Heather Stobbe, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
When my son was born in 2015, it was an absolute turning point in my life. While I had a lot of knowledge about caring for a newborn from my job, I soon realized it was very different being on the other side of things and actually being the parent. There were so many emotions, so many worries, and so many questions! I struggled with the transition to motherhood - with staying home all day instead of going to work and with how unpredictable babies can be! Not to mention the lack of sleep, learning to breastfeed, and coming to terms with my new identity as a mom. Being a mom is life-changing!
My daughter was born 2½ years later, and right away we had challenges. She didn't latch well, was slow to gain weight, and I needed to pump and top up with bottles for over a month due to my low milk supply. She was always fussy and never seemed to sleep well. I started to notice that I was becoming increasingly anxious, trying so hard to figure out what was causing the problems, and feeling so discouraged. As breastfeeding began to improve, her sleep seemed to get worse. The sleep training plan that worked well for my son was not working for my daughter, and I found myself dreading the nights and worried about how many times I would be up with her. Slowly over time, things got better as I went back to the basics of what I knew, which was: creating a consistent sleep routine for her, asking for help from family and friends, and being persistent when I had setbacks. I remember feeling so relieved when her sleep (and my sleep!) finally improved. My experiences with my children completely changed how I view motherhood and I definitely have more empathy for all moms everywhere as a result!
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
Growing up I always had such an admiration for nurses. I had several surgeries as a child and I can still remember the kindness and compassion of the nurses that cared for me. Fast forward to when I was 16 years old, and my Grandfather was in his final days, suffering from cancer. I visited him in palliative care at the hospital and I was just in awe of the nurses and the way they took care of him and also our family. It was then that I decided I wanted to be a nurse, because I couldn't think of a better career than one where I could help people.
It has now been 14 years since I graduated with my degree in Nursing and proudly began signing my name as a Registered Nurse. I worked for a few years in the hospital, on a surgical unit and a postpartum unit, and this experience made me realize without a doubt that I was meant to work with moms, babies and families. After I moved from Alberta to BC in 2007, I was so fortunate to be offered a position as a public health nurse and that is what I have been doing ever since. Connecting with moms after they go home from the hospital with their new babies, helping them with breastfeeding, guiding families through those challenging months with a newborn; these have been some of the most fulfilling and rewarding times of my career.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
Two of the most important lessons I've learned as a RN are that every family's journey is different and a one-size fits all approach does not work! As a Mama Coach my aim is to meet you right where you're at, to hear your story, and to help develop a plan to meet your goals.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
One bit of advice I would give to a new parent is: Don't be afraid to ask for help. You are not meant to do this on your own.
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
Self care has been a challenge for me, especially since having kids. But I have learned to cultivate little habits that help me maintain my energy and a positive outlook. The first thing I try to do every day is to exercise, even if it's just a short walk, some jumping jacks and squats in the kitchen when I'm making dinner, running up the stairs a few extra times to get the heart pumping. As much as possible I try to get 6-7 hours of sleep at night. I am a huge fan of journaling, as I find it extremely relaxing and a great way to sift through what I am going through in my life. And of course, nothing beats a good heart-to-heart conversation with one of my close girlfriends over coffee or a meal. It's the little things that can make a big impact when it comes to self care!
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
From the moment I learned about The Mama Coach, I knew it was something I would be so excited and passionate about doing! I love working as a public health RN, but with health care cut-backs some services are not as easy to access or available to all moms like they used to be. It breaks my heart to hear of moms who couldn't find the support they needed when learning to feed their babies, when navigating sleep challenges, or when struggling with postpartum depression and anxiety.
As a Mama Coach, I am committed to making motherhood easier and I would love to be your resource and support person! With my professional and personal experience I am confident I can help you meet your goals, and feel empowered in the process. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook for current research-based information on pregnancy, childbirth, newborn care, sleep, and all things mom related. Contact me for information on prenatal and breastfeeding classes, lactation support, sleep packages, infant and child CPR, and allergy support. I can't wait to me you!
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