‘Baby Nurse’ or Post Partum Doula
By Denise Bolds MSW CD(DONA)
December 29, 2018
As a birth doula of over 4 years, I have encountered many clients announce with pride: “I have hired a baby nurse to help me once the baby is here!” In my mind I am thinking my client must have been told at a prenatal visit that her unborn baby will be born with huge clinical needs that must be supported by a ‘baby nurse.’ I asked my client who laughed and said: “Oh no! My friend had one and recommended the service to me.”
This new Mom like so many others hear the term ‘Baby nurse’ and they all want one. They have no idea what a ‘baby nurse’ is. Here’s the scoop!
There are circumstances where a baby is born with intense medical conditions that require clinical support in the home such as special medications, oxygen, blood monitoring and recovering from surgeries. This is where a clinical, registered nurse who specializes in neonatal (newborn) care is a Baby Nurse.
The ‘baby nurse’ that many new parents hire are predominately women from the Caribbean who are skilled in caring for a new born. These ‘baby nurses’ are not of a clinical background, many are without any CPR training. ‘Baby nurses’ come from agencies that charge a bundle and they do not support the Mom, Dad or the home for that matter - just the baby. There is an alternative.
A post-partum doula is certified and is trained in supporting the family. They are CPR trained and will support the home with light meal prep, light house cleaning, breast-feeding support, belly binding, infant massage and more. The post-partum doula is also more affordable and flexible in hours. Why hire support that is only for the baby when a post-partum doula supports the baby and the family.
Remember, there are birth doulas and there are post-partum doulas. The birth doula supports prenatally and the labor/birth. The post-partum doula supports the newborn and the family with a variety of supports that include breastfeeding, belly binding, meal prep, house cleaning, overnight support and more. Both birth doulas and post partum doulas support breastfeeding! Many birth doulas provide placenta encapsulation services.
Do not be misled by the term ‘baby nurse.’ You are paying more for less support. Ask your birth doula if she/he/they can recommend any post-partum doulas. Bold Doula sure can!