Bringing home a new baby is an exciting and joyous time. It can also be overwhelming and exhausting to care for your new baby, yourself and your family. TLC for Kids offers new parents three options to help adjust to life at home. All three options bring assistance to parents caring for a new baby. But what is the difference between a Postpartum Doula, a Baby Nurse and a Newborn Care Specialist? Questions like this come to the TLC office every day.
Here is a description of each option.
A Postpartum Doula provides support for the mother and the rest of the family. A big part of the Doula’s job is to “mother the mother” and help the new mother recover after birth. With a Doula there is a lot of focus on education. The Doula can offer breastfeeding and bottle feeding support, help establish newborn procedures and routines, along with other infant care needs. The Postpartum Doula aims to make the mother comfortable and confident in her new role, and to empower the parents to care for their new baby themselves. The Doula can also provide some light housekeeping, errand running and meal preparation. In Miami and Fort Lauderdale Postpartum Doulas can range from $14-$25 per hour.
The hours typically range 4-6 hours a day, but overnights are also possible. The parents can also decide if they want the Doula every day or just a few days a week. There are certification programs that some Doulas complete through these organizations: DONA, CAPPA, Maternity Wise, or Childbirth International.
In South Florida parents typically use the word “Baby Nurse” to describe around the clock infant care assistance. This person is usually not a registered nurse. She is typically a non-medically trained caregiver whose main focus is on the infant. The Baby Nurse has a bed in the room with the baby. She is responsible for feeding, changing, burping, rocking, soothing, and swaddling the new baby. The baby nurse may also assist with the infant’s laundry and bottle washing. In the Miami and Fort Lauderdale area a live-in Baby Nurse charges between $200 and $275 per day.
Newborn Care Specialist (NCS)
The responsibilities of the NCS include feeding, bathing, changing the infant, washing/cleaning/sterilizing bottles, and initiating a schedule for sleeping, meals, nap and play time. Other responsibilities include advising and providing any requested consultation on infant needs, swaddling, breastfeeding guidance, cord and circumcision care and nursery organization. An NCS can work days, nights or around the clock. The training a NCS receives can vary from more official groups like Newborn Care Specialist Association (NCSA) to smaller trainings led by individual agencies or no specific training at all. Many NCS have been providing care to new moms for decades! They bring to the family years of practical experience.
All three caregivers offer overnight services. A good night’s sleep is by far the biggest need for parents with an infant! The caregiver typically arrives at 10 pm and stays until 6 or 7 am, allowing parents to sleep and feel well rested for the next day.
For more information, call TLC and ask about Postpartum Doulas, Baby Nurses, and Newborn Care Specialists today. TLC can provide an extra set of loving arms for you and your new baby!