Greetings! The following post is from a great article that I read in the Orange County Register (April 21, 2017), by author Jenna L. Jones, and I thought this would be a wonderful post to share with my readers. Enjoy!
Sleepless nights, chaotic mornings, and poopy diapers dominate life during the first few months a baby is born. It’s not just the crying at all hours or parents’ utter lack of sleep, it’s the general sense of being completely unprepared. To the rescue is a new type of caretaker known as a Newborn Care Specialist. Providing additional support through those tough early months, Newborn Care Specialist or NCS’s, provide special insight from diapering to circumcision care to help meake the transition easier. There are a number of Newborn Care Specialist Certification training courses in the U.S. including The Newborn Care Training Academy and Newborn Care Specialist Association.
Newport Beach resident Sara McAlister earned her training through the academy. Before starting her NCS business, Welcome Home Baby LLC, McAllister was a nanny for eight years. A member of the International Nanny Association, she grappled with every baby concern from colic to sleep-pattern conditioning, but yearned to learn more. McAllister completed her Newborn Care Specialist training in 2016. The curriculum covered the basics about feeding and nutrition, including such topics as burping and breast milk storage, but also included more advanced subjects such as sensory stimulation, preemie care, postpartum depression symptoms, crib safety and SIDS.
Not only can an NCS prep a nursery with Martha Stewart ease, she can also help parents feel human again. Ask any new parent what they miss most about baby-less life and they are likely to list sleep.
“Sleep deprivation for new parents is a real thing,” McAllister says. “Many new moms are getting only four hours of sleep in a night, often interrupted multiple times. Having an NCS to take the night shift allows many new parents to get the rest they need in order to be at their best during the day. For some parents, this means being the best parent for their newborn and possibly older siblings during the day. For some, this means getting enough sleep to be functional when getting back to work after baby.”
According to McAllister, overnight care is the most popular NCS service, and it’s easy to understand why. A lack of sleep can lead to hypertension, depression, obesity and reduced quality of life, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rebecca Hall and her husband had sleep and other issues on their minds when they hired McAllister to help care for their newborn.
“My husband and I viewed getting an NCS as a ‘new parent coach’ helping us adjust to parenthood, show us the tricks of the trade and help me recover from childbirth in an effort to return part time to work after eight weeks,” Hall says.
Since the 1970’s, women have been increasingly trading staying home with their kids for a steady income stream by returning to work. The U.S. Census Bureau reports that women are more likely today to enter and stay in the workforce, before and after pregnancy, adding to the need for child-care services. Another factor for the increase was the 1976 federal tax code change that permitted working parents to earn a tax credit for child-care costs of dependent children. An additional ruling in 1978, the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, prohibits employers from hiring or firing someone based on pregnancy or childbirth. The act also covers promotions and pay levels, which have arguably been less effectively implemented.
Furthermore, only 12 percent of U.S. private sector workers have access to paid family leave through their employer, according to the Department of Labor, which helps explain the rise in demand for assistance from nannies or NCS’s.
Today, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that the child-care industry will likely have one of the strongest employment rates through 2020. The cost to parents isn’t cheap. “Average NCS rates for a singleton range from $25 to $40 per hour; rates for twins and higher order multiples can range from $35 to $45 plus per hour,” McAllister says. “NCS’s are becoming very in demand in the Orange County area and nationwide.” In a nation where most parents work, it’s easy to understand why.
Kim’s Take –
Newborn Care Specialist and Postpartum Doulas! The difference between a Newborn Care Specialist and a Postpartum Doula is that an NCS’s main focus is on taking care of the baby. In addition to training in newborn care, she may also be able to help the parents with setting up the nursery and with more advanced training, look for symptoms of perinatal mood disorders in the mother. A Postpartum Doulas main focus is on taking care of the mother, newborn, and family. The doula is trained in newborn care as well as breastfeeding support, family management, looking for signs and symptoms of perinatal mood disorders and being able to refer to a professional. Also, the doula will do light housekeeping (such as laundry and kitchen clean up) and prepare light meals and drinks for the mother, to make sure she is well nurished and hydrated. The doula is also trained to be a listening ear for the mother and her family and to help integrate the newborn into the family. The doula, like the NCS, can also spend the night with a family and take care of the newborn while the mother and her partner sleep. In addition, the doula is armed with a full list of local professional resources that she can give to the new mother and her partner if needed.
So in deciding which of the two professions to choose from for your family, it really comes down to your needs. If all you anticipate needing is a professional to take care of your newborn baby while you rest, then an NCS is for you; but if you would like more extensive care such as breastfeeding support and family management, then hire a doula! Both of these professionals can take excellent care of your precious newborn baby/babies