Sarah Malott, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
I knew I wanted to be a baby nurse the moment I laid eyes on my nephew the day he was born! After that I started nursing in the Neonatal Intensive Care (NICU) and quickly learned that my favourite part of my job was teaching and working with new parents, or families adding a new member! It is such a privilege to get to help parents build confidence as they learn to bond with and care for their newborn and its amazing to see how sometimes just a certain approach or extra piece of information makes everything click for both mom and baby. Through experience, I realized that many parents were struggling to get access to the regular supports and information they need once they leave the hospital. As a Mama Coach, I look forward to helping families build and restore their confidence in caring for their child.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
I have worked in neonatal nursing for the past 3 years where I quickly fell in love with working with families and watching new parents learn to bond with their babies. After a few years, I broadened my practice to work in paediatrics and post-partum units in addition to the NICU. It was through my exposure to these other units that I realized, while we don't wish for our babies to end up in the NICU, the extended stay allows NICU families to have longer access to education and nursing supports in hospitals that most parents don't have when they leave the hospital 24-48 hours after giving birth. Since realizing how little supports there are for these families, I was on the hunt to find ways to better support these families when I came across the Mama Coach and found my solution!
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
Every child is different...even among multiples! What works for one may not work for the next and they may learn and progress at different rates from one another. Your child is their own, independent person and sometimes they like to make sure we know that right away!
Breastfeeding is a LEARNED SKILL for both moms and babies. Remember, neither of you have ever done this before, so you and your baby are learning together!
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
You are exactly what your child needs. They don't need perfect, they just need you!
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
Set boundaries! It's ok to say no to visitors and invitations out... or to say YES to them! Taking care of yourself helps make you the best parent you can be and role models the importance of self-care to your children. I am still working on setting and maintaining my boundaries every day and reflecting on what I need at the time. Sometimes its an evening out with friends or my husband, sometimes its some fresh air and my running shoes, other times its putting my phone on silent and hitting Netflix and the couch!
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
Asking for support can be hard but you just might find that you are in the same boat as many others! Remember there is no exact recipe to parenthood and sometimes its just a small little tweak or a fresh approach that makes everything click! And when it works, all that matters is that it WORKS!!
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