Portland Parents peacefully sleeping after birth with overnight doula support

7 Things An Overnight Doula Does…While Parents SLEEP!

Wanna know what happens when we show up as Overnight Doulas? Well, first the MAIN priority is that PARENT’S SLEEP of course! Sleep deprivation can be the root of Postpartum anxiety/depression, extra stress, and tension between the couple.

It’s AMAZING what one FULL NIGHT of sleep can do to reset and restore! 💪🏼 🙌

When we show up as an Overnight Doula, we care for your baby of course, but can do many other things to sprinkle some magic into your home….all while parents get the sleep they desperately need. 🪄 ✨ In this blog, we will show the seven most common things we as overnight doulas do, turning nighttime into a dreamy experience for both baby and parents.

1. Feed the Baby

Imagine this: it’s the middle of the night, and the baby’s tummy is calling for milk. Fear not, tired parents! On this special night, it’s NOT YOU getting out of bed! Your overnight doula is there to warm the milk and do that hard middle-of-the-night feeding.

Parents get to continue in dreamland all while their baby gets fed. Which let’s be honest, could be 2-3 feedings in a 10-hour shift! The overnight doula will do the burping and soothing afterward so the baby can drift back to sleep with ease too. So, go ahead new parents, stay warm and cozy in your bed – midnight milk munchies are officially off your worry list!

2. Attend to Baby’s Needs

Babies might be tiny, but their needs are grand. Diaper changes, soothing sessions, and making sure the little one is as snug as a bug – that’s the overnight doula’s jam. We are there to follow the parent’s requests on how bedtimes should go.

We will make sure your baby is dry and happy through the entire night. For some high-needs babies (reflux, gas issues etc) your doula is a professional with newborns and will comfort and soothe them through the night with their expertise.

3. Do Family Laundry

The care doesn’t stop with the baby; it’s a whole family affair. During the beginning of our shift, if the baby is sleeping, Overnight doulas can take on the laundry!

We love to have parents wake up to fresh laundry folded. Our goal as doulas is to bring ease to the entire family system. And sometimes that is making mornings a little brighter with a load of fresh clean clothes for the family.

4. Do Dishes & Tidy Up the Kitchen

A doula’s support doesn’t stop at the baby’s nursery. Recognizing the importance of a clutter-free environment, overnight doulas tidy up the kitchen during their night shift. From washing dishes to organizing countertops, this extra touch contributes to a stress-free atmosphere for parents to wake up to.

5. Wash Bottles and Pump Parts

Parents with a newborn know firsthand, that the mountain-high pile of bottles and/or pump parts can reach the ceiling fast! As Overnight doulas, we are gurus in washing, sterilizing, and organizing all the bottles and feeding parts! We ensure that parents wake up to all the bottles cleaned and ready to go for the next day.

6. Make a Nourishing Breakfast

The night isn’t over until there’s breakfast on the table! Overnight doulas channel their inner chefs to whip up a nourishing breakfast. An overnight doula goes the extra mile by preparing a nourishing breakfast for the family.

This thoughtful gesture sets a positive tone for the day, allowing parents to start their morning with a healthy meal. It’s the perfect start to the day and the best part…you didn’t have to lift a spatula!

7. Send Notes to Parents

Communication is a cornerstone of the doula-parent relationship. To keep parents informed and connected, overnight doulas send detailed notes summarizing the baby’s night. Parents want to know how their baby did and so we give full notes on every poop, pee, and ounce!

These personalized updates not only provide insights into the baby’s well-being but also foster trust and a sense of partnership between the doula and the family.

It’s a fact, that parenting comes with exhaustion. However, you don’t need to power through sleep deprivation on your own. Overnight doulas are there for parents who truly need a full night of sleep for their physical and mental well-being.

A full night of sleep could be just the thing that allows you to feel strong, clear-minded, and ready to tackle the next days of caring for your newborn. Sleep brings parents back to life….and your overnight doula might be able to also sprinkle magic in other areas of your home (a real-life fairy grandmother, better than Cinderellas).

