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How I Prepare my Body and Mind for Overnight Support

Updated: Aug 26, 2021

To transition from daytime support to overnight support:

I will schedule only one in-home family at a time and leave at least one week open before your baby's expected arrival date!

I will gradually change my sleep pattern by going to bed 2 hours later and then 4 hours later, etc. during the week or so preceding my client's due date.

I will gradually increase the time I sleep in the morning.

I will listen to calming music or white noise on my phone and have black-out curtains and blinds to help me get used to sleeping longer in the morning/early afternoon. (This works well for me as my husband works late and needs to sleep in in the morning).

I will take melatonin if I need to.

I will take a long nap in the evening prior to overnight doula shifts.

I take care of my responsibilities at home in the afternoon and schedule any virtual prenatal consultation courses during those hours, if any.

During the first weeks of overnight support with a new family I will occasionally use my computer while baby sleeps as the blue light setting helps my brain’s circadian rhythm adjust to staying awake during the night. It really works!

Last and most importantly, the value of a precious new life and the monumental responsibility that I feel in keeping one's newborn safe, protected, cared for and loved gives me just the right amount of adrenaline to keep me awake and alert through overnight shifts with the families I support and serve. Cindy Lelea, CPD, DONA

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