Jodi Breitkreuz, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
My journey to becoming a mother was a bumpy one. My husband and I did 3 rounds of IVF, suffered loss, had a high risk pregnancy, delivered our twin boys prematurely, and spent a month in the NICU. Once we were home we had our hands full! Breastfeeding was a struggle, sleep was rare, and the days were long. I ended up suffering from postpartum depression and anxiety as well as post traumatic stress disorder. As a family we persevered. It was a humbling experience as a NICU nurse. I have a great deal of empathy for families. We all have our own stories and struggles. It's all a part of my story and my story is the reason that I'm so passionate about working with families to help make their first few months or years easier and more enjoyable.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
I knew that I wanted to become a nurse because helping others has always come naturally to me. I started my career as an LPN in rural Alberta. After becoming a Registered Nurse several years ago I immersed myself in the world of neonatal intensive care. I knew right away that I was home. I felt an intense passion to work with families and young children. I love teaching and working with families to find what works for them.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
The first lesson I learned is to get rid of the expectations! Expectations can lead to the feelings of failure. I experienced this in my own journey. It was my greatest downfall. I would suggest to go with the flow as much as your personality will allow. Trying to control any or all parts of pregnancy and parenthood is almost impossible.
Secondly, surround yourself with people who are going to help you build yourself up. Parenting is hard. There's a ton of information out there and if you don't have people around you to help sift through and find your way you could get lost and end up feeling guilty and overwhelmed.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
Give yourself grace!!! You're only human. The internet would have you believe that parenting is easy if you follow these rule. That's not true. Parenting can be complicated. My suggestion would be to find a resource that you relate to and use it. But also, if you make mistakes, because you will, forgive yourself easily and move on. What feels big today might not tomorrow.
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
As a new mom I didn't realize that I needed to work on self care until my boys were one and I was back to work. I remember being at work and looking around thinking oh my, I need to start taking care of myself. I had put everyone and everything ahead of myself and I felt it. So I started slow, hair and make up on the days I left the house. I started exercising when I could fit it in. I started doing things for myself without sacrificing time with my boys. As time went on I started to feel better about myself, less tired, and more in control.
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
Becoming a mom is a beautiful thing but it can also be very scary and trying. If you need help don't hesitate to reach out to someone you can trust. The more you feel like you can rely on others to help you through the journey the more confident you feel as a mother.
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