One of the first questions many parents ask me is “What exactly does a night doula do?”
In caring for newborns, I utilize current information about early childhood development, attachment theory, and RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers).
I collaborate with parents to ensure they are comfortable with caring for their newborn. We work together to establish healthy feeding habits, and to find techniques for soothing that work for your individual baby. I ensure you are proficient at burping, diapering, and bathing your little one. And I lay the foundation for healthy infant sleep patterns.
Receiving assistance overnight can be crucial to the well being of new parents who are already tired from a long day. I work mainly nights so clients can rest at ease knowing a well trained professional is there to provide support. It is always an honor for me to be of service to families during this special time.
An average night with my doula support generally follows this pattern:
Upon arrival, I check with parents to see how baby’s day was and answer any questions about newborn care and postpartum recovery.
If baby is awake, I prepare them for bed and use natural comforting techniques to help them fall asleep with ease. Throughout the night I keep a log of baby’s activity, such as when they wake, eat, or need a diaper change. This log is on a smartphone app that is shared with parents.
When baby wakes, I assess if it is time for a feeding. If baby is hungry, I will bring them to the parents for the feed. Alternatively, I will do bottle feedings on my own to allow parents to sleep. I provide breastfeeding education and support as needed, and help soothe baby back to sleep after feedings and diaper changes.
If a client is pumping, I make sure they have clean pump accessories and bottles for each session. Afterwards, I log the time and amount of milk pumped, and wash the used parts. If clients are supplementing with formula, I prepare the bottles and make sure they are ready for baby’s feedings.
My overall aim as a night doula is to allow parents time to recuperate, while also giving them the opportunity to gain expertise and confidence in baby care.
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