Baby Nurse or Doula – The Differences
A Baby Nurse or Newborn Care Specialist has been trained to care properly for infants/newborns. The majority do not have medical training, but a small percentage are licensed nurses. Most NCS live in the family’s home and work 24-hour shifts with a break and sleep when the baby is sleeping; however, some families prefer a live-out night NCS to work from 6-6 or 7-7, etc. A Baby Nurse / NCS offers expertise, support, and training with breastfeeding, infant hygiene and safety, and much more. She can also help with getting the infant on a routine if desired and with sleep training for infants three months and older.
A birth or postpartum doula (also not-medically-trained) offers “emotional, physical and informational support during labor, delivery if needed, and beyond. She can help create a birth plan and can advocate for the mother in the delivery room. After birth, she can provide a more holistic version of whole-family support. Her focus is on a calm, supportive, informative, and comfortable environment for the mother. Her job may include helping mom with personal care, with siblings, light housekeeping, running errands, and/or simple, healthy meal preparation.
Both baby nurses and doulas can take training and certification courses.