Updated: Sep 9, 2021
A typical day might consist of greeting the family and asking the parents how their night went, and if there were any issues or challenges that they might of experienced or need help with. If at any point they need to express any frustrations, I actively listen without any judgement and validate their feelings and give them space to process their feelings. Then, I answer any questions they might have about things like baby care and breastfeeding, or how to use a baby wearing wrap or get more sleep.
I'll support the mother's recovery by offering to prepare a sitz bath and "padsicles" for her healing. I'll check on her snack stash and water supply and make sure that she is staying hydrated and nourished.
If the parents don't have questions or the need to express any concerns I go right into asking what they need help with and that might be laundry, or tending to older siblings, or preparing a nutritious meal for the day. I encourage the mother to rest with her precious newborn and offer to prepare her a lovely nourishing meal which I then serve her in bed. At this point I tend to the mess in the kitchen as I help the siblings get their breakfast. I check on the mother and baby and notice that they are both sleeping so I spend the rest of the morning with the siblings, giving them space to express any emotions of how they feel about their new sibling.
Next, I might put in a load of laundry to wash and rest a while as I pour a cup of coffee and watch the siblings play quietly. Eventually, the baby wakes up for a feeding, I refill the mother's water bottle and ask her if she needs any help at which point she might ask me some questions on baby care, breastfeeding or her recovery so we talk for a bit but then I offer to care for the baby so she could enjoy a nice relaxing shower. After her shower she asks me to teach her how to use her new baby wearing wrap and I help her become a confident baby wearing mama.
The rest of the morning might be spent preparing a nourishing protein smoothie or a light snack to serve the mother, followed by folding some laundry together with the siblings while the mother naps with the baby, then, depending on the length of my shift, I might start to prepare a light meal and maybe even some homemade muffins, which the siblings are often eager to help with. During my shifts I very much enjoy spending time with the siblings and I provide my own educational "Nanny" toys and flashcards for younger siblings to keep them engaged and entertained.
The mother walks into the kitchen as she is drawn to the aroma of fresh baked muffins, confidently wearing her baby in her new baby wrap with a smile on her face she thanks me for helping her to get caught up on much needed rest and sleep. She sits down with her children and we eat lunch together while her newborn sleeps snuggly on her chest in the baby wearing wrap. As I finish up my shift, I feel a deep sense of gratitude and satisfaction knowing that I made a difference.
My support during late afternoon shifts might include a nourishing homemade dinner and support during the evening fussy hours to help parents get through cluster feeds. This might include answering any questions, giving the parents a time to connect while I care for the baby and any siblings, help with baby care, teaching soothing techniques, and holding space for the parents to communicate and process any difficult emotions that may surface.
Additionally, as needed, I give siblings extra attention and guidance on how to adjust to the newest member of the family. I also offer to give the mother a shoulder or foot rub if I notice that she is tense and anxious. All the mothers happily oblige to accept my offer.