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Becoming a Sleep Consultant as a Postpartum Doula

Updated: Oct 28, 2023

If you’re a postpartum doula, you’re already very familiar with the exhaustion that comes with welcoming a new baby to the family.

We’re willing to bet you care deeply about helping and supporting families during this personal, sensitive, and sometimes time of transition. We feel that as sleep consultants too!

From the Postpartum Support International website, a postpartum doula’s work is to provide families with information and support regarding infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from childbirth, infant soothing, and coping skills for new parents. They might also help with light housework, fix a meal and help incorporate an older child into this new experience.

Knowing about newborn feeding and sleep is crucial to helping families adjust during this time.

Over the past few years at The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness, we’ve had the pleasure of helping a few postpartum doulas add the title of “certified sleep consultant” to their professional repertoire.

And, lucky for you, we decided to interview them to learn all about their experience working as both a postpartum doula and a certified sleep consultant.

Reader, meet Natalie Homen and Kristen Lucas, both postpartum doulas and certified sleep consultants.

As a postpartum doula, an add-on sleep consultant certification seems like a no-brainer. Can you share more about your decision to add this certification to your credentials?

Natalie Homem, owner of Sleepy on Hudson is both a postpartum doula and a pediatric sleep consultant. She shares more about her decision to add sleep consulting to her credentials:

“As a postpartum doula, I felt a BIG struggle so many families were having was around sleep. They were stressed and overwhelmed with all the information out there. I wanted to be able to give them clear information & guide them in the right direction. Another factor that lead me to obtain a sleep consultant certification was that so many families were asking for referrals to sleep consultants. I thought it made sense to keep the relationship with the family at such a vulnerable time. The trust was built so it was a no-brainer.”

And Kristen Lucas, owner of Kristen Lucas Doula feels the same way.

“I knew I always wanted to add another service that would help support the families I work with in the perinatal period, I just couldn’t quite figure out what I wanted that service to be. After tossing around some ideas, I kept going back to sleep consulting. It seemed like I was always hearing about families having sleep challenges and I knew I wanted to help. I also really liked the idea of working with families and their newborn babies at a doula capacity, then possibly supporting them later down the road through sleep support.”

So, pairing a sleep consultant certification just makes sense if you’re a postpartum doula. These services naturally fit together, one flowing right into the next in those first few months postpartum

How do your skills as a doula help you with your sleep consulting clients? Can you give a few examples?

Natalie shares her insight: “As a doula, I’m able to practice more hands-on. I get to work with so many different families, babies, family dynamics, philosophies, and more. This allows me to learn from different experiences.

As does Kristen: “As a doula, I have become a really great listener and I carry this skill with me when I work with families on sleep. And I find that many times families just want to be seen and heard. Being a parent and going through normal struggles can feel that much harder when you feel alone and unsupported. That’s where I come in, I really get to know the families I work with, what their parenting style is, what their specific sleep goals are and then I can create a sleep plan that will work best for their unique family.”

Trust us, the best thing you can do as a certified sleep consultant is listen to what your clients are sharing!

And the experience and knowledge a certified sleep consultant has seem to be complementary to postpartum doula services as well…

In opposition, do you feel your sleep consulting certification helps you in your doula work?

“Families love to hear (I have) more than one certification! Especially if it deals with infant support,” shares Natalie.

We couldn’t agree more! As parents, you’re always looking for the most qualified individual to work with your family, especially when it comes to handling your sweet little baby. Most new parents don’t realize how debilitating sleep deprivation can be and the toll it can take until they’re a few weeks in.

Kristen feels similarly about her sleep knowledge when it comes to serving her doula clients: “I now bring a higher level of knowledge and expertise when I am working as a doula and it’s allowed me to feel more confident when responding to sleep questions. I find it’s really a benefit that I have a sleep consulting certification because it just adds to my skill set and positions me to be more valuable to my clients.”

How did you feel about the training from The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness to become a certified sleep consultant?

