Every family is different, but when we receive a call for nighttime support, one policy we insist upon for everyone is our shift minimum — 8 hours with a Maine Doulas professional in your home, helping your entire family sleep.
If we are asked to come into your home for one night or 50, we know we are going to be a part of some of your most vulnerable moments. For those who have already experienced nights awake with your baby, you know there is a combination of surreal awareness of how quiet and calm the rest of the world seems, and a deep aching to find a way to help your baby back to rest. Minutes seem never-ending.
We know that sleep is one of the most important things a family needs to function well. However, it may be difficult to understand how far reaching the effects can have.
Sleep promotes healing
Your body can produce more white blood cells while you are asleep than when you are awake. Being in an unconscious state also allows your brain to take stock of your bodies needs and respond by releasing hormones that can repair tissue and blood vessels. When you are not getting enough sleep, your immune system is not able to properly heal from current damage, or protect you from potential infection.
Sleep offers your whole body a break
When you are sleeping, the demands on your heart decrease and your blood pressure will naturally lower. Hormones released while asleep also trigger slower breathing and deep muscle relaxation that cannot happen while awake, allowing for your entire body rest.
Sleep helps with mood and outlook
When asleep, your body has fewer demands placed on it, so your body and mind participate in restorative tasks. After waking from a restful sleep, your body, mind, and stress levels have been adjusted, allowing a refreshed outlook on situations that may cause overwhelm. Postpartum mood and anxiety disorders are a common part of recovery from birth, and one of the ways to take an active role in your recovery is to be committed to getting at least 7 hours of restful sleep each day.
When we receive inquiries for overnight help, we want families to know we are committed to their long term success.
So long term success means being committed to rest. It may not be possible for everyone to have a doula help with night parenting and emotional support through tough feeding sessions for months at a time. However, we are committed for whatever length of time we are with you, and for that reason, we insist on overnight support lasting at least 8 hours.
We want to understand your concerns, help with multiple feedings, and then settle you and your small child back to rest to allow your entire household the opportunity to get a long stretch of restful sleep.
Our policy isn't about us. It's all about you. Let us know if you are interested in help for your household to wake rested and well cared for.