Benefits of a Daytime Doula
You might be thinking "The most important thing for me is sleep after my baby is born, so I need an overnight doula." Overnight doulas certainly are a luxury, but daytime doulas can be just as useful! When you have a baby, if it's your first, you're going to discover you have so many questions. The nurses at the hospital basically just make sure you know how to put on a diaper and then send you on your way home. You literally get more training to drive a car than you do to take your newborn home from the hospital and now you're responsible for this little person for the next 18+ years!
That's where a daytime doula comes into play. While overnight help is useful to give you more restful sleep, as a first time parent, you're going to want education that can only be taught during a daytime shift. You may be able to get a little bit of education at night, but let's face it, the minute your nighttime doula walks in at 9PM or 10PM, you're ready to hand over your little one and hit the pillow! During the daytime, your doula will be able to instruct and give you hands on experience with swaddling, diapering, feeding, lactation support and calming techniques so that during the nighttime you can bring your "best game" with feeding and getting your baby back to sleep efficiently. You may be surprised that those exhausting middle of the night feeds may actually end up being some of your fondest memories when all is said and done.
Another great perk to having a daytime doula is getting to nap after those exhausting nights! You can rest with peace of mind knowing your baby is in great hands! A lot of daytime doulas will also do light housework, laundry and simple meal prep if time allows, giving you a much needed break from your normal household duties. Some daytime doulas will also entertain other siblings (typically for an extra fee) to allow you extra time to bond with the new baby or get some much needed rest.
A daytime doula also allows you to have someone to talk to. Being at home with a new baby and doing the same routine over and over again can become very isolating and lonely at times. Your daytime doula is someone who understands the struggles of motherhood and can provide a listening ear or reassurance that you're being a great mom. She can help instill confidence in yourself as a new mother by showing you all her "tricks of the trade" so you feel more capable doing things on your own when your time with her is complete. She can help you watch out for signs of postpartum depression and help you determine if your feelings are the normal "baby blues" or when you might seek out a medical professional to talk to. Simply having another adult around is always a great addition to your home when transitioning into parenthood.
Your daytime doula is most likely also versed in infant development, so she can be on the lookout for signs of developmental delays and refer you to your pediatrician if she feels it may be something to get a second opinion about. However, keep in mind that most doulas are not medically trained, so specific medical diagnoses would come from your pediatrician and your doula is NOT held liable for medical oversights.
Whether you need overnight or daytime care, getting extra support is necessary for a smooth transition integrating your new baby into the family. Family members can be helpful, but hiring a professional who has expertise on newborns is key to a great start! If you're ready to start your newborn journey, contact us today!