Exploring Innovative Ways to Support New Parents in the Home
Although I've been working with new parents in well-baby nurseries and neonatal intensive care units since I was in medical school, it's been less than a year that I've been out in the "field" doing in-home visits. Being able to see firsthand the utter lack of postpartum support for new moms has been eye opening. Many new moms are struggling with breastfeeding, lack support from their own mothers and extended family, compare themselves to their friends with new babies on social media (and often feel inadequate), and have maternity leaves that are far, far too short.
My experiences doing newborn home visits have compelled me to try to do more to help change our broken postpartum system.
My two main goals for 2019 are the following:
1. Completing training to become an IBCLC (board-certified lactation consultant). To the best of my knowledge there is only one other IBCLC in the entire greater Cleveland area (2 million people) who does in-home lactation visits! I would like to offer combined in-home pediatric, maternal wellness, AND lactation visits/packages for the first 4-6 weeks postpartum. Through my combined visits mothers will be able to feed their babies in the comfort of their own home, instead of having to pack them up for additional office visits for lactation issues. My newborn medicine/lactation clients will also have the peace of mind that their newborns are being seen by an experienced pediatrician while feedings are assessed and troubleshooted. I vow to keep my rates as low as possible to be able to support all women (no matter their financial situation).
2. Offering unlimited phone call/text/email packages in which new parents can reach out to me for guidance and advice about their newborns as often as they need to. I initially only provided this service to my home visit clients, but realized that there is a growing market for parents to connect with a physician who is also a newborn specialist. My packages are available on a week-to-week basis and they can also be purchased as gifts for new parents.
If I can accomplish these two goals, while raising my 4 kids, working in a busy NICU, and continuing to do home visits, I will consider this year to be a great success. More to come....
In the meantime, please reach out to me if you would like to collaborate or talk: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!