Baby Nurse, Night Nanny, Postpartum Doula? Which is right for me?

You brought your new baby home and after paging through the folder from the hospital a startling realization creeps in:

This child did not come with an instruction manual!

She cries at the same time each night and all the bouncing, milk and #hailmarys in the world can't quiet this little lion's roar. Your mother calls it colic. Dr. Google calls this The Witching Hour. You're starting to dread the nightly spell she's casting over the house. As your partner leaves for work the next morning, you turn a bleary eye (the one you can open) to his equally exhausted face and you both say in unision "We need help!". You spend the morning with your baby on one knee and your laptop on the other Googling:

How can you ensure that you're choosing the best care for your family?

How can you ensure that you're choosing the best care for your family?

Baby nurse Portland Maine

Night nurse Portland ME

Night nanny Portland Me

Sleepless in Portland Maine

The last one just brings up terrible hotel reviews, and the other descriptions don't sound like quite what you're looking for. You discover that most baby nurses are not actually nurses, and they are responsible mostly for watching the baby. You don't need a babysitter. You may need help with your baby, but you need a boost of confidence and a healthy dose of sleep. 

Finally, you remember something your best friend told you about her postpartum experience. She hired a postpartum doula. But wasn't that just for mother's with postpartum depression? Still, your friend has never steered you wrong, so you type it in. Finally! This is the help you've been looking for!

The Postpartum Doula Advantage

You've been looking for your village and she's arrived in the form of your postpartum doula. Your doula is trained to ask the right questions to ensure that you are cared for in mind and body. You can enjoy a delicious amount of sleep when you're assured your baby is in the best hands. Your doula is fully supportive of your style of parenting; so you can get full breastfeeding support through the night or have your doula bottlefeed while you snooze. You can also rest easy through the day knowing; that small household tasks you would normally handle are being given attention, that your doula knows the most innovative baby gear to make life more smooth, that your choices for parenting will be embraced and encouraged.

Sure, you can see that your doula will hold your baby while you shower just like a baby nurse would. But when you're in fresh clothes, she will show you how to put your new pump together, help you swaddle your beautiful baby and tuck you both into your beds, so she can run to the grocery store for you. 

You deserve to be cared for, in this most precious time. Now put the computer to the side and rest easy. Sweet dreams!

What's at Play with Those After-Meal Naps? Your Thanksgiving Experience ByTrimester


Sounding strangely like the substance which drains Superman's powers, tryptophan has long been the scapegoat for a long post-dinner nap on Thanksgiving. But are there other things at play?

According to the New York Times, the amino acid tryptophan "is a precursor for the brain chemical serotonin, which is associated with healthy sleep". Unfortunately, for your uncle dead asleep in front of the Bears/Packers game, turkey doesn't contain any greater amount of tryptophan than other meats like beef or chicken. And while tryptophan on its own could make you sleepy, turkey contains many other amino acids which limit the effect.

So what's going on? Why are your family members spread upon the soft furniture like the sandman got carried away?

Consider the feast of the day. On a day when loading up your plate three or four times before the dessert course even makes it to the table is not only acceptable, but encouraged, it makes sense that everyone feels a bit sluggish. Add to that a glass of wine or a seasonal brew. Oh, not for you? You're pregnant, you say? Well, have I got a story for you!

  • 1st Trimester: If you're just starting this great adventure, your body is busy creating the entire life support system for your baby. This includes growing the placenta. As your metabolism increases, your blood sugar and pressure lower. Then add to that whatever excess you can manage around the meal+hormones+emotions = Hello naptime!


  • 2nd Trimester: This trimester you may feel a renewed sense of energy. You might have adjusted to your new hormones, and be in a sweet spot with the size and shape of your new belly. You might feel like you can fit just one more piece of pie and shuffle around for that family football game, but don't be surprised if they find you in a bed of leaves by the third quarter.


  • 3rd Trimester: As baby grows, there are more demands on your body. Your sleep at night may be disrupted by practice labor or frequent bathroom trips. In general, you are just feeling a bit slower and sleepier. So the indulgences of the day are a perfect excuse for a well-deserved nap!

Wherever you are in your pregnancy (or parenting!), you deserve a rest! So take advantage of the extra hands, leave the dishes to your dad, and put your feet up. Just let them know,  "My doula said I should probably take a nap today"

Your body will thank you.

Happy Thanksgiving!