The idea of at-home help was common in previous generations but, and somewhat ironically, fell out of fashion as more women entered the workplace. Despite the prevalence of doulas, nannies, and au pairs just about everywhere else in the world, such help is only now picking up steam in the US. And thank goodness!
We had the pleasure of speaking with long-time Motherhood Center Baby Doula, Sarah B.
Sarah has worked with infants and their families since 2008. She adores newborns and has made helping new families find their stride her specialty.
Baby Doulas, who are they?
Baby Doulas are also referred to as Post-partum Doulas, Newborn Care Specialists or even Night Nannies, depending. Title is far less important than what they do. These uniquely gifted caregivers specialize in helping mom, dad, family, and baby adjust to life at home in those first grueling and precious months.
When is the best time to find a Baby Doula?
The earlier the better.
She takes calls from families at all stages of the newborn settling process and is able to help regardless, but Sarah’s advice here is that it’s easiest to begin when you first come home with baby — getting off on the right foot is tremendously helpful. Not to mention the peace of mind that comes from knowing you have help and support (and the ability to take a nap) when you need it most.
What happens when a Baby Doula first comes over?
Sarah enjoys spending time getting to know everyone, their needs, and assessing the kind of help they need. Before tending to baby, she helps mom get settled and comfortable.
What does a Baby Doula actually do?
“There’s no one size fits all approach,” explains Sarah. Every family has different needs. Some families want help preparing dinner, others do it themselves.
Feeding baby, bringing baby to mom, providing breastfeeding support, changing diapers, bathing baby, burping baby, utilizing and teaching soothing and swaddling techniques, organizing the nursery in a way that makes sense, and ensuring mom gets plenty of rest (this one is key) are ways Sarah helps alleviate the sometimes overwhelming task of taking care of a newborn.
Sarah spends time teaching parents to understand what their baby is “saying.” Newborns don’t have words, but they’re quite capable of communicating their needs to those who are able to understand them.
And play! As Mr. Rogers famously noted, “Play is the work of childhood. Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning.” Teaching parents how to play with their baby and showing them which toys and activities are age-appropriate is one of Sarah’s favorite things to do. “Engagement is crucial,” she says.
Where can I get a Baby Doula?!?!
Motherhood Center was founded specifically to provide help and support to families and their little ones. We’re Houston’s oldest and most trusted doula agency. We have almost two decades of experience placing experienced, trained Baby Doulas and we’d love to help you. For more information, see here.