Postpartum Doula Working with Child - Postpartum Doula - Newborn Care Specialist - Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny

Let’s Compare a Postpartum Doula vs. a Newborn Care Specialist

Welcoming a new baby into the world is a truly joyous experience, but it can also be an extremely overwhelming and unsettling time for new parents. Combine sleepless nights, constant care, and the emotional rollercoaster that comes with adjusting to a new family member, and you get a challenging experience for any family. But it is important to know that you don’t have to go through it alone, and many new parents rely on the support a professional caregiver can provide!

These professionals can make a significant difference in the experience you have welcoming your newborn home. If you are considering hiring help, you’ve likely heard of two of the most popular options, a postpartum doula and a newborn care specialist. What’s the difference? We’re glad you asked.

What is a Postpartum Doula?

Put plainly, a postpartum doula is a professional caregiver who provides support to new mothers after they give birth. But what makes them different from other care providers is that their primary focus is on the mother – offering her emotional and physical support while her body heals and she’s adjusting to her new role in her family. A postpartum doula typically works with a family in the ‘fourth trimester’ – 12 weeks after birth.

As childbirth is a significant ordeal on the body and mind, postpartum doulas are trained to help women recover both physically and emotionally, but can also provide practical assistance. Their main goal is simple: to help new moms feel comfortable and confident in their new role as a parent so they can truly enjoy their new baby. A few of the services that may be provided by a postpartum doula include:

Breastfeeding Support

Postpartum doulas can provide general breastfeeding education, help with learning how to latch, and tips to help new mothers feel more comfortable with breastfeeding their little one.

Light Housekeeping

While a postpartum doula is not a true housekeeper, they can provide assistance with some household tasks, such as dishes, laundry, or errands, so that new mothers can place more of their focus on their recovery or the care of their new baby. Some doulas may even be able to assist with meal preparation, giving new mothers some of their time back while also providing nutrients she needs to recover.

Emotional Support

Childbirth and the adjustment into the role of new motherhood isn’t easy on anyone. In Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny’s Postpartum Doula Certification, caregivers are trained to be able to help new mothers cope with the physical and emotional challenges and changes they may be facing.

What is a Newborn Care Specialist?

Whereas postpartum doulas focus their care and attention on the new mother, a newborn care specialist is a professional caregiver specializing in providing support and care to newborn babies. They have extensive knowledge and experience in newborn care like feeding, bathing, forming healthy sleep habits, and working toward developmental milestones. A newborn care specialist will typically works with a newborn until 4-6 months of age.

Their primary focus will stay on the baby, ensuring they receive the care they need to thrive and grow healthy. Newborn care specialists provide education to new parents on the care and development of the infant, but also provide hands-on support for feeding, bathing, getting your baby to sleep. A few of the services that may be provided by a newborn care specialist include:

Sleep Education

These specialists can provide guidance and support to parents on learning how to form healthy sleep habits in preparation for sleep training at 4 months of age. In addition, they can help your infant decipher between day and night, getting them on a good sleep schedule.

Breastfeeding Support

In Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny’s Newborn Care Training, their Newborn Care Experts are trained in breastfeeding support. They are able to assist in a proper latch, different breastfeeding holds, and other tips such as how long to feed on each side.

Newborn Care Education

Especially helpful for first time mothers, your newborn care expert can educate you on caring for your infant – things like bathing, diapering, soothing techniques, working on age-appropriate developmental milestones, and navigating common concerns.

Emotional Support

Despite their focus on the newborn, these specialists can also provide emotional support to parents as they navigate the challenges that can come with caring for a newborn. In Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny’s Advanced Newborn Care Training, their Newborn Care Experts are trained in caring for the mother in topics such as postpartum depression, mastitis, recognizing maternal emergencies, and more.

Key Differences Between Postpartum Doulas & Newborn Care Specialists

As you may have noticed, despite both postpartum doulas and newborn care specialists providing support to new parents, there are some key differences between the two roles and what they offer.

A postpartum doula works to provide emotional and physical support to the mother, ensuring her health and well-being continues to strengthen after childbirth. Meanwhile, a newborn care specialist provides hands-on support for infants, keeping their focus on the well-being and health of the new baby.

Another difference you might find is that postpartum doulas tend to have a more holistic approach to care, focusing on the family’s overall well-being. A newborn care specialist, on the other hand, will tend to have a more practical approach to newborn care alone.

How Should You Choose?

There is no set rule of thumb for how to choose between the styles of professional caregivers you can hire following childbirth. Instead, the choice will depend on each family’s individual needs and preferences.

If you are primarily looking for assistance in navigating your new emotions and physical recovery, a postpartum doula is the best option for you! They’ll be able to fully support your recovery and adjustment into your new role. However, if you’re a first time parent struggling with how you’ll take care of your baby, a newborn care specialist will assist you in nailing the basics.

No matter what you choose, you’ll find that having professional support can go a long way in making such a beautiful time even more enjoyable for you and your family! And ultimately, the most important thing is finding an option or caregiver that you feel most comfortable with and who can provide the support you and your family need. Reach out to Boston Baby Nurse & Nanny to schedule a call today discussing how we can best support you. 781-44-4063

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