One of the most important parts of preparing for the arrival of a new little one is making sure your needs will be met in the days and weeks following the birth. For some this means preparing and freezing meals, for others it means finding family members to help with baby care or household chores. Still other new mamas find it helpful to line up nighttime help in order to ensure they are getting the sleep they need.

Unfortunately, many women who look into the option of hiring an overnight assistant are overwhelmed with options. Night nannies and overnight doulas are both options that come up a lot, but it can seem nearly impossible to find the differences between them. How do you know which is the best option for you?

Honestly, there aren’t that many differences between night nannies and overnight doulas, so it’s totally understandable why so many people have trouble telling them apart. That said, those few differences are important ones, and they can really make a big difference in how your postpartum weeks play out.

Below we have provided you with information on how overnight postpartum doulas differ from night nannies, and help you understand which choice is the best choice.

Whole Family Care

When you hire a night nanny, you are hiring a nanny only. She will be in your home to care for the baby, and only the baby. While she may be happy to have a quick conversation before bed, she is not there to care for your needs, nor does she generally know much about postpartum support.

A postpartum doula, on the other hand, provides whole family care. She is happy to help with small tasks that keep the household running smoothly, and can also provide physical and emotional support for the new mother. Lastly, she understands how important the mother/baby bond is, and makes a point to help the pair establish a strong connection.

Here is a list of things you might expect from an overnight doula that probably would not be provided by a night nanny:

Feeding Support — A doula understands the importance of a strong feeding relationship. She will help mother and baby establish a nighttime feeding routine and encourage good feeding habits.

Chore Assistance — It’s no secret that chores tend to be neglected once a new baby enters the scene. Fortunately, an overnight doula can help a bit by washing bottles, throwing out dirty diapers, and keeping things neat while she is in the home.

Meal Prep — While a doula is certainly not a gourmet chef, she will likely do some light meal prep if needed. This is wonderful because it means the new mother can catch a bit of extra rest while a simple breakfast is being prepared for her.

Mother’s Health — Finally, a postpartum doula considers it her job to look after the health of the new mother. She will help in anyway possible, and will recommend a doctor when necessary.

Wealth of Knowledge

Generally speaking, a night nanny does not receive the same level of training as a doula. She will likely be very good at swaddling, burping, and changing diapers, but may have no idea how to facilitate a good breastfeeding relationship or how to support various parenting styles.

Meanwhile, an overnight doula is highly trained in a number of relevant subjects. This means she can easily meet all needs of a newly expanded family.

Here are some of the subjects a postpartum doula must be fluent in in order to work with us:

Baby Care — Obviously, an overnight doula is going to be caring for newborns a lot. Therefore, it is important that she knows how to care for the baby, as well as how to help parents prepare to take over her role when she is gone. Additionally, a postpartum doula knows quite a lot about breastfeeding and is able to help new mamas find their nursing groove.

Physical Postpartum Recovery — When a woman gives birth, her body goes through some enormous changes in a very short amount of time. An overnight doula is well trained on what to expect in those first weeks postpartum, and can help a new mother understand what is happening with her body and when she might want to see a doctor.

Postpartum Mental Health — In addition to physical changes, a new mother’s body also goes through some incredible hormonal, emotional, and mental changes immediately following the birthing experience. All doulas have a solid understanding of these changes and know the signs of postpartum depression in order to provide support and recommend professional help when needed.

As you can see, a postpartum overnight doula is almost always the right choice for most families when it comes to newborn nighttime care. If you are looking to hire an overnight doula and are in or around Oklahoma City, please contact us today!