For new and expecting parents navigating the jungle of family support professionals can be
overwhelming. Who does what? What does my family need? How do I know they’re qualified? At the
Motherhood Center in Houston we have helped families for over 17 years find and select the right
professionals for their families. To help you understand the different roles each caregiver plays, here is a
list of the most important:
Baby/Night Nurse – A baby nurse, also known as a night nurse, postpartum nurse or newborn care
specialist, is an individual trained and skilled in newborn care. While the term nurse is widely used,
these types of caregivers are not providing medical care, nor are they registered nurses. The
responsibilities of a baby nurse, postpartum nurse or newborn care specialist, encompass only the needs
of the baby. See newborn care specialist.
Babysitter – A babysitter is a person hired to take care of children while parents are temporarily away.
Usually after school or during an evening event. This can also be a person who takes care of daily
shuffling, school drop-off and pick-ups, and getting dinner on the table. A babysitter provides
temporary, custodial care, keeping a child safe and entertained, while a nanny refers to a person who is
employed to take care of the children on a regular basis in a household. See nanny.
Labor Doula – A labor doula (/ˈduːlə/), also known as a birth companion or post-birth supporter, is a
nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during, or after childbirth, as well as her spouse and
family, by providing physical assistance and emotional support. Related terms include antepartum doula
(before birth), labor doula (during birth), night doula, or postpartum doula (after birth). See postpartum
Lactation Consultant – A lactation consultant helps moms and dads gain knowledge about breastfeeding
basics and how to get off to the best possible start. They also provide customized in-home, hospital,
individual, and Motherhood Center visits, to help moms and babies who are having difficulties
Nanny – A nanny is a person, usually with special training and experience in early childhood
development, employed to care for children in a household on a daily part-time or full-time basis.
Nannies may live in or out of the house, depending on their circumstances and those of their employers.
This person usually comes up with exciting and engaging challenges and activities for the whole child,
nurturing the child’s emotional, social, cognitive and physical development. Related terms include
newborn nanny or night nanny. See night nanny.
Newborn Care Specialist – A newborn care specialist, also known as a baby nurse, is a newer term for a
caregiver who specialize in helping parents care for their baby or babies during the day time or night
time, helping with educational aspects of baby care as well as allowing parents to rest, while the
newborn care specialist cares for their baby. The responsibilities of a baby nurse, or newborn care
specialist, encompass only the needs of the baby. A newborn care specialist typically works until the
baby is sleeping through the night and may come in after the baby is a few months old to “sleep train”
them. See sleep trainer and baby nurse.
Night Nanny – A night nanny is a caregiver who does evening duty work, i.e. feed, burp, change, rock
and put to sleep. Most of the time, this usually does not include sleep training, advice, education,
breastfeeding support, or scheduling help which is provided by a newborn care specialist. See newborn
Postpartum Doula – A postpartum doula (/ˈduːlə/) is an in-home caregiver who is available for daytime
or night time assignments, helping parents understand babies’ needs, helping them with transition into
motherhood/fatherhood. They are taking care of the newborn, mom and the whole family. Providing
educational, emotional and physical support to new parents. Unless there are severe breastfeeding
issues, postpartum mood disorders, multiple newborns, or a baby with special needs, a postpartum
doula typically works only within the first 12 weeks after birth or The Fourth Trimester. Beyond that
time, the postpartum doula has likely shifted into more of a newborn care specialist or newborn nanny
role. See newborn care specialist or nanny.
Sleep Trainer – A sleep trainer, also known as a sleep coach is a person that helps your baby or toddler
learn how to sleep through the night, and take regular, consistent naps. See newborn care specialist.
Learn more about the Motherhood Center’s babysitting, nanny placement, breastfeeding support or
sleep coach services.
Find a village of support in the Motherhood Center in Houston. This is why the Motherhood Center was
created. To offer services, classes, products and support to expecting women, new mommies and
daddies all under one roof – to recreate their village. A place where they feel comfortable, nurtured and
provided with quality information as they grow as a family.
We all feel so honored and privileged to be part of this special time with our clients.