There are so many things we need as new parents: more time, better sleep, another set of arms and someone to tell us we’re doing great. Whatever you’re struggling with, there is no shortage of professionals who can help, from babysitters and night nannies to postpartum doulas and personal assistants. Read on to find out about the newborn and postpartum helpers new parents can turn to for support and guidance when they need it most.
Lactation Consultant If you're breastfeeding, lactation consultants help you figure out the basics of nursing, from getting a good latch to how to best position the baby for feeding, as well as recommending foods to support milk production and how to switch between breast and bottle. Lactation consultants can also help pinpoint feeding issues like tongue ties and lend support. Some lactation consultants run groups for Q&As, which is a great place to meet other mothers of newborns. To find one, head to The Lactation Network, the nation's largest network of International Board Certified Lactation Consultants. They can connect you with insurance-covered lactation care and breast pumps to support you in your journey.
Postpartum Doula Doula means "woman who serves" in ancient Greek. Today, postpartum doulas serve new mothers by filling the support roles they need as newborn and postpartum helpers. Sometimes this means cooking nutritious meals or doing light housekeeping. It can also mean holding an older sibling so the new mom can shower or rest. Postpartum doulas may also provide advice about newborn care and feeding, although they do not provide medical advice. If a new mom needs someone to lean on, a postpartum doula can provide emotional support.
A mother's helper can be very useful for new parents who need another set of hands. For example, a mother's helper may rock a baby to sleep to give new parents some time to get other things done. With a mother's helper, a parent typically stays nearby to step in as needed. Some mother's helpers may not change diapers or feed the baby but this varies tremendously. A mother's helper may also do things to make life easier for new parents, such as running errands or fielding phone calls.
Babysitters for newborns may be harder to find, but they do exist! This is a great choice when you only need a few hours of kid coverage a week for a date night, work or some "me" time. Before hiring a babysitter for your baby, be sure that they are experienced in newborn care. And make sure you know these babysitter interview tips and must-ask questions.
Sometimes what new parents need the most is sleep. A night nanny can step in to make sure your newborn is cared for throughout the night so you can get some shut-eye. This will help you be at your best during the day to be the best parent possible. A night nanny is sometimes called a night nurse. However, those who fill this role rarely have nursing degrees.
A baby nurse helps new parents transition into their new roles. Typically, these postpartum helpers assist with all aspects of a newborn's care, from baths and feeding to organizing clothing and diapers. Baby nurses can also help establish sleep routines and stay overnight. Despite the name, most baby nurses do not have any formal medical training. If you want a true nurse, be sure to ask for credentials.
A nanny is a great choice for parents who need full-time support. Typically, nannies take over all aspects of a baby's care. Depending on the parents' preferences, a nanny can accompany the family on outings to pitch in when needed or watch the baby while the parents work, spend time with older siblings or get other things done. A nanny might also watch brothers and sisters in addition to the baby. A nanny will usually work longer and more regular hours than a babysitter. Some nannies start with a family when they have a newborn and stay for years. Here's how to find the best nanny for your baby.
A personal assistant may be a great choice for new parents who have more to manage than they can handle. They can make appointments, place orders and more. Some new moms prefer to do these tasks for themselves, but they can be a great back-up for new moms who are comfortable outsourcing.