If it takes a village to raise a child, then it must take an entire city to raise a baby. When a new mom gets three hours of sleep a night, it's a good night. And on those three hours of energy, she needs to learn how to raise a baby from scratch -- a crying, hungry baby at that.
But families don't have to do it alone -- especially if they live on Long Island, where help with just about everything a new mom needs is a phone call away.
WHY YOU MAY NEED HELP A lactation consultant will help with latch issues, pain while breast-feeding, pumping skills, nursing twins or preemies, or with any other problems that you're experiencing while breast-feeding.
FREQUENCY Usually, a lactation consultant will come to your home once and will follow-up with phone calls, if necessary.
COST The Affordable Care Act, which launched in August, has a provision stating that insurance must cover your visit. But many insurance companies won't do this until your new contract begins. If you're paying out of pocket, expect to pay $100 to $200 to meet with a lactation consultant.
WHERE TO FIND ONE Look for a consultant who is Internationally Board Certified at americas.iblce.org.
WHY YOU MAY NEED HELP In addition to taking care of a baby 24/7, most new moms also have to cook, clean and run to the grocery store. A postpartum doula will do all the chores in addition to helping figure out how to take care of your baby. Many are trained to teach how to breast-feed, bathe a baby and deal with any other new-mother issues. They'll also help take care of siblings.
FREQUENCY Most work three to six hours a day several days a week for the first few weeks.
COST $25 to $35 an hour; some insurance companies cover postpartum doulas, so check before paying out of pocket.
WHERE TO FIND ONE The Doula Network of Long Island prescreens doulas and will connect you with one; call 631-650-7903 or go to doulanetworkofli.com.
WHY YOU MIGHT NEED HELP A night nanny (aka, night nurse) will do everything for you so you can get some rest. If you're nursing, you can give them a pumped bottle so you can skip a feeding -- or they'll simply take the baby to you so you can nurse in bed. They also could feed the baby formula, change diapers and start establishing eating patterns. They may do the baby's laundry and wash the pump and the bottles.
FREQUENCY Most moms will use a night nanny multiple times a week for the first three weeks.
COST $25 an hour
WHERE TO FIND ONE Absolute Best Care will screen nannies and do a criminal-background check. The firm also makes sure the nanny is CPR certified. Go to absolutebest care.com or call 631-486-4594 for more information.
Fussy baby service
WHY YOU MAY NEED HELP It's a given that babies cry -- but normal or not, it can be overwhelming when you can't figure out how to calm your baby. The Fussy Baby Network -- a support center connected with Erikson Institute, a graduate school in Chicago focused on child development -- will listen when you need to vent and try to figure out why your baby is crying by exploring what you've tried and what you could do to calm her down. Representatives also will lead you to support systems locally, and will make referrals if they have developmental concerns.
FREQUENCY Moms can call as often as needed.
COST No charge for phone calls.
WHERE TO FIND ONE The Fussy Baby Network is a national service with resources for distraught parents throughout the country. Call 888-431-2229.
WHY YOU MIGHT NEED HELP A sleep trainer will figure out why the baby isn't sleeping through the night and help you determine a plan of action.
FREQUENCY Most people meet with a sleep trainer once for a plan and then follow up over the phone.
COST Some insurance plans will cover this. If not, the cost ranges from $125 to $1,500, depending on whether you want to do the training over the phone or have the consultant come to your home and personally work with your baby.
WHERE TO FIND ONE
Dr. Edward Kulich, the Manhattan-based author of "The Best Baby Sleep Book" (KidsHousecalls, $16), is a board-certified pediatrician who makes house calls on Long Island to teach babies how to sleep through the night. He brings along his doctor's kit, so he can make sure the baby is physically healthy (no ear infections, allergies, etc.) before starting. Go to babysleepdoctor.com or call 917-617-2194 for more information. Dream Team Baby consultants in Manhattan consist of four sleep trainers who will do anything from speaking with you over the phone about your child's sleep habits to spending the night at your home to train your child to sleep. Go to dreamteambaby.com or call 646-827-9190. Christina Gantcher of Good Night Sleep Coaching in New York City will create an individualized sleep plan and coach you through the process to make sure it works. Go to goodnightsleepcoaching.com or call 917-574-4980.
WHY YOU MIGHT NEED HELP If you're crying, have sleeping or eating problems, anger, anxiety or fears -- then you may be suffering from postpartum depression. Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders are treatable through counseling or medication.
FREQUENCY Most women will meet with a therapist weekly for up to a year after the baby's birth.
COST This may be covered by insurance. If not, it could cost between $150 and $250 a session.
WHERE TO FIND ONE The Postpartum Resource Center of New York provides free support, and you'll be given confidential information about health care and support resources. Call 855-631-0001.