Overnight Newborn Support

Posted on: April 2, 2024 | Babies, Birth Work, Business, Doulas, education, Famillies, Fatherhood, Feeding, Information, Motherhood, Parenting, Postpartum Doulas, Relationships, Safety, sleep

Newborn support is not new to the Vegas Family Doulas Team.

We’ve supported families throughout their first years of postpartum for over 10 years. We’ve listened to new parents. We’ve attuned to their newborns. We’ve supported through the dark times and the happy times. We’ve reached out, checked-in, and reassured many many times. As professional doulas, it’s part of what we do. Support during the postpartum realm should be spent however one needs, in whichever way one needs it, at whatever time of the day it’s needed. Overnight support is an untapped gem that many families are unsure of when having a baby.

Oftentimes, “overnight support” is needed, and even wanted, but not clear to our clients on what “overnight support” entails. “OH… I thought the doula would sit in a chair and observe what we do as the parents and take notes and make check marks and critique.” Stated a soon-to-be dad during our consultation. “I can see how that could work, but not sure if that’s helpful for what we are looking for.” He continued. As the words fell from his mouth to the space between us, it hit me! *EYE* knew what we did during overnight support, and *EYE* knew how beneficial great rested sleep for new parents are, and *EYE* knew how underutilized the service is, but it wasn’t being portrayed accurately to the clients we serve.

I would like you to envision what overnight postpartum support with Vegas Family Doulas looks like.

  • Your doula arrives in the evening for a 10-hour shift. The most preferred arrival time for clients is typically between 8:00 pm and 10:00 pm.
  • Your doula checks in with you about the happenings of the day (or the past few days) and addresses any questions or concerns. She discusses your overnight wish list and plans with you. What’s the preferred feeding method during the overnight? Where will the baby sleep? What are their rest/sleep desires and goals? And more.
  • The doula tends to the baby, allowing the clients to enjoy time together. Many families utilize this time to eat dinner together. Some catch up on TV and conversation, while others retreat to their bedroom spa and enjoy quiet wind-down time. All doing so, knowing that their sweet babe is in the hands of their trusted doula.  
  • As the parents retreat to bed, the doula has the baby slumbering in their safe sleep space. Depending on the baby’s needs, wants, and age, your doula will stay in the same space as the baby. Sometimes, it’s a nursery; sometimes, it’s a living room or den, or an additional guest room. However, any space that is accommodating and comfortable is acceptable. 
  • As the night rolls on and snores and white noise fill the house, the Doula listens to the baby’s sounds and watches the baby’s natural sleep patterns. Your doula rests when all is well with the baby. She feeds, changes diapers, burps, swaddles, and puts the baby back to sleep. Bottles are washed. The pump parts are set and ready for use next time. A nursing parent is handed a sleepy yet hungry baby while still in thier bed.
  • When the parents emerge in the morning rested and recharged, the doula shares a recap of the evening, along with notes and tips to continue the sleeping success. 

Overnight newborn support isn’t fluff and mirrors. It’s a way for parents to receive sound sleep while their baby has someone well-rested and attentive to watch over them in the wee hours. Losing sleep shouldn’t be synonymous with having a new baby, and if we can support our clients with a week’s worth of rested nights and feeling like Vegas Royalty, then we’ve hit the jackpot!

VFD Overnight Support FAQs:

What are the benefits of hiring overnight support?

  • One benefit to having your doula for an overnight shift, is that it ensures rest and peace in the home. Days into weeks of no sleep takes a toll one’s mental and physical health. Another benefit is that baby will naturally develop a pattern with their sleep. Your doula is versed in infant sleep, and therefore can help you navigate issues and concerns regarding your baby’s sleep. Postpartum mood and anxiety disorders can surface with lack of sleep, nutrition, and other factors. Being able to take fatigue out of the equation, is a big benefit.

How long is an overnight shift?

  • Our overnight shifts consist of 10 straight hours. This allows for a rundown of the day, discussing expectations and goals for the night, and checking in with the parents on how they are doing. This is also desirable for guaranteeing at least a good 8 hours of rest. 

What are the hours for an overnight shift?

  • Our most popular shift time is 8pm-6am. However, we can accommodate overnight shifts beginning 7pm-10pm. It is all dependent on what the family needs that evening. Some families would like us to help set up bedtime routines and start earlier. Others would like to have a date night and start a little later. 

Does the Doula stay awake the whole night?

  • Your postpartum doula is permitted to sleep when the baby is asleep and when any other needs are met for the family. Typically, your doula will engage in monitoring the baby and navigating feedings and diaper changes.

What’s the cost for overnight support?

  • Our prices are the same whether we support you during a day shift, an evening shift, an overnight shift, or multiplies! 

How many shifts do you suggest?

  • There is not a one-size fits all for this question. Clients have used their hours for 1-shift to regain a sense of normalcy after getting no sleep for days.  While other families set up a schedule of overnight shifts to fill a need. One suggestion is 3-4 nights of overnight support a week for postpartum families 6-weeks and younger. This allows for recovery from birth and for the body, as well as allowing parents to not develop unhealthy habits of sleep deprivation. For postpartum families 6-weeks to 3-months, 2-3 nights a week to help develop bedtime routines and/or discuss healthy sleep patterns. Families 3 months+ postpartum, scheduled late-nights or date-nights 1-2 nights a week for the parents are beneficial for continued connection. 

When can I have my doula start?!

  • The best question yet! We can usually support your family for an overnight shift within 48 hours. With that said, the more advanced notice for intended support, the more accommodating scheduling availability. When you are ready for a great night’s sleep, fill out our contact form, and we’ll connect!