Before you have a baby, you kind of know you aren't going to be getting as much sleep as you used to. You've heard the stories.
Yet, nothing can ever quite prepare you for the reality.
The first day, perhaps after a sleepless night laboring, is tough, but you can make it. Maybe you have pulled all nighters in the past. No big deal.
Then the days turn into weeks. The weeks turn into months. Suddenly you are in what is for many people new territory: chronic sleep-deprivation. The kind of tired that even coffee doesn't totally erase.
It's not just that it's hard, either. Research tells us that long term, sleep-deprivation can impair cognitive function, and contribute to postpartum depression. Lack of sleep is not something to take lightly!
There Is Good News
You will sleep again. We promise. It takes time, and it's hard to believe when you are in the very thick of it, but babies do eventually grow up. They eventually learn to self-sooth, they settle into a normal rhythm, and those reflexes that startle them in the first several months, disappear.
It's just that when you are going on not just days, but weeks, with less sleep than usual, even just one more day can feel like impossibly forever.
In the Meantime
For those days when one more day without getting a solid 8 hours of sleep in a row just makes you want to poke your eye out, we give you: the postpartum and infant care doula. For 8-12 (or more) glorious hours, we can care for your new baby through the midnight hours, while you and your partner get some much needed rest.
The result? You might just feel like a whole new person again. If you were starting to resent your baby, you might feel more connected again. If you were starting to worry that you were losing your mind, you might feel like you got your brain back again. If you felt like you had lost your partner in the haze, you might see him or her clearly again.
Who doesn't need support like that?
Our postpartum and infant care doulas provide support to families locally in the greater Cincinnati and Dayton area. If you are looking for overnight support in another area, let us know! We can help you find someone who can help you get that little bit of extra sleep you have been missing.
Can an Overnight Doula Help if I Am Breastfeeding?
If you are breastfeeding, we can work with you to pump overnight bottles in advance for your baby, or bring your baby to you to nurse. Depending on how old your baby is, we can come up with a sleep plan together that won't compromise your supply, but will maximize sleep.
Do you support any kind of sleep training?
As postpartum and infant care doulas, we work with families with all sorts of preferences, goals, and desires. We know that nobody loves your baby like you do, and nobody else knows what's best for your baby and family, but you!
In the early days and weeks, we can help you come up with a plan to work with your baby's natural rhythms and cues to promote healthy sleep habits. As your baby gets older, we can discuss with you different options to continue to promote safe, healthy sleep, for everyone! Exactly what that looks like varies by each individual family, just like each birth is it's own unique story.