I get this question a lot and decided to share some information. There are many differences between a night nurse, a baby nurse, night nanny, newborn care specialist, and a postpartum doula. First you should know that night nurses don’t generally hold a nursing license. Though they are referred to by the term, they haven’t actually been through nursing school and typically aren’t actually registered nurses. It was explained to be that in this case “nursing” is meant like “taking care of” not a medical nurse. You should also know that a postpartum doula is not the same thing as a birth doula. Postpartum doulas are trained/certified specifically for the time after you have a baby.
One challenge when writing about the differences is that not all night nurses, baby nurses, and night nannies have the same type of experience. Same with newborn care specialists because there are many different programs and some are very involved while others are more basic.
Night Nurse, Baby Nurse, Night Nanny, or Newborn Care Specialist Takes Care of your Baby for You
A night nurse is often called a “baby nurse.” In some states, the term “nurse” is not allowed to be used to define people in this line of work. So, another term for this position is a “newborn care specialist or night nanny.” Their area of focus is on caring for the baby directly.
A night nurse may hold your baby while you sleep, assist with feedings, bathing, swaddling and other normal needs that the baby may have. This newborn care specialist will take care of all of the basics, so that a mother doesn’t have to. She will directly feed and burp the newborn. She will change the newborns clothes and diapers. She will get baby to sleep so that the mother can rest. She might even help with sleep training.
Utilizing a night nurse, night nanny, baby nurse, or newborn care specialist might be best for you if you want someone else take care of your baby.
Postpartum Doulas - takes care of YOU and takes care of your baby With you (unless you are sleeping, or showering, or need some alone time then we will take care of baby for you)
Caring for a mother with a newborn is our priority. We are also well versed in caring for baby and whole family.
Postpartum doulas are trained and possibly certified in the needs of the mother, her partner, the infant, and the entire family. A postpartum doula’s goal is to care for the mother, offer education about newborns and newborn care, and care for the whole family. For example, a postpartum doula will educate the mother and others in the family about baby care and feeding. A postpartum doula will also take care of some household chores, like laundry, tidying up, and meal preparation. Most of all a postpartum doula care for the mother so she is better able to care for her new baby. A postpartum doula works with the family to help them gain skills and confidence.
She will also offer education about the physical and emotional recovery period after birth. In fact, a postpartum doula is trained to recognize signs of a rocky physical or emotional recovery and point the woman towards resources like lactation consultants, pediatricians, care providers, or community support. Postpartum doulas are wonderful at sharing resources to help connect our clients with the best resource available as soon as possible.
A postpartum doula will personalize services based on the family’s needs. We over both daytime, overnight, and 24/7 support depending on what clients need. You can expect your postpartum doula to help develop or maintain family routines, promote self-care and even accompany women on medical appointments if needed. She will also work to help enhance the bonds between all members within the family unit by helping to foster a sense of calm confidence.
Since postpartum doula work isn’t licensed by the state qualifications do vary. The After Baby Lady Postpartum Doula Services only works with doulas who are trained and/or certified by a reputable certifying organization. One of the most important parts of being a postpartum doula is following a scope of practice. Because we are non-medical we don’t offer medical advice, we don’t diagnose, or prescribe any treatments. This protects our clients and ourselves! We also don’t drive clients anywhere since that opens up issues with liability.
This might be best for you if you’d like to understand your baby’s cues, have support in your new role as a parent, get breastfeeding and bottlefeeding help, and have someone who care for the mother, baby, and whole family.
Want to hear what others think about working with our team of postpartum doulas? Check out our testimonials! Click Here!
If a postpartum doula sounds like the right fit for your family please Contact Us!
Jill Reiter CPD, Author
A mother, wife and Postpartum Doula's blog.
The After Baby Lady
Shelby Township MIPhone: 586-604-1446