Gillian Mandville, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
I became a first time mother on November 9th, 2018. To say it rocked my world is an understatement! Though I'm a nurse, I found myself asking, "Why didn't I know it was going to be like this?" or "Why didn't anyone tell me...?" A new world opened up before me that was both absolutely amazing and completely unknown; beautiful but also difficult in ways I couldn't anticipate or prepare for. After being through childbirth, and the difficulties that come with being a new mom, I feel strongly motivated to share what I have learned with other new mothers and mothers-to-be. My decade long nursing career has helped me refine and amplify skills I carry in critical thinking, compassion and empathy for patients from all walks of life. My nursing experience will ensure that I coach new moms with a positive, supportive and evidenced based practice. I am committed to do what I can to promote a comfortable, open environment. I want my clients to feel confident in me so that they can find the confidence in themselves as they embark on their unique journey of motherhood.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
Upon completing my nursing degree in 2009 in St. John's, Newfoundland, I moved to beautiful Victoria, BC where I started my nursing career on Orthopedics. I stayed there for about 2 years before moving on to Neuroscience. This was a massive shift for me. The workload physically was similarly very heavy but the mental/emotional load and acuity was off the charts. Working on Neuro was a phenomenal learning experience in too many ways to list and the team I had the absolute privilege to work with was beyond exceptional. I remained there for just over 6 years before I found myself needing a change. I then joined the home and community care team where I currently work. Going from specializing in one bodily system to seeing everything in the community was a little scary at first, however, learning and evolving is what life is all about!
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
Well, for one, everyone's story is different and very unique to them! And two, people might think that they are going into their labour and delivery open minded with no expectations until things don't go they way they expected them to go- knowledge helps manage expectations.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
Be gentle with yourself and be patient. Don't compare and stress over your baby's milestones. You are doing a great job!
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
Meditation, taking a walk. Let yourself rest. Give yourself permission to not wash the dishes. Do something for you instead. I know, for myself, I really need to surrender in accepting that I just can't get things done as fast as I used to. And that's ok. I still find this challenging. If someone offers a helping hand, don't feel bad accepting help.
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
Don't fall into the new-parent-expensive-gimmick trap! Trying to figure out what you initially need can be so daunting. I remember walking into the store while pregnant and feeling so completely overwhelmed! Babies really don't need very many things. Keep in mind as well that there is a lot of used baby things out there in perfect shape. You can easily find items that's almost new for a fraction of the price. Babies change so fast that it's virtually impossible for one baby to wear out anything.
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