Hello and welcome to this weeks Motherhood Chats Unfiltered blog post. This week, we had the pleasure of interviewing Nurse Nikki. After reading her responses, I fell in love with her "why" for starting her business. I think it's so important for all women to have an amazing support system and to see women supporting other women is such a beautiful thing. After reading about her journey, I truly thought "Wow, how badass is she?! Not only did she overcome her own obstacles, she decided to be the change and help women overcome the same struggles." Let's dive in with Nikki.
Tell us about your career. What types of services do you offer? What led you down this career path?
I am a Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. I own Bloom Maternal Health which provides pregnancy counseling, postpartum care, and lactation consultations in both Louisiana and Texas. I created Bloom because I am a postpartum depression survivor. I had no resources. I searched near and far for community help that didn’t exist. I was challenged by my brother to be the change I wanted to see. Creating Bloom was my therapy. My practice is unique in that we provide house calls and telehealth to pregnant and postpartum families.
How do you help mammas overcome their childbirth fears?
I am meeting my clients where they are by providing the care they need when they need it most. I am available to answer questions and give evidence based information. I clarify Google and untangle the confusion. Pregnant and postpartum parents don’t know what they don’t know. I try to bridge the gap between hospital and community care by sharing resources and information. Information puts family at ease. It helps them evaluate options and make informed decisions during childbirth.
What are some things mammas can do to prepare for birth and the postpartum period?
I recommend that families take childbirth, postpartum, and lactation prep courses. I encourage them to make postpartum plans. It’s the most important plan they will make. It can really be the difference between simply surviving, and surviving and thriving, literally and figuratively. I encourage them to seek the services of a doula and lactation consultant prior to birth. Knowledge is empowering.
What can partners do to support mom's during the perinatal period?
Perinatal support is huge. Supported mothers thrive. Partners are uniquely positioned because they tend to have insider knowledge of personal preferences. If a partner is unaware of preferences, they should ask. These conversations are most beneficial during the prenatal period: “how can I be helpful? I think I know how to help you, but I want to know what would be most helpful especially when the baby arrives”. I usually give partners 3 main responsibilities: hydrate, nourish, and affirm the postpartum parent. This triad of help promotes mental and physical healing and recovery. Walking the dog and holding the baby during shower time is helpful as well.
If you could give one piece of advice for new mammas, what would it be?
I tell every parent I work with: your baby is healthy but you are healing. If you are good, your baby will be great. Prioritize your mental and physical health.