Looking for a baby nurse to help you after the baby is born?
I recently spoke to a grandmother-to-be. She called in looking for a “baby nurse” to help her expecting daughter after her baby arrives.
“When I was a young woman in New York city” she told me, “people with newborns would hire a baby nurse to help them care for their baby, especially overnight so the new parents could get some sleep. Back then we called them baby nurses. What do you call them now?” she asked me. I told her that the basic duties are the same, but our baby experts are referred to as Postpartum & Infant Care Doulas.
We’ve actually had this conversation with a lot of grandmothers, especially in these times of COVID. New grandparents who are unable to travel are looking for local baby nurses to help in their place.
No matter what the title is that you are accustomed to: baby nurse, night nurse, night nanny, newborn care specialist, or postpartum doula – you’ve come to the right place!
So, what is a baby nurse?
The baby nurse title has been around for a long time. Historically it has been used to refer to a professional that cares for babies and children in your home. It’s even defined this way in the dictionary, see definition #2 below:
- A person formally educated and trained in the care of the sick or infirm.
- A woman who has the general care of a young child or children.” – Dictionary.com
However, in some states you cannot use the term “baby nurse” unless medically trained as a nurse (definition #1). So, for that reason, use of this title can be a bit ambiguous or unclear.
Despite this, many professionals and families still use the label “baby nurse” to lovingly describe their baby expert. Often it specifically refers to a caregiver that looks after a newborn baby overnight. It is okay with us if you use this title! We don’t mind.
What are the differences, if any, between a baby nurse and a postpartum and infant care doula?
One thing that makes a postpartum doula unique is, in addition to being a baby expert, she is also an expert in caring for new parents and the whole family unit. A postpartum doula understands that new parents need nurturing too! Parents need information, encouragement and support from an unbiased, non-judgmental source.
For this reason, a doula is trained to understand what postpartum recovery is like for new mothers that have just given birth, how to care for them, to understand postpartum mood disorders, and how to provide emotional support to new parents. She will take stock of the needs of the entire family: mother, father, partner, babies, siblings and even pets!
This means, in addition to providing newborn care and expertise, she might also do things like: listen to a new parent who is stressed and overwhelmed and provide comfort, prepare meals and ensure new parents are well fed, answer questions about breastfeeding, light housekeeping, running errands, making recommendations for other support resources and so much more.
But most importantly, you define what your priorities are and our team members will accommodate you. If your priority is sleep, your doula will care for your baby overnight so you can be fully functional during the day. Overnight newborn care is one of the main offerings we provide!
What training do baby nurses and postpartum doulas have?
At Buddha Belly we do have a few registered nurses and certified professional midwives on our team. They support families in a baby nurse (definition #2!) and postpartum doula capacity. These experts have medical training and nursing degrees. From decades of working in hospitals and communities with new parents and babies, they bring a wealth of knowledge and experience.
Our company is composed of highly trained and experienced experts. Every member of the team has attended a professional training workshop with a nationally accredited doula certifying organization. In addition to their doula training, many have degrees in maternal/child health or related fields, or advanced certifications including: certified lactation counselors, yoga instructors, massage therapists, or child passenger safety technicians.
We would be honored to be the baby nurse for your family and help you have an easier transition into your new life as parents!