During childbirth, newborn care specialists and postpartum doulas play important roles in taking care of the mother and the child.
While both roles are specialists in newborn care, they are commonly mistaken by people who use the terms synonymously. The two newborn care specialist types play distinctive roles from one another.
The two specialists play a significant role in the transformative lives of both parents and newborns. This transition period is essential as it helps the parents go back to their regular routines while caring for the child. Below are characteristic distinctions between newborn care specialists and a postpartum doulas.
What is a newborn care specialist, anyways?
The term “newborn care specialist” is a recent one, as it was invented in 2007.
The International Nanny Association (INA) saw that it was necessary to have an appropriate referral term for people that focus on caring for newborns. Before this term came into light, the healthcare system referred to such individuals as night nurses or baby-nurses. However, most of the individuals that cared for newborns were not registered nurses. They lacked accreditation, and they could not perform the duties of a registered nurse. As such, using the term night nurse or baby nurse was both inappropriate and illegal.
INA thus invented the term ‘newborn care specialist’ to give the promoters of the industry a definitive title. The title provides a clear definition of the existing knowledge and training that the professionals have in caring for newborns. In-home providers can also fall under the category of Newborn Care Specialists. Since 2007, the INA has offered continuing education opportunities for individuals that wish to pursue a career as Newborn Care Specialists. The association holds workshops and annual conferences to help the specialists maintain high standards of professionalism.
So what is a postpartum doula?
Both new mothers and mothers who have had children before need a specialist to help them transition. Not all pregnancies are the same, and the specialist has professional techniques of helping the mother handle the situation. The postpartum period is the transition period of the body and the entire family. Most practitioners refer to that period as the fourth trimester.
During actual labor, it is the birth doula that provides support; however, it should not end there. A postpartum doula should come in to provide non-medical support. They come in handy, especially in days or weeks following the delivery of the child. The support they provide is both physical and emotional. While they too care for the infant, the infant’s mother and her family are usually the main priority.
Differing Roles of the Newborn Care Specialist the Postpartum Doula
Both specialists play a significant role in a newborn’s and a mother’s life. It is often easy to confuse them because they have overlapping responsibilities. Some of the responsibilities of a Newborn Care Specialist include:
- Feeding the newborn
- Bathing the newborn
- Changing the infant
- Washing/cleaning/sterilizing bottles
- Initiating a schedule for sleeping, meals, nap, and playtime
Also, the newborn care specialist provides advice and consultation on the needs of the infant. They also give breastfeeding guidance and swaddling guidance to the mother.
In most cases, the specialist works around the clock. They are supposed to maintain their presence for the child both during the day and at night. Usually, the specialist room is next to the baby’s, and in other cases, they have a bed inside the baby’s room to help with their daytime and nighttime needs.
Conversely, a postpartum doula has a more holistic job description. They support both the mother and the rest of the family after the delivery of the child.
The primary role of the postpartum doula is to act as a specialist is to the mother.
After delivery, some women experience postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety. The conditions can make recovery after birth a challenge. The postpartum doula helps the mother take care of the child. They give the mothers lessons on breastfeeding and bottle feeding. They also create the newborn routines and processes that would make the procedure easy for the mother.
The main objective for the postpartum doula is to ensure that the mother feels at ease with her new role. The doula empowers both parents and encourages them to participate in the care of the newborn actively. They can also help with housekeeping and preparation of meals around the house to suit the mother’s dietary needs.
Summarily, the following domains depict the role and scope of a postpartum doula:
- Support mother/father with an infant
- Physical comfort
- Emotional support
- Informational support
- Household organization
- Infant care
- Support mother/father with sibling(s)
- Partner/father support
How do you hire a newborn care specialist?
The best way one can hire a newborn care specialist is through a domestic staffing agency that has certified newborn care specialists with the right qualifications to care for the infant. These domestic staffers can help ease the overwhelming nature of caring for a newborn.
However, before hiring a newborn care specialist, there are a number of things that parents should consider.
Firstly, it is essential to talk to friends that have children. They can recommend a newborn care specialist that helped them. It is also essential to visit the local mom groups to inquire about the specialists and get some recommendations. It is also important to hire a trained professional instead of a novice. Parents should understand that there is a big difference between a babysitter and a newborn care specialist.
Additionally, the professional should have an updated CPR and First Aid certification to help the child during an emergency. Finally, it is essential to investigate the agency you are hiring from before settling on a specialist-are they accredited and social-vetted?
Don’t procrastinate – newborn care specialists are competitively-staffed
Are you a new mother in need of some professional help? Do not procrastinate as you will surely need the help in the days following delivery. Seaside Staffing Company are veterans in hiring domestic staff in Southern California. Give us a call or submit your request here.