There’s enough information that new moms must sort through before the baby arrives, and navigating the process of finding the right care in the first few days, months and years of your children’s lives can be daunting. Engaging postpartum resources directly after birth can create a network of professionals that will help you focus on your recovery, breastfeeding, sleep scheduling and your baby's well being. At Nannies of New York, we try to take the guesswork out of finding nannies, baby nurses and postpartum doulas by using a personal approach to this matchmaking process. Here, we’ve broken down both traditional and lesser-known resources for birth and immediately thereafter that will lead to a confident and stronger parenting foundation for years to come.
A childbirth educator can help couples seeking in-depth information related to labor and delivery, breastfeeding and newborn care. Classes typically cover anatomical and physiological changes during pregnancy, signs and stages of labor, when to call your doctor, everything you need to know about labor and delivery, fetal heart monitoring, medications used in labor (epidurals, pitocin), forceps, vacuums, Caesarian sections, Lamaze breathing techniques and the role of the labor support person. Birthing educators usually discuss postpartum care as well, including breastfeeding, newborn care and SIDS prevention. (Relevant from Week 20 of Pregnancy to Birth)
A labor-support or birth doula provides continuous social support to the birthing family before and during labor and delivery. A birth doula understands the needs of a woman in labor and gives her emotional support, physical comfort, and an objective viewpoint in the process of decision making, the partner’s involvement, etc. Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter and have fewer complications, while babies are healthier and breastfeed more easily. (Relevant 3 months prior to Birth through Birth and Beyond)
A postpartum doula guides and trains new mothers and families in a gentle and non-intrusive way. She assists with breastfeeding and baby care, and helps families address problems that arise in the first few weeks at home. By mentoring the new parents to understand their baby’s cues, postpartum doulas build confidence that leads to a strong parenting foundation in the first few weeks/months of a newborn’s life. (Relevant Day 0- 2 months)
Baby Nurse/Night Nurse
A baby or night nurse cares for the immediate needs of a new mother and provides support around feeding, swaddling, sleeping and bathing the newborn. Baby nurses are not registered nurses or medical professionals, but rather newborn care specialists that focus on small infants in their first several weeks of life. Baby nurses are especially important to first-time parents who don’t know what to expect and prefer expert support from an extra pair of hands. (Relevant from Day 0 through Day 60)
Many women are surprised by how much they enjoy breastfeeding. However, mothers also need a support system, especially in the beginning stages of nursing. A lactation consultant can be an important part of that support and learning process. This person not only helps with the process of breastfeeding, but also makes sure that the mother’s milk supply is accurate and/or steps in when there are problems to be fixed. All lactation specialists are certified from the Board of Lactation Consultants and most make individual house calls. (Relevant Day 0 through 6 months, or as needed)
Sleep consultants work together with parents to tackle sleeping issues such as early rising, short naps, nap transitions, weaning of props and night waking. Each child is an individual and each family has their own unique beliefs. Trained consultants understand that what works for one child may not work for another, and develop a customized plan for each family. Establishing a healthy and positive sleep foundation, and setting up sleep routines as early as birth, will provide a positive influence throughout the childhood years. (Relevant as needed from Day 0- 6 months)
The word nanny is derived from the Greek word nanna, meaning aunt. A modern nanny is employed by a family on either a live-in or live-out basis, and typically responsible for childcare and other household chores or tasks related to the children. Finding the right nanny can be instrumental to laying a strong foundation to a child’s life; this person will provide love, support and guidance through the various stages of development. (Relevant for ages 1 month to 10 years+)
Learn more about Nannies of New York.
Photo credit: NY Post