The role of a doula is incredibly important during the pregnancy and postpartum period. But what is the difference between a birth doula and a postpartum doula or Newborn Care Expert (NCE)? And when is the right time to hire each one?

Birth Doula

A birth doula is trained to provide physical and emotional support to a mother during labor and delivery. They are a non-medical professional who will provide comfort measures such as massage, aromatherapy, and breathing techniques. Birth doulas are also very knowledgeable on the birth process, so they can provide information on childbirth and postpartum care. They can also act as an advocate for the mother and communicate with medical staff on her behalf. Flourish Fund can help you find a birth doula near you!

Postpartum Doula

A postpartum doula or a newborn care expert (NCE) provides a different kind of support during the postpartum period. Both are specifically trained to help the family adjust to their new roles as parents. A Newborn Care Expert will provide assistance with breastfeeding, bottle feeding, baby care, and sleep coaching. Whereas a postpartum doula generally provides non-medical, maternal support to ease physical symptoms during recovery. In addition, a postpartum doula assists the parents and older children as they adapt to having a newborn, helping with household chores, grocery shopping, and meal preparation. Both NCEs and postpartum doulas are available to help with postpartum depression and other mental health issues that can arise after the birth of a baby. Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny offers both of these postpartum support services, take a look here!

Hiring a Doula

When it comes to deciding when to hire a birth doula or a Newborn Care Expert, it is important to consider your needs and preferences. Some families may opt to hire a birth doula to provide support during labor and delivery and then hire a Newborn Care Expert afterward for the at home transition to parenthood. Other families may decide to hire a birth and postpartum doula to help them throughout the entire pregnancy and postpartum period. Sit down and talk to your partner to decide when you want to start having the support of a professional on your road to motherhood.

Ultimately, the decision to hire a birth doula, postpartum doula, or Newborn Care Expert is up to you. Both can provide invaluable support during this special time in your life. Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny is here to support you every step of the way in your parenting journey. Reach out today at [email protected].

About The Author

Carole K. Arsenault is the founder and CEO of Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny. She has years of experience working with newborns as a lactation consultant, sleep coach, and of course an RN specializing in Obstetrics and Maternal Health. In addition, she is the award winning author of Newborn 101. She has three grown children and loves to share mindfulness tips to friends and parents.