Give the gift of sleep

Sleep. The #1 item on the wish list of new moms everywhere.

Maybe coffee is a close second, but sleep is a commodity that’s hard to come by when you are doing the up-and-down nighttime song and dance that is having a newborn in the house.

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Family is gone. Dad’s back at work. Now it’s you and this baby who hasn’t gotten the memo about days and nights yet. Yawn.

What if you didn’t have to spend those early days exhausted? What if there were some modern fairy godmother to bibbity-bobbity-boo you right off to dreamland? Good news, that totally exists, and it’s called a postpartum doula.

For new moms, postpartum doulas are as close to a fairy godmother as it gets. In addition to being great with babies, postpartum doulas are trained in normal postpartum recovery and carindg for moms. A lot of time, that care looks like facilitating sleep.

All the newborn grunting keeping you up? Can you believe nobody prepared you for how loud sleeping babies are?! Are you having trouble sleeping because you keep checking to see if everything is okay? Are you worried about your partner getting rest because they have a demanding job? Is baby fed and changed, but restless because of gas? In addition to normal newborn wakings, all of these are common reasons for moms to be short on sleep.

If you want more sleep at night or a chance to get a nap in the daytime, our postpartum doulas can help.

You can sleep easier knowing that your baby is in expert hands with our professional doulas. If you’re nursing or pumping, we can help facilitate sleep by minimizing the time you have to spend awake at night. We can give the baby a bottle or bring baby to you to nurse. We’ll take care of all of the burping, changing, and soothing back to sleep. If you are utilizing the help of your doula in the daytime, you can take that much-needed nap (and maybe even a decent shower!) while your doula looks after the baby and helps keep your house running smoothly.

Stocking stuffers, baby showers, or just because…there’s never a wrong occasion to give a mom the gift of sleep.

Choose one of our online gift certificates, or contact us and we’ll be happy help you with a custom amount. We have a variety of packages and price points to choose from!

 

Sleep: No hope for new parents

So, you’re expecting a baby, huh? I bet you’ve also heard horror stories about how you’ll never sleep again. Don’t worry, they’re all true.

Coffee is the new sleep

Your new BFF
Your new BFF

If your baby isn’t here yet, go ahead and start brewing that coffee in advance. Go download our Coffee Affirmations Printable and stick it on your fridge in anticipation of sleepless nights to come. It takes about 5 cups to feel like a human, but you’ll get there eventually. Probably next week even! Don’t like coffee? Of course you do! REALLY don’t like coffee? Oh…well there’s a Southern expression for that: Bless your heart. Bless your little pea-pickin’ heart.

There no such thing as nighttime parenting: only survival.

What your baby expects
What your baby expects

You might have come across the phrase nighttime parenting in your internet searching exploits. That’s a fancy term for “the parent who has to leave the security and delicious warmth of their bed to attend to the needs of the screaming, hungry, pooping one.” Here’s the kicker: your baby isn’t hungry, poopy, or tired. He’s just bored. It’s party o’clock and young sir is displeased with your lack of effort. He’ll go back to sleep around 7am, once sufficient partying has occurred.

Baby monitors exist to destroy what little chance of sleep you had.

Sleep deprivation devices
Sleep deprivation devices

What was that noise? Was that the baby? Did she just move?! WHAT DOES THAT GRUNT MEAN?! DID SHE GRUNT IN HER SLEEP?! WHY DO THEY MAKE THAT NOISE ANYWAY?! NOBODY TOLD ME ABOUT THIS!!! You get up to check on her, and she is indeed still sleeping. That grunt was to make sure you remembered to program your coffee pot. You’re going to need it in the morning. What a nice, thoughtful baby, reminding you of things in your sleep!

It’s all worth it, they say. You’ll forget this in a few years, they say. Look at how sweet they are when they sleep, they say. They can’t help it. They don’t remember correctly. It’s the Coffee of Newborns Past talking.

Hope you’re not feeling too hopeless about the no sleep thing, because…

APRIL  FOOL’S!!!

Doulas of Memphis is in the business of making sure new parents get the sleep they need. Our overnight postpartum doulas will help you feel rested, ready to take on the day, and even bring you that first cup of coffee (you’ll only need 2 now).

If you’re a new parent in the trenches or are pregnant and anticipating your little one’s arrival, we’re here to tell you not to worry. We won’t tell you it’s always easy or that you’ll ALWAYS get the sleep you need, but it is worth it. Your baby will sleep eventually, and in the meantime our postpartum doulas are available 24/7 to help you get the sleep you need, whether it’s a nap in the daytime or a full night of sleep. If you are breastfeeding, we support breastfeeding AND healthy sleep by bringing your baby to you so that you can nurse and get right back to dreamland. You can rest assured knowing that your baby is in good hands and so are you!

To learn more about how our postpartum doulas can help with sleep, click here, fill out our contact form, or give us a call at (901) 308-4888!

 

Postpartum Doulas, Nannies, and Babysitters, Oh my!

I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “Where were you when my baby was little?! I wish I would have known!” in response to my description of what a postpartum doula does. Clearly there is a huge need, but the  term “postpartum doula” still has a way to go before it makes its way into the public consciousness.  If you want to read about Doulas of Memphis postpartum doulas, you can click here, but I’d like to take a moment to break down the differences between a postpartum doula and some of its alternatives.

postpartum doulas
Postpartum Doulas, Nannies, and Babysitters, Oh my!

