How do you help families get more sleep?
As a postpartum doula one of my main goals is to help families get more sleep.
During an overnight shift I care for the baby while the parents get that much needed rest. If the mother is breastfeeding I will quietly bring the baby to her mother when she wakes to nurse. Once baby is finished nursing I will bring her back to her nursery for changing and settling back to sleep. If baby is being fed with a bottle I take care of preparing and feeding her bottles during the night. In both scenarios I take care of baby’s needs to allow her parents the chance to get as much sleep as possible.
What happens when baby cries in the middle of the night?
Babies cry, we all know that. During the night I aim to soothe the baby before crying starts by noticing her cues, body movements, mouthing, etc. I stay in tune with her needs and ensure that she is fed or changed and then help her get back to sleep.
Do you sleep at all and if so where?
Typically the baby is in his/her own bedroom and I spend my time with the baby. When the baby is sleeping I do nap or rest as much as possible. Since I am rooming in with baby I stay as close to him/her as possible so I can listen for night feeding cues.
Do you do other household work at night?
I will do quiet housework at night such as folding a load of laundry or washing bottles. I believe it is important to maintain the calmness of the home when all family members are trying to sleep.
What do you like most about working with families and newborns?
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love the peaceful moments I have to snuggle with the baby. Holding a newborn and smelling their sweet soft skin is the purest and deepest joy for me. It’s the best feeling in the world.
But what I like best about working with families is being invited into one of the most intimate and life changing moments in a couple’s life. Witnessing the changes that happen over the first few days and weeks is momentous. Answering questions, encouraging and watching the parents gain more confidence – it is what being a doula is all about.