Rosalyn Summach, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
I have had the honour of being present for multiple close friends during their transition into motherhood, who have given me insights I have never had working with women in the hospital as a labour, delivery and postpartum nurse.
It is in the moments of hearing voiced fears about the unknowns of labour and delivery; being on the receiving end of questions that came through teary phone calls and text messages in the wee hours of the morning; voiced frustrations and uncertainties with breastfeeding; sleep deprivation and overwhelm from a baby that would not sleep; anxiety and confusion from so many others’ opposing opinions and advice; that the lack of accessible, qualified support for mothers became very apparent and was ultimately the driving force behind my decision to pursue becoming a Mama Coach — a means through which I could change this reality.
And so, until I myself fulfill my lifelong dream of becoming a mother, I will continue pouring my energy into supporting and educating mom’s and families through my work as a Registered Nurse (RN) and now, as Saskatoon’s Mama Coach. My mission is to build their confidence, ease their fears, and to simply make their transition into motherhood easier.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
As long as I can remember, I have had a deep-rooted passion to care for babies and children — first manifesting as an infatuation for a life-like garage sale doll that I chose and insisted on bringing everywhere. From there babysitting transformed into working in a daycare, being an Au Pair abroad, and then making the decision to attain my Bachelor of Science in Nursing — a path I knew would enable me to create a career out of working with mothers and their babies. I completed my final practicum and began my career as an RN on a Labour, Delivery and Postpartum unit and have remained enthralled with this specialty since.
When I realized one of the biggest challenges for many mothers and babies in those first few days postpartum was breastfeeding, it motivated me to begin working towards becoming an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant — following completion of the written exam this coming October.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
The first and most important lesson I have learned while working as an RN is that there is not and never will be a one size fits all approach. Every mother, every baby and every mother and baby together is entirely unique, as are their support systems and daily life circumstances. Careful consideration of all of the above is required when creating any plan of care.
The second most important lesson I have learned is that no matter how many books read, classes attended, or questions asked, parenthood will always throw curveballs that simply cannot be prepared for in advance. As a Mama Coach, I can not only share knowledge but help with applying it within a families day to day realities with the reassurance that they will never be expected to know it all. Some days, it will be all they can do to keep their baby fed, warm, safe and loved — and know that, that is enough.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
Let go of the idea that you have to do everything yourself, nor feel ashamed to ask for or accept offered help from others; and in those moments when you find even just a few minutes of free time, use them for yourself to do whatever it is that you need in that moment to feel human again.
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
I think the biggest thing when it comes to self-care is to first forget what you “think it should look like”.
Self-care is whatever you say it is. I feel we are so quick to label it as exercise, eating a well-balanced meal, meditating, etc. but it is also leaving the laundry, cleaning, dishes and showering for later and instead, take a nap when your baby does. Saying no to things that cause you more stress than enjoyment, a hot soak in the tub each night before bed, or leaving the baby with a trusted support and getting out of the house for a walk or an errand — alone.
Be honest with yourself, without judgment, shame or guilt about what it is that you truly need in that moment. How you care for yourself will forever be changing, but it is those seemingly insignificant things that pour little by little back into your own cup when your days are spent filling your baby’s.
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
I think in today’s technological world, it is so important to be conscious of what you’re consuming on social media. It is easy to get lost in the world of opinionated blogs and highlight reels that leave you feeling drained, disempowered and as though you are not doing or being enough. Create a shift to a positive social media experience by unfollowing accounts that leave you with these feelings and instead, connect with those that you can relate to, that leave you feeling uplifted amongst a community of people that remind you that you are not alone.
Words cannot describe how truly excited I am to bring The Mama Coach to Saskatoon and begin working with you and your family.