Babysitters vs. Postpartum Doulas


While postpartum doulas do occasionally step into a babysitting-type role, babysitting is not one of the primary duties of a postpartum doula. A babysitter is typically hired for temporary or short-term childcare where the parent is either absent, or at home and unavailable. The babysitter’s focus is solely on the care of children, not on household tasks or the well-being of the mother. A postpartum doula’s focus is on caring for and nurturing the mother. Sometimes that includes baby care or looking after older siblings, but not as a general rule and always in the context of the mother’s needs.

Housekeepers vs. Postpartum Doulas

Basic household tasks are well within the postpartum doula’s scope, but they are just that: basic. While a postpartum doula will do your dishes, cycle your laundry, give your counters and sinks a quick wipe-down, and help you deal with that one clutter spot that’s driving you crazy, we do those things because they provide relief for parents. Time normally spent on mundane daily tasks instead becomes time for self care, to connect as a family, and bond with their baby.

Nannies vs. Postpartum Doulas

The job description of a nanny overlaps the most with that of a postpartum doula.  Both a nanny and a postpartum doula assist with baby care, sibling care, and do simple tasks that keep a household running. A nanny might even stay overnight and assist with nighttime baby care, but that’s where the similarities stop.  Hiring a nanny is a long-term childcare and home management solution, and a nanny may or may not have any kind of certification or credentials.


Doulas of Memphis postpartum doulas are not only well-versed in infant care, but also in what families are going through physically and emotionally during the postpartum period. You can ask your doula questions about postpartum recovery, what’s normal, and what warrants a call to your doctor. Doulas of Memphis postpartum doulas are also trained birth doulas, which provides a framework in which a postpartum client can discuss her birth if she so chooses. Unless she has an outside certification or personal experience, a nanny does not provide breastfeeding assistance. Doulas of Memphis postpartum doulas are trained in assisting mothers with normal breastfeeding and are able to refer clients to additional lactation support if it is needed.

Much like a postpartum doula, a  night nanny (aka “baby nurse”) takes care of your baby during the night so that you can get the sleep you’ve been craving. The biggest difference is that the nanny is there exclusively for the baby, while the postpartum doula is there for the whole family.  Your postpartum doula can take over night-time bottle feeding, or bring your baby to you if you are breastfeeding. She is available to listen, validate, and help if things feel hard, and to answer those new mom questions that may be keeping you up at night.

Nannies do form relationships and care about the families they serve, a nanny’s primary concern is not the emotional well-being of the mother. For a postpartum doula, the physical and emotional well-being of the mother is top priority! Those mundane tasks aren’t mundane to us, and we do all of it with a desire to provide you with same the loving, attentive care that you give to your baby.

 

Why postpartum support matters

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Our society places a high value and emphasis on pregnancy and preparing for birth. We make elaborate pregnancy announcements with social media, throw gender reveal parties, register for and host baby showers, and renovate nurseries. We take great care to learn about birth, whether it’s through the experiences of others, the internet, books, or a childbirth class. We craft our nests lovingly in anticipation for the arrival of our little ones. But the reality is, aside from comments about how you should “sleep while you can,” nobody is preparing us for the reality of motherhood.

Reality: there’s nothing glamorous about motherhood.

Motherhood is beautiful, but it’s gritty. It’s raw. You’re recovering from birth and sleeping in the bassinet next to you is your heart outside of your body. The baby you’ve dreamed about is here, but maybe it’s not like what you expected. Every relationship you have has changed before your very eyes. Some of it’s good, and some of it takes time to grow into. For every posed newborn photo and smiling selfie there’s a restless night, not enough coffee, a nagging feeling of “Am I doing this right?” that manages to creep in uninvited. Visitors come, but it’s not always at a great time. Meals come, and while you love lasagna, you’ve had it 3 nights in a row and would kill for a salad right about now. You might have lots of family around, but they all did things differently and you’re left feeling unsure. Then it all drifts away and there’s you and this baby that is yours to love and care for. Not everyone experiences all of this, but if you’ve been there I bet you can find at least one thing that makes you go, “Mmmhmm.” Let’s all do each other a favor and acknowledge that this is deep water we travel into, and we all need help to stay afloat.

Planning for postpartum

So you’ve written your birth plan, taken your childbirth class, perhaps even hired your doula. You’re as ready as you can be for birth, but what about after baby’s here? That’s what all of this is about, right? Here are a few things to consider as part of your postpartum plan:
Visitors: Who will be visiting, and when? Do you have any special considerations?
Social media: Who will announce the birth? Who is allowed to post photos?
Meals: Will anyone organize meals for you? Do you have room in your freezer, or do you need to make space?
Household tasks: Who will help with household tasks? Do you have pets to consider?
Self-care: Who will be there to help take care of you? (Yes, you!) Do you have a strong support network or do you anticipate needing extra help?
Social network: Who can you call if you need to reach out? Who can your partner call if he needs to reach out? When can they be reached?

You don’t have to go it alone

The most important thing to remember about those early baby days is that you are not alone! If you don’t already have a strong support network, or you feel more comfortable asking for help from someone who isn’t as close to you, a postpartum doula can help! At Doulas of Memphis, our focus is on taking care of you and your needs as you adjust to a new baby. Our doulas are available to you both day and night, so we can customize our support to fit your family. Do you need more help in the morning or the evening? Are you desperate for a night of sleep? We’ve got it covered. We can take care of the little things so that you can feel rested, relaxed, and ready to take on the day.  Postpartum support matters because YOU matter!

To learn more about postpartum doula services and how we can help your family, click here.