Hannah Butta, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
My husband and I met in college (Go Buckeyes!) and moved to Annapolis, Maryland in 2005 (Go Navy!). My first pregnancy seemed simple in retrospect—I exercised, ate, and slept when I wanted. We were shocked when that easy pregnancy turned into a chaotic delivery and we had a newborn that cried inconsolably most days. Our pediatrician was quick to diagnose colic and told us that it would eventually resolve, but we felt helpless and exhausted. That’s when I found my mama tribe—a local group of women with tips and resources for calming my little one and curing the colic. We learned so much from these women, and I wouldn’t be the mama I am today without them!
Soon after baby #1, I experienced two devastating pregnancy losses. Again, my mama tribe held me up. When we finally became pregnant with my second son, it was considered a high-risk pregnancy and I worried constantly. Luckily, this delivery was lighting fast, and this baby was born calm and cool as a cucumber! We still struggled with early feeding issues and many sleepless nights, but I had developed a network of support—a strong group of friends, family, and healthcare providers that cared about me and my baby as a unit.
After receiving fragmented and impersonal care during my own pregnancies, I learned about the whole-family approach to healthcare. This approach recognizes that supporting the whole family is essential to raising strong healthy children. As a Mama Coach, providing whole-family care means assessing each unique family and providing tools to help you set goals, create plans, and conquer challenges. I provide care that is goal oriented, unique to your family, and free of shame and guilt!
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
Through my own pregnancies, I learned just how pivotal a great nurse can be in the birth of a family. I saw and felt the expertise and kindness of nurses which drove me to choose nursing as a profession. Nursing school wasn’t easy while raising young children, but I was stronger and wiser, and I had life experience to bring to my practice. During nursing school, I was awarded a scholarship that allowed me to study at a large high-risk obstetrical unit and I fell in love with L&D nursing. When I graduated nursing school, I headed straight into my passion… I was finally a labor and delivery nurse!
Some L&D nurses love the babies—and I do love seeing a squishy little baby in her mother’s arms for the first time—but mostly I love educating, supporting, and empowering women. I love that my chosen profession allows me to be a small step in a new mother’s journey to become a warrior mama!
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
1) Did you know there is a fourth trimester? It’s true. For the first six weeks of a newborn’s life they act more like a helpless fetus than a beautiful cooing baby. It’s a challenging time for newborns, but it's equally challenging for new parents—hormonally, physically, and emotionally. During this time of adjustment, it’s important to remember that this period won’t last forever. Be gentle on yourselves and ask for help!
2) There's not one right way to raise a family. A large part of mama coaching involves discussing my client’s unique history and preferences. From there, we can build a plan to meet your family’s unique needs and strengths.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
Parenting is hard in the age of Google and social media. You will want to research everything. You will want to be as beautiful/gentle/smart as those celebrity moms you follow on Instagram. News flash: no one is that beautiful/gentle/smart all the time and there’s not one right way to raise that tiny human of yours.
Learn to trust your instincts and make informed decisions that work for your family!
Don’t beat yourself up! You are the best thing your baby knows, and you know best for you baby.
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
Self-care isn’t selfish, it’s one of the most important things we do for our families. For a quick burst of self-care, I take a few moments to breathe, sip my coffee slowly, or go for a walk. When a heavy dose of self-care is needed, I try to step back and recharge. That’s when I schedule a date night, spa day, or a well deserved weekend away!
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
As a registered nurse and Mama Coach—I am here for you! No shame. No guilt.
PS: You got this, mama!