety only thinking about it. Well, you can leave it all to us! We’ll take care of it all so you can sit back and enjoy your baby. We’ll even empty the diaper pail for you and stock up the nursery with everything you need in arm’s reach.
Reason #4. Support.
You are not alone in this
We get it! We get you! Being a new Mom or Dad is the most amazing thing in the world but it’s hard. You can put a smile on your face for the world around you, but we know and understand that some days will suck. We are there for you to offer a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, and a wealth of knowledge to answer any questions you have. We help you navigate through it all until you are confident enough to realize that you can do it! You can do it all because you are amazing. We are only the training wheels that will help you take off on your own.
Reason #5. Healthy Sleep Habits for Your Baby.
Nothing sweeter than a sleeping baby
Most of the newborn care specialists and some post partum doulas are trained, and experienced, in establishing healthy sleep habits for your baby starting day one. We will help you create a schedule for your baby that will promote good naps and a good night’s sleep. By the time you are ready to fly solo, your little one will be sleeping through the night (or close to it). When good sleep habits are established from the very beginning, your little one will learn how to sleep peacefully and only call for you when he/she needs you. Most babies can and will sleep on their own, without props, if the right conditions and environment are created and their needs are met.
If you are one of the lucky ones who won the Baby Lottery and got the perfect little angel who sleeps all nigh and coos all day by default, then kudos to you! Here’s a high five and feel free to pass down the secret recipe.
If you are one of the majority, whose days with a newborn are long and the nights seem endless, get some help. Make a phone call and hire someone. Ask your family and friends to step in, they would be happy to help! You are not made of steel and you won’t get a medal for trying to do it all on your own. Your baby will thank you!
To Explore More
If you are interested to find out more about postpartum issues and how important sleep is to your body, check out these links:
“Births – Method of Delivery.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 31 Mar. 2017, www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/delivery.htm.
Cappuccio, Francesco P., et al. “Sleep Duration and All-Cause Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies.” Sleep, Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC, 1 May 2010, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2864873/.
“The Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body.” Healthline, Healthline Media, 5 June 2017, www.healthline.com/health/sleep-deprivation/effects-on-body.
“How Does Seven to Eight Hours of Sleep Affect Your Body?” Healthline, Healthline Media, 17 Oct. 2016, www.healthline.com/health/science-sleep-why-you-need-7-8-hours-night#Overview1.
“Lack of Sleep Increases Your Risk of Some Cancers.” National Sleep Foundation, sleepfoundation.org/sleep-news/lack-sleep-increases-your-risk-some-cancers.
“Postpartum Problems.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/features/postpartum-problems#1.
“Researchers Are Studying the Link between Sleep and Cancer | CTCA.” CancerCenter.com, 1 Jan. 1ADAD, www.cancercenter.com/community/newsletter/article/researchers-are-studying-the-link-between-sleep-and-cancer/.