Kristen became a certified newborn sleep consultant through our Certified Newborn Sleep Consultant Course. She shares, “The newborn sleep certification program was exactly what I needed to take my newborn sleep knowledge and expertise to the next level. The program was very thorough and addressed all the important information I needed to know about newborn sleep. I highly recommend it.”

And Natalie agrees: “I feel it’s very informative and clear to understand.”

You can learn more about our Certified Newborn Sleep Consultant course here.

What would you tell other prenatal or postnatal professionals or birth workers who are considering adding this certification to their repertoire?

“I think that adding sleep consulting compliments doula work so well. I love supporting families in a new way and I now have another stream of income and it’s support I can offer virtually while still working in-home with families as a doula,” shares Kristen.

From a business perspective, it seems like a smart move!

Natalie offers another enlightening and important perspective: “I would tell them to be mindful of boundaries. Know when to charge differently for each service.”

We can see how blurred these lines may become…

…you’re in the home and readily available for postpartum doula services. The family becomes used to this accessibility…

…and then they hire you for your sleep consulting services.

It’s important to communicate how these services and the support they receive from you now are different than your previous services.

Tell us more about your business and the packages you are able to offer with your background and education. Where can people find you and connect with you?

Connect with Natalie:

“I'm the owner of Sleepy On Hudson. You can find me on Instagram: @sleepyonhudson, or my email: I offer in-home & over the phone support for families in need of sleep support. I also offer in-home support for postpartum families to support them in the beginning of their journey as a new family.”

Connect with Kristen:

“I offer daytime and overnight postpartum doula support, virtual postpartum coaching, and postpartum doula mentoring. I also offer newborn and baby sleep coaching. You can connect with me on Instagram (@kristenlucasdoula) and on my website,”

Why a Postpartum Doula Would Make a Great Sleep Consultant

We already know postpartum doulas work to support families during the postpartum period. So do Certified Newborn Sleep Consultants!

But, if you’re a postpartum doula…

You already - likely - have a business.

You know the ins and outs of running a business, and adding a sleep consulting certification could be another variety of services you can offer (and make more money!).

Here are some ideas:

  • Offer a bundle of both postpartum doula services and a sleep package

  • Upsell your sleep services after you’ve worked with a family as a postpartum doula

  • Market yourself as both a postpartum doula and a certified sleep consultant and reach more audience.

You care about the well-being of the families you work with.

If you’re already a postpartum doula, we’re sure you’ve had families ask about how you can help get their baby to sleep better. With a sleep consultant certification, you can actually help them and charge for the education you’re providing!

You have already established relationships with families who you’ve worked with.

And because you already have an established relationship with a family after working with them as a postpartum doula, it just makes sense that they would also hire you for your sleep consulting services!

Ready to move away from nights as a postpartum doula?

This. THIS! This is the big reason many postpartum doulas become certified sleep consultants. They’re ready to be done doing overnights.

Working during the night works really well for some people. Others love the work, but the schedule gets old after a while.

Adding sleep consulting to your services allows you to work more during the day and move away from working overnights. As you build your sleep consulting services, you can gradually move away from nights OR be extra selective with whom you offer overnight services.

You could also consider charging premium pricing for overnight sleep training services with both of these certifications!

How The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness Can Help You

If you’re ready to look into adding a sleep consultant certification badge to your website, we have a few options that might work for you.

If you already have a business and you’d like to focus solely on newborns, our Certified Newborn Sleep Consultant course might be for you. It has all of the information you need without any of the “extras” that are necessary if you’re starting from scratch. Check it out!

Now, if you want all the bells and whistles that go along with our full sleep consultant certification course, including lessons on business building and setup, considerations for newborns and toddlers, and tons of other valuable training from 20 experts in the parenting and business space, then the Sleep Consultant Academy from the Collective for Family Rest and Wellness might be your best option.

And, if you’re just not sure, spend some time on this website learning more. We’d also be happy to chat with you. You can set up a free discovery call with us here!


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