Caring for your baby while you rest
Baby Friendly, Breastfeeding Friendly
Night nursing is caring for your baby in your home between 10p-6am
Thank you for your interest in night nursing with me! I have worked with two of Atlanta’s biggest night nursing agencies over the past several years and am now offering services privately. I have a growing naturopathy and midwifery practice, so my availability may be limited, but this also means I offer additional services that are not available through traditional night nursing agencies. -Crystal
Benefits of having a night nurse
Assisted postpartum is the ancient standard in cultures! Why? Because you need help. Many modern countries have healthcare systems to support postpartum by having nurses and midwives come to the home for weeks after birth. Asian cultures still hold the value in the grandmother caring for the mother for 40 days postpartum. You really do need a village to help raise a child, and for you, that may mean you hire help.
I am overqualified for this position, but I try to explain to people that this feels like something a midwife should do. I love supporting the mother and baby in the “fourth trimester.” I love being in the home and helping. I love nurturing the baby during these initial weeks when they are seeking comfort and warmth. The value alone in the meeting these primal needs of the newborn is an investment in your baby’s neural development. For mothers, we know that fatigue is one of the main reasons for postpartum depression. The value of deeper sleep, knowing their baby is cared for, is well worth the expense for many people. Night nursing is becoming more popular and valued for this. Do not think that you are “less of a mom” for hiring help. Think of it is as meeting needs in an alternative way because our healthcare system is not automatically sending nurses, or our family structure is not automatically providing extra help to get you through the first months.
What does the care look like?
The typical “night nurse” care through any agency includes a phone call the day before/of the first assignment, then the nurse arrives at 10pm, getting an update from the parents on the baby’s evening schedule and the desires for the night feeding, and then the nurse leaves at 6am.
We accommodate whatever plan the parents desire. Some families prefer the nurse to be sitting in the living room with the baby monitor, in order for the baby’s room to be completely dark and quiet, and promote self soothing. Some families prefer the nurse to be in the nursery, sitting next to the baby. Because the nurse plans to stay awake all night, it’s requested that she have some light, access to a bathroom, and the wifi password. I often will read or use my computer during the night, and sometimes close my eyes after the 3am feed, but I’ve never fallen asleep because I’m listening for the little one’s noises!
Usually we make the plan together based on the age of the baby. The first few weeks after birth the babies should be nurtured with touch and soothing as much as they desire. I prefer to sit in the room with them and respond to their needs. Babies that are getting to 10lb, or 4-6 weeks should be working on deeper, longer sleep segments, so being outside the room and the nurse having the monitor works well.
I follow a physiologic, holistic sleep philosophy. This will differ from some “sleep through the night” methods in that I promote meeting baby’s physiologic needs rather than trying to trick babies during their first few weeks of life. I will coach you on when your baby is ready for longer stretches and how we can start doing that, but each baby has different needs, and those needs must be met first. I am not comfortable with some of the “moms-on-call” techniques, and I don’t believe you can spoil newborns!
I recommend that if it is the first two weeks of breastfeeding, we focus together on recognizing your baby’s cues and breastfeed every 3 hours. I can bring the baby to you in your bed and then when baby has finished the feed, I will burp and soothe baby back to sleep. This gets you maximum rest. I can help you with breastfeeding and we can review baby’s latch, behavior, pees, etc. so I can either reassure you or help you.
Once a good latch and milk supply is established, we can skip a breastfeed at night and I can feed the baby stored breastmilk in a bottle. You can set your alarm to wake up and pump in bed, then put the milk outside your door. I will put it in the fridge and clean the pump supplies. This is to hopefully get you a peaceful 6 hour rest at night with minimal interruption (ex, 10pm to 4am). Then at 4am feed, I’ll bring baby for breastfeeding, get baby back to sleep, and you hopefully sleep until 7am! Hopefully you can see how helpful this is to for you to get a good nights rest!
I have 13 years experience with newborns. My first nursing job was as a mother-baby nurse at Emory. I have spent 11 years working at birth centers as a midwife and two years as a midwife in Africa. This year I finished a Doctorate in Naturopathy and returned to night nursing and part time midwife work. All of this has been great experience with breastfeeding and newborn care. Newborns are “my jam.” I guess they like me because I know pretty well what they are trying to communicate. They have simple needs, and I’ve learned the subtle things that keep them happy. I’d like to help you learn!
What is the cost?
My rates are $25 per hour, with a night shift being 8 hrs, from 10pm to 6am (or earlier start). I can also do some day care, as needed. There is no minimum of nights. We can discuss your preferred nights and frequency. If I cannot meet all your needs, I can probably find a nursing/midwife colleague to be a part of your night nurse team.
Invoicing is done once we confirm your request to book. Payment must be completed to reserve booking.
If you would like to meet in person to discuss sleep philosophies and plans, or decide if I am a good fit for you, I offer a $40 1-hr session at my midwife office. During that time I can share the strategies and plans that I have found effective, as well as recommendations on preparing the room, delegating duties to husbands and family, and appropriate goals for babies on when to start stretching sleep and how. You may not even need a night nurse, but just want to be pointed in the right direction in preparing for a new baby.
Contact me for availability
Recommended Resource: "Holistic Sleep Coaching" by Lyndsey Hookway