BlogDoulasDoula, Night Nanny or Newborn Care Specialist? Which One Do You Hire For What?

Doula, Night Nanny or Newborn Care Specialist? Which One Do You Hire For What?

Do you need a doula, a night nanny or a newborn care specialist? Expecting and new parents learn a lot of terminology during the nine to ten months of pregnancy. Words like colostrum, amniotic fluid, Apgar score, ectopic pregnancy, fontanelles, meconium, prenatal, postnatal and everything in between.


Now that you’ve mastered those, or are mastering those, let’s skip ahead to the afterbirth stage. What do these three terms mean? What’s the difference?


If you’re expecting now, you’ll want to read this so you know how to plan for later. And, if you have a newborn now, here are the differences between the different titles and what to expect when you are looking into each afterbirth service.


What is the difference between a Doula, a Night Nanny and a Newborn Care Specialist?




According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, a Doula is: “a person trained to provide advice, information, emotional support, and physical comfort to a mother before, during, and just after childbirth.”


And, according to DONA (the National Association of doulas), the definition of a doula is: “a trained professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to a mother before, during and shortly after childbirth to help her achieve the healthiest, most satisfying experience possible.”


Night Nanny


There’s not really an official definition for what a night nanny is because it can come in many forms. In our case, our night nannies are similar to an afterbirth doula, yet they come in the evening and care for your baby through the night. If you are breastfeeding, the night nanny can wake you up at scheduled times to feed, then helping baby back to sleep. Or, you can have the night nanny feed with pre-made bottles.


Your night nanny will take over in the evening and leave in the morning so that you can be well-rested for the day. You can think of a night nanny as an overnight afterbith doula. Instead of helping fold laundry, prepare meals and organize your day, the night nanny helps organize and smooth your night. Night nannies at Maternal Instincts have gone through training and have over five years experience each.


Newborn Care Specialist


This is truly a fancy word for afterbith doula. Officially, we can take the definition from the National Newborn Care Association. “A Newborn Care Specialist is an individual trained and skilled in newborn care. They provide unique expertise in all aspects of newborn care, parental education and support. Their job is to help nurture and care for newborns while providing guidance and education for the parents.”


Are you noticing a trend here? Doulas, night nannies and Newborn Care Specialists… are all the same. Some cover overnights like night nannies, and some cover daytimes like afterbirth doulas and newborn care specialists. You can get certified and trained from any number of institutions, but you’ll get similar services from all three search terms (it’s just whether you want overnight care or daytime).


How to Find a Doula, Newborn Care Specialist or Night Nanny


If you’re looking to hire a doula, newborn care specialist or night nanny, you can ask your trusted friends for recommendations. If you get stuck there or just want to add more candidates to your selection, try a Google search and read all the reviews (just make sure now that you know, that you can include the terms night nanny, afterbith doula, or newborn care specialist in order to find what you’re looking for and expand your search).

A doula or newborn care specialist are so helpful in the first few weeks after birth. And, a night nanny (even just a few nights a week) can make the transition smooth. If you have questions or want to screen some candidates, just schedule a free 15-minute info call here.