Who needs sleep?
well you're never gonna get it
Who needs sleep?
tell me what's that for
Who needs sleep?--BareNaked Ladies
You probably feel a little bit like the BareNaked Ladies now that your baby is here. Just as you get baby settled back down for what seems like the 100th time at night, you crawl back into your own bed just hoping to finally get some sleep. Just as you drift off, baby wakes again and beckons you back out of bed. The next day you feel like a zombie. Who needs sleep? You do!
A growing sleep debt can cause increased risk for postpartum mood disorders, a mental fog you can't seem to shake, and cognitive impairment (tell us we aren't the only ones who put the car keys in the refrigerator or ran a load of clothes but didn't put the clothes in the washer?!). All the coffee in the world won't help you get the sleep you need but your overnight postpatum doula can!
Doulas of Raleigh has several postpartum doulas on our team who provide overnight care. This means sleep for you! Our doulas come to your home at 10pm and stay for eight full hours (different 8 hr increments available by request). While they are there, they will care for your baby while you and your partner get a solid chunk of sleep. If you are breastfeeding, your overnight postpartum doula can feed your baby expressed milk or bring your baby to you for the feeding. While baby eats, or while you pump, your doula can bring you a glass of water and a snack. When the baby is done nursing, your doula can get baby and burp and change him or her. You get to drift peacefully back to sleep knowing your baby is being cared for by a loving professional. If you are bottlefeeding your doula will take care of feeding the baby without interrupting your sleep. If baby is gassy or fussy your doula will soothe the baby while you sleep. They will record feeding times, amounts of formula or breastmilk baby drinks, wet/soiled diapers and any notes about the night. This information will be left for you when you wake up refreshed in the morning.
Sometimes our doulas find a little extra time during overnight shifts where both you and baby are sound asleep. Occasionally, they may even be able to fold a load of laundry, wash bottles, or unload your dishwasher sometime during their stay. Of course, our main goal is sleep support and that remains the priority of our overnight doulas.