Vanessa McFarlane, RN
Tell us about your own journey and how your experiences have changed the way you look at motherhood and parenting.
As a NICU nurse, my practice has always been focused around family centred care, whereby I focus on facilitating and encouraging the bond between mother and child. I have always felt so privileged to be apart of the most intimate moment of people's lives as they welcome the birth of their babies. I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but I was nervous. The moment my daughter was born, I couldn't remember life before her in it. Becoming a mother has been the most rewarding albeit challenging role I've ever experienced and it has humbled me. Empathy and compassion have always been at the forefront in my practice and becoming a mother has strengthened these attributes.
Tell us a little about your nursing career.
I have always been passionate about babies therefore it was a natural fit to focus my nursing education in neonatal intensive care. Over the years I have gained invaluable experience working with infants and their families. I developed a passion for education and working with mothers.
What are the two most important lessons you've learned working with moms, babies, and families?
Over the years I have worked with all different types of families with varying backgrounds.I have learned that every scenario is unique and the way to provide the best care is to listen empatheticlly because each person has their own experiences and stories.
I have also learned that it can be common for mothers to internalize theirs expectations and fears thus it is part of my role to provide support as they navigate through their own unique experience of motherhood.
If you had one bit of advice to give to a new parent, what would it be?
It is ALWAYS okay to ask for help!
Self-care is a big challenge for parents. How do you maintain your own energy and outlook?
I try to take time to reflect on my feelings and when I'm feeling overwhelmed or burning out, I seek support from my partner, family and friends. I used to have Mom guilt about taking time for myself, however I have learned that I am a much better mother, wife, friend, sister and daughter when I'm rested and relaxed!
Is there anything we've missed that you'd like to share with Mama Coach clients?
A little about me: I am a mother to my lovely daughter, June. My husband and I have a passion with traveling with our little family. We also love living in the Fraser valley, you can often find us hiking, playing in the river or at one of the beautiful parks!
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