What is a Night Doula? 90% of Parents Wish They Hired Sooner

What is a night doula
Picture of Bere Horthy

Bere Horthy

Doula & Registered Nurse

Exhausted at 3 am, you’re rocking your crying newborn for what feels like the hundredth time.

Sleep deprivation fogs your mind, and all you crave are a few uninterrupted hours.

But what if there was a solution?

Ever heard of a night doula?

In this article, we’ll give you everything you need to know about what is a night doula and why they’re worth every $.

These postpartum supports offer more than just a helping hand; they bring peace, rest, and a touch of normalcy back into the lives of weary new parents.

So, what is a night doula?

A night doula is someone who provides care, support, and guidance to new parents and their infants during the night. 

They are a mix between a night nanny and a baby nurse, stepping in so you can have some ‘me time’ and get some much-needed rest. 

Unlike other types of doulas, night doulas specialise in overnight care, focusing on everything from feeding and changing diapers to soothing and settling your baby back to sleep.

They might even do your laundry and cook up a storm during the night.

How do they differ from other healthcare providers, like baby nurses, midwives and postpartum doulas?

Well, the key lies in their approach, areas of expertise and scope of practice. 

While baby nurses and midwives have a medical or nursing background, focusing on the physical care of the baby, night doulas bring a more holistic support system into the picture. 

They care for the baby but also provide invaluable support and advice to parents, helping them navigate the murky waters of early parenthood with confidence. 

night doula sitting with baby durinng the night

What are the benefits of a night doula?

When welcoming a night doula into your home, the benefits are significant.

Studies show that hiring a night doula is linked with huge improvements in parents’ sleep quality.

Getting good-quality sleep plays a pivotal role in recovery and adapting to parenthood once your baby is here.

Sleep affects everything from how you adjust to the mental challenges of your new role to physical healing after childbirth.

Parents also experience lower stress levels, reduced mood swings and even lower chances of postpartum depression.

A night doula’s assistance can help you have a deeper understanding of a baby’s cues and needs.

This understanding improves bonding, fosters secure attachments and promotes infant well-being, laying down a resilient foundation for the new family structure.

With the support of a night doula, parents are often better prepared to tackle the hurdles of having a newborn.

What do night doulas offer?

Newborn care

This includes the basics like feeding, diapering, and soothing. 

Whether it’s mastering the art of swaddling or deciphering different cries, night doulas have the expertise to handle it all, ensuring your baby is content and well-cared for.

Sleep routine establishment

Night doulas are armed with strategies to help establish healthy sleep routines for your baby. 

This benefits the child in the long run and also helps parents get more consistent rest.

Emotional support for parents

Transitioning to parenthood can be a rollercoaster of emotions. 

Night doulas provide a listening ear and reassurance, making them a great source of emotional support during this vulnerable time.

Feeding support 

Whether you’re breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, or a bit of both, night doulas offer guidance and support to make feeding a h*ll of a lot easier. 

This can be particularly beneficial in the early days of establishing breastfeeding, offering tips and techniques to help both mother and baby.

what is a night doulal-woman-breastfeeding-baby

Night feeding with your doula


Night doulas are well-versed in the ins and outs of breastfeeding, from helping maintain a healthy milk supply to offering latching assistance. 

They allow mothers to breastfeed their babies during the night without fully waking, making it easier to drift back to sleep afterwards. 

By handling the logistics—bringing the baby to you for feeding and then taking care of settling them back to sleep afterwards—the doula makes night-time breastfeeding an easier process for everyone involved.

Bottle feeding 

Whether it’s expressed breast milk or formula, night doulas are great at handling bottle feeds. 

They can prepare bottles, feed the baby, or support parents who choose to do so themselves, ensuring that babies receive the nutrition they need with minimal sleep interruption for parents.

The effects of sleep-deprivation

The impact of sleep deprivation isn’t just feeling tired. 

As mentioned earlier, It can lead to a range of health and psychological issues, from impaired immune function to heightened stress and anxiety. 

Health and psychological impacts

Chronic sleep loss can affect everything from your mood to your physical health, increasing the risk of conditions like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. 

It also takes a big toll on your mental health, with increased risks of postpartum depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.

How doulas help

By taking over night-time care duties, a night doula gives parents the opportunity to have longer stretches of undisturbed sleep. 

This support can significantly reduce the negative effects of sleep deprivation, helping parents stay healthier and more emotionally balanced.

How much do night doulas cost?

Hiring a night doula can cost between $25 to $65 USD every hour.

This depends on where you live, how experienced the doula is, and what service they offer.

It might seem like a lot to pay, but when you think about the immense benefits they can have on your family’s health and happiness, many families find they’re worth every penny.

Some insurance companies are starting to cover the cost of hiring a doula as they’re recognising doula support as an essential service.

And if you don’t have insurance or your insurance doesn’t cover it yet, you can always ask for people to put money towards hiring a doula instead of buying you baby shower gifts.

postpartum doula-with-newborn-baby- how to become a postpartum doula

Choosing your night doula

Finding the right night doula requires some research and thoughtful consideration. Here are some steps to guide you through the process:

Step 1 — Research

Start by exploring doula directories, such as to find potential candidates. 

These platforms can offer a wealth of information and make it easier to locate doulas in your area. 

You can also ask your family and friends if they know any that they can recommend.

Step 2 — Interviewing

Once you’ve narrowed down your options, set up interviews with the doulas. 

This is your chance to ask about their experience, approach to care, and availability. 

It’s also an opportunity to get a feel for their personality and whether it fits with your family’s vibe.

Step 3 — Alignment with family values and needs

It’s important to find a doula that understands and aligns with your family’s values and needs. 

Discuss your parenting philosophy, your expectations for night-time care, and any specific support you’re looking for. 

Whether it’s experience with twins, knowledge of breastfeeding, or a gentle approach to sleep training, make sure your doula can meet your needs.

A happier and healthier postpartum

Thinking about hiring a night doula? 

It might be the kind of postpartum support you need.

It’s not just an investment in sleep; it’s about making life with your little one smoother and happier. 

Every family’s needs are unique, but a night doula adapts to yours, offering just the right kind of support.

So, if you’re on the fence, why not look into it? 

A night doula might be just what you need to transform those tough nights into something a bit more manageable, letting you and your family enjoy this special time to the fullest.

Bere Horthy

As a doula and nurse, Bere's mission is to empower and educate women, families, and fellow doulas to make informed decisions throughout their pregnancy, birth, and postpartum journey.


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