Sleep deprivation is probably the hardest part of parenting. The first few months with a newborn baby is a haze of crying and spit up and feeding and diaper changes.
Nearly 50% of parents with babies six months or younger get only one to three hours of uninterrupted sleep a night. When you combine sleep deprivation with the physical and mental recovery of birth, it’s a heavy load.
Last month Brittany Bright, a mom of two, shared the details of hiring a postpartum doula on TikTok and her post has gone viral.
The postpartum doula cared for her infant and toddler, two nights a week for 10 hours. Brittany (@itsbrittanybright on TikTok) shared details of what a normal night with a postpartum doula looks like.
“She arrives at 8 p.m.,” said Bright in the clip. “At that point, I retreat to my bedroom where 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. is my time, free of all children.”
Ten hours of uninterrupted free time and sleep with a newborn? Sounds amazing.
Shockingly, not everyone agreed.
Her TikTok video has over 6 million views and LOTS of opinions. Some people supported her with comments like:
“As a former infant, I do not remember nor care whether or not my mom stayed up w me as an infant & it has had 0 effect on our good bond. team doula.”
And another comment shows how some people are wanting to see this kind of change in the motherhood space.
“THIS is how we prioritize black womens’ health in this country. Thank you so much for sharing.”
But, some people posted judgmental comments like this user:
“Nope. No. The days fly by and these middle of the night feeds are so special in the early days.”
And another was hung up on the memories this mom was missing out on by prioritizing herself.
“Not in a million years,” shared a user. “I still remember holding my daughter at 2am with colic. I would never trade that! Never. My most beautiful memories.”
And, one of the most toxic comments of all?
“So you’re only a mom for 16 hours a day? It’s not shift work. You sign up for that job, it’s yours 24/7.”
This mom of two young kids saved up $5,700 to hire a postpartum doula and invest in sleep. What’s wrong with that?
While many commenters rushed to Brittany’s defense, the fact that some people shamed her at all is disturbing.
As parents, we know just how detrimental sleep deprivation is, so why are we judging a woman who is doing something to improve it?
The negative comments perpetuate this toxic belief: Being a mom or being a parent means you have to do it to the exclusion of everything else (including your sleep).
That’s not healthy, helpful or true.
We weren’t meant to parent alone.
Parenting takes a team of people and resources; doctors, nurses, pediatricians, friends, family, daycare providers, and doulas.
Also, Brittany’s first baby was born via a traumatic emergency C-section and she doesn’t have any family living nearby.
These two things also helped her make the decision to hire a postpartum doula when she gave birth to her second child. Brittany had the self-awareness to make the best choice for her health and wellbeing and for her family.
As a mom of two kids, I applaud Brittany for hiring a doula to help her sleep.
I hired a labor doula for both my kids’ births and it was such an important part of my mental and physical health. I only wish I had hired a postpartum doula too.
Mothers don’t get medals for needlessly suffering more than others.
If you can get help, why wouldn’t you?
As one commenter put it:
“This is one of the many things we used to do for mothers for FREE. This is not luxury time, it is meeting basic needs.”
If we have the means to do it, we should all strive to be like Brittany and make self-care a priority, even during the postpartum months.
She is doing the BEST thing for her family by taking care of herself.
As the flight attendants like to remind us before flights: You must put your own oxygen mask on first before helping others. And that’s exactly what this mom is doing.
You can see her viral TikTok video here:
@itsbrittanybrightHere’s what a typical night looks like with our postpartum doula ##postpartum ##momsoftiktok ##babiesoftiktok ##momtok ##postpartumrecovery ##fypage ##fyp