Baby Nurse vs. Doula Services & Cost in CT
When families are trying to prepare in advance of delivery or when the sudden realization of the need for support arises, people in the Tri-State area often think of Baby Nurses.
What is a Baby Nurse?
Baby Nurses are a fairly local phenomenon within the greater NYC area. A Baby nurse (in general) cares strictly for the baby. She will feed and care for the baby, often living-in for the duration of the set time she is hired for. She will launder the baby’s clothes and clean the bottles.
Baby nurses normally do not encourage or support breastfeeding as feeding the baby is one of her main jobs. Baby nurses often live in NYC when they are not living with a family so they do not (usually) have their own transportation. The family they live with are required to keep food on hand that the baby nurse requires.
How is a Postpartum Doula Different?
A doula’s focus is on the needs of the mother. How much baby care a doula does is dependent on the desire and needs of the mother. A doula can entirely watch and care for the baby but, more often than not, she guides the mother in the care of her baby and with nursing issues and questions.
The doula prepares meals for the mother and her family and does the laundry for the whole family. She will also do light housework, shopping and care for older siblings as well.
Easing the Transition
Generally, the postpartum doula is there to ease the transition of the family to having a new member. She provides the mother with practical support so mom can rest and recover and not feel stressed by all the usual demands of her household. The father benefits as well as he knows his family is well-cared for, especially when he is required to return to work.
Doulas also do overnight care. For nursing mothers, the doula can help while nursing is being established in the early weeks by teaching the mother about latching and positioning.
The doula will change and settle the baby afterwards, cutting down the mother’s “up-time”. Once the nursing mother is able to pump, she can leave the milk for the doula to feed and care for the baby so mom can get some longer sleep time.
For a bottle-feeding mother, the doula will care for the baby throughout the night, taking notes on the baby’s activities so mom and dad can know what the baby was doing during the night.
Which is Best for You?
The role of the baby nurse and that of the postpartum doula is quite different. If you need someone to exclusively care for your baby for 16 hrs. a day, a baby nurse may be a good fit. If you want to learn how to mother your own baby and get some support while doing so, a postpartum doula may be more practical. She will also help ease the early postpartum weeks by meeting the needs of the entire family.
MothersCare Doula Services is a very flexible service. There is no minimum number of days or nights that you are required to contract for. You can have a day or night doula for a day, a week or for months. You can drop down on how much you use your doula especially as you feel more like yourself after the first few weeks.
Our minimum hours per day is 4 hours and the cost is $32/hr. We have an 8 hour minimum per night for our night services and the rate is $30/hr.
Typically, the night hours are between 10 p.m. – 6 a.m. Some families add on an hour or two on either end. An overnight doula helps the mom with the baby or babies at night. We do not do household chores during the overnight hours. If you have contracted time before the baby’s birth and see that you need more nights after the baby has arrived, you can add on as you go.
Please reach out if you have any questions. You can reach us by phone at 203-375-5719 or by email: [email protected].
About Susan Shepard
I am the owner/partner of MothersCare Doula Services in CT. I am a Postpartum doula and my business partner, Sheila Marley is a Labor doula. MothersCare places both Labor and Postpartum doulas with CT Families. I am the mom of five beautiful children, one set of twins. The best quote for me as a young mother and the catalyst for MothersCare is “It’s not weakness to know you need help, it’s wisdom.”