How does an Overnight Doula help if the mother is breastfeeding?

We get asked this one a lot! If the mother is exclusively breastfeeding, we have a simple routine. When the baby is ready to eat, we quietly and calmly bring the baby to them. We help them get the baby to latch if need be and help keep the mother in a quiet slumber.

The doula takes the baby to burp and diaper change so the mother can quickly get back to bed. A lot of times the work of night-time feedings is more in burping, changing diapers and getting the baby back to sleep. This is where the Overnight Doula comes in to help! So even breastfeeding parents can get a lot of recovery with support in the night.

Questions to Ask When Hiring a Postpartum Doula

We know that entrusting your baby to someone is a very big choice. It’s important to meet your Overnight doula for a consult to find just the right fit. Here are some questions to ask during your FREE CONSULT to help learn what you need to hire the right doula

  1. Experience and Training:
    • How long have you been working as a Postpartum Doula?
    • Can you share some examples of previous cases or families you’ve worked with?
  2. Philosophy and Approach:
    • What is your philosophy on postpartum care, and how do you approach supporting new families?
    • How do you adapt your support to the unique needs and preferences of each family?
  3. Services Provided:
    • Beyond the listed duties, what additional services or support do you typically offer?
    • Are you comfortable assisting with specific parenting approaches, such as breastfeeding or sleep training?
  4. Availability and Flexibility:
    • How flexible is your schedule, and what is your availability for overnight shifts?
    • How do you handle emergency situations or last-minute schedule changes?
  5. Communication and Updates:
    • How do you keep parents informed about their baby’s night, and what kind of updates can we expect?
    • How do you handle communication with other family members, such as older siblings or grandparents?

What Does an Overnight Doula Need in your home?

All we need is a space separate from the parent’s room to be with your baby. Since our goal is to help ensure a full night’s rest for the parents, it’s helpful to be far enough where they won’t hear every burp and poop.

The Baby and Doula will hang out in another room, where the baby has a safe place to sleep. We will make sure we have everything for a successful night and are stocked with baby wipes, diapers, burp cloths and extra clothes.

We will talk with the parents before the shift about feeding amounts and preferred times etc. Then the parents sneak off for their dreamy restorative night of rest! After helpful house tasks are done, some Overnight Doulas will want to rest their eyes while the baby sleeps. If that is the request, then all the doula needs is a couch, sleeping pad or extra bed.

Ways to Request a FREE Consult with an Overnight Doula

1. Ask friends for referrals
Word of mouth is a powerful way to find trustworthy recommendations. Seek advice from friends, family, or acquaintances who have used overnight doula services. Their personal experiences can provide valuable insights into the professionalism and compatibility of a doula, helping you make an informed decision.

2. Search on Google
Online platforms like Baby Nest Birth Services, are dedicated to connecting families with experienced and reputable doulas. Websites such as Baby Nest often provide a directory of qualified overnight doulas, along with reviews and testimonials from other parents. This resource streamlines the search process, allowing you to review potential candidates and request consultations conveniently.

3. Utilize doula match websites
Specialized doula match websites like DoulaMatch.net that facilitate the matchmaking process between families and doulas. These platforms typically allow you to input your preferences and requirements, matching you with suitable candidates. Doula match sites often provide detailed profiles, allowing you to assess a doula’s qualifications, approach, and reviews before reaching out for a free consultation.

The transformative impact of an Overnight Doula goes beyond just ensuring a peaceful night’s sleep for parents. From expertly tending to the baby’s needs to bringing a touch of magic to household chores, these dedicated professionals play a pivotal role in fostering a positive and supportive environment for new families.

As you embark on the journey of parenthood, consider the invaluable assistance of an Overnight Doula – a guiding hand that not only allows for restorative sleep but also brings a sense of ease, comfort, and enchantment to your home. Parenthood may come with its challenges, but with the right support, the magic of a well-rested night can make all the difference. Sweet dreams and happy parenting!