Overnight doulas generally work an eight hour shift, 1-5 nights a week. We can provide 7 nights a week care with advanced notice, though you will work with multiple doulas. An overnight doula allows the family to get the sleep that they need. Our overnight doulas receive advanced training in infant sleep needs in addition to the standard training in infant care, breastfeeding, and family support.
Your overnight doula usually works 10-6am or 11-7am; extra hours may be arranged.
We believe that new parents need support in order to get enough sleep in the early weeks of parenting. This can be a key factor in avoiding postpartum depression. At the same time, families may need guidance in learning how to nighttime parent. Nighttime parenting takes a different skill set than parenting during the day. Sometimes it is difficult to know how to read your baby’s nighttime signals. You have to learn how to be responsive to baby, without discouraging the baby’s ability to settle him/herself.
Our society does not always provide parents with accurate information on what are “normal” newborn behaviors. An overnight specialist (or doula) is knowledgeable in infant sleep patterns as well as the things that can interfere with a good night sleep for baby – and the whole family!
At Austin Baby Guru, we believe that sleeping is not something you can force a baby to do. You can, however, create a secure environment that allows sleep to naturally overtake your baby. A realistic long-term goal is to help your baby develop a healthy attitude about sleep: that sleep is a pleasant state to enter and a secure state in which to remain. The overnight doula can help you to work with your baby’s temperament while encouraging a healthy sleep pattern.
Ways an overnight postpartum doula can help:
- Ensure the family gets some sleep
- Emotional support
- Breastfeeding support
- Teach/model newborn care
- Be there to “MOTHER” the mother
- Provide lending library of books on infant care, postpartum depression, breastfeeding, etc.
- Act as a resource for community services
Learn more about Postpartum Doula care in our extensive FAQ section.