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Confinement Nanny versus Postpartum Doula? What is the difference?

Updated: Sep 26, 2023

Postpartum Doula soothing a baby on a play mat

There are a lot of similarities between these two professions and many may think that the choice between the two is purely a cultural one. But there are some bigger differences that are making even the staunchest of confinement nanny believers consider a change in how they prepare for parenthood.

The first big difference in the question Confinement Nanny versus Postpartum Doula is the availability of prenatal support, and resources, during your pregnancy and prior to childbirth.

A confinement nanny is booked for after childbirth and will be well versed in methods of newborn and postnatal care; but they will not have been part of your team prior to this. A Postpartum Doula, when utilised to our fullest, will meet with you prenatally to discuss how best to prepare for labour and the postnatal period. We can provide evidence-based resources to allow you to make informed decisions before, during and after the birth – that interconnect with your postnatal and postpartum recovery plan.

Of course it cannot be ignored that a Confinement Nanny, versus a Postpartum Doula, may be employed on a 24/7 basis (normally for the first 30 days) and provides night nanny services when you are at your most tired; whereas, in Singapore, a Postpartum Doula is hired normally for appointments during the day, ranging from 2 hours or a package of 16 hours or Empowa's most popular bespoke service of 48 hours or more bespoke care.

Both a Confinement Nanny and a Postpartum Doula's primary concern is your physical and emotional recovery after childbirth. A confinement nanny is a helping hand once you get home from hospital, and that can definitely give you peace of mind, but so is a Postpartum Doula, we typically cover all the same points, we just come at things from a slightly different perspective.

An important difference is having a bespoke care plan.

A confinement nanny has a ‘to do list’ that will be roughly the same for every client, ensuring the mother is fed, gets rest, that baby is fed and cared for and that the infants laundry is done. But a Postpartum Doula’s ‘to do list’ is different for every family.

We nearly always start at the beginning – your birth journey - as this has implications on the care, support and coaching you may need. You might not realize it at the time but a trained Postpartum Doula will plan how they care for you, and your baby, based on every little bit of information you give them; had a long labour, that tells us something, OB/Gyn used forceps, that tells us something, baby was taken to the nursery, that tells us something too. Every little detail of your birth helps a Doula form a care plan that is bespoke to you – no mother and baby’s story is ever the same, so the care shouldn’t be either.

Another big difference is that Postpartum Doula’s job, is to "do themselves out of a job" (yes, it's the worst business model in the world!). My responsibility is to leave a family with the skills and confidence to grow into the parents they desire to be. It is often said that Doula’s “mother the mother”, and that is true, we honour the fourth trimester and ensure that is a time of rest and recuperation. We will carry out newborn care for you so that you can rest properly, but in so doing we will quietly coach you in ways to ensure that when we leave your home, and family, for the last time you will have discovered ways to do all of necessary newborn care, self care and essential family and work life balances required of you. There shouldn’t be a sudden withdrawal effect; you may find yourself wishing we were around to make a cup of coffee and have a chat about something, but you will have essentially been coached into how to “mum it” all by yourself, and also how to find “your tribe” to ensure you have ongoing support.

As a rough guide a Postpartum Doula will help with, nurture and support you through, and coach you on:

  • Holding space for your birth journey

  • Feeding (breast or bottle)

  • Lactation counselling (if required)

  • Newborn care (bathing, changing, safe sleep etc.)

  • Postnatal recovery

  • Self-care (finding time and confidence to fit in a shower, massage, exercise, alone time etc.)

  • Tips and tricks for optimal parent-infant bonding

  • Baby wearing/carriers (if required)

  • Basic nutrition (including shopping and prepping meals if required)

  • Tip and tricks for optimal child development

  • Household organisation (including infant laundry and light cleaning)

  • Family support and dynamics (coaching siblings and other family members)

  • Identify resources and necessary referrals to appropriate specialists and support networks (including mothers group and medical practitioners)

They say “it takes a village” and a Postpartum Doula is part of that village, part of your team. A Doula validates and enhances the parents’ intuitive ability to nurture and encourages them to develop and implement their own parenting style.

And always remember that I am here if you need me! Specialising in physical and emotional evidence based support in those first few days, weeks and months of having a baby.

All my best wishes



Kathy Rougier Postpartum Doula Nanny Singapore Empowa
Kathy is always smiling at work 📸 Zebra & Jojo Photography


We are not licensed medical professionals, and the content on this blog should not be considered medical advice. It's always best to consult with your healthcare provider for any specific medical concerns or questions related to your pregnancy, childbirth, or postpartum experience.

While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, we cannot guarantee the accuracy, completeness, or suitability of any of the information on this blog. We also cannot be held responsible for any action taken based on the information provided on this blog.

In short, our goal is to provide a supportive and informative community for expecting and new parents, but it's important to always prioritise your own health and the advice of your healthcare provider.


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