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Saturday, May 2, 2015

Shop & Support Moms - MOOBABIES Lactation Support

I am so extremely excited to feature this awesome, incredibly smart and savvy mama, Samara Robertson! She is a nurse, educator and Certified Lactation Consultant. She started her company Moobabies this year and already is having great success! 

What I loved about reading her responses to my questions was that she seems SO honest, easygoing, motherly, and also non-threatening. I did not have a great experience with lactation "police," as I called them when I had my first child. I felt they pressured me, didn't hear me or listen to my concerns, and that they pressed breastfeeding no matter what, which was not supportive to me at that time. Hearing Samara's responses, I can tell that she's encouraging moms to breastfeed, but in a way that helps them accomplish THEIR personal goals as far as nursing or pumping goes. (As a mom who pumped exclusively, I was SO happy to read that she included those of us pumpers in her list of moms with goals!)

She is offering a wonderful discount for this entire year August-August 2016. Please take advantage of this support if you are or will be a new mom! 

I LOVE featuring strong, supportive, intelligent moms who are helping out other new mothers. I adore moms who are trying to work and stay at home with their children, by creating businesses that are right for them. 

Congrats and good luck, Samara! 



Images from Samara Robertson 

www.facebook.com/moobabies?fref=ts



1. How did you start your business? Why did you want your own business? When did you start your business?
My family and I have been moving around for a long time. A position at Portsmouth Regional Hospital opened up for my husband and I knew it was a sign to head back to New England and my hometown. Moving from state to state has made it hard for me to delve into my career as a trained Certified Nurse Midwife.  I have been teaching nursing at an online University but I have always aspired to serve women and families in a time I define as transformative; those first three months of an infant’s life.  

I find incredible joy in helping mothers and families navigate the postpartum period. Postpartum care in our country is incredibly lacking and I feel I can make a difference in this deficit with my training, personal experience, and passion.

While working on my business model for the past few months my friends and family applauded my idea to open my own practice. Their confidence in me and my goals helped me take the plunge. I had planned to officially open when my family and I moved to the NH Seacoast in August of 2015. My Facebook page led to both friends and acquaintances contacting me about helping them with their immediate breastfeeding needs. I hit the ground running and actively started my Moobabies lactation service.


2. Why was this business a perfect situation for you and your family?
Starting my own business matched both my family needs and my professional goals. Moobabies allows me to schedule my own hours and work around the needs of my family. I can work outside the normal business hours to meet my client’s needs as well.


3. What does your business specialize in? What's your favorite product you
sell?
My goal is to work individually with each family to create a breastfeeding plan that is right for them. 

I know as mothers we often try to fit ourselves into “boxes” but this is just not realistic. Breastfeeding is hard and takes work, sweat, and definitely tears but the reward is incredible for both mother and baby. 

I plan  to specialize in women returning to work. I provide a service where I work one on one with mom to create a schedule at home and at work to ensure milk supply remains high through the stressful transition. Every mom has a different goal in how long they plan to breastfeed, I want to be able to support her and get her to whatever that goal may be. I also work with employers to ensure that the laws for breastfeeding moms are being followed. I provide a detailed letter to your employer on the benefits to mom, baby and their business.

Another specialty and passion of mine is helping mothers suffering from postpartum depression. The number of women who suffer from postpartum depression is much higher than literature once reported and can last much longer. 

I want women to know that there is help out there and not to suffer alone. 

I find it so upsetting that once a mother leaves the hospital she does not see her care provider for six weeks post-delivery. There are no preventative care measures to help women during such a life changing and challenging time.


I have a service right now where a mother can reach out to Moobabies and I can send her a postpartum depression screening tool, I will score it and help her find postpartum support in her community. For many mothers in those first weeks and months of infancy making an appointment seems insurmountable. I take this hurdle out of the equation and will set up an appointment for her and be a liaison to getting the help she needs. At this time the only charge for this service is a donation to a non-profit group “Every Mother Counts” because I feel it is so important.  I plan to become a certified counselor in postpartum depression down the line and paired with my Advanced Practice Nursing License I can work with moms on finding the right medications if necessary.


Right now I do not sell products through my site. I may do so down the line but currently I want to put time into helping moms and babies. I am currently attending the GOLD online lactation conference to increase my knowledge in the most up to date research.



4. What do you love best about working this business?

I am a caregiver and there is nothing that gives me more joy and purpose then helping a mom and baby make what I think is an incredibly sacred connection.  

I also love learning; any opportunity I get to attend a conference and speak to other lactation consultants about their experiences I do. Staying current is so important to ensure I am providing current information and the best care to my clients.


5. When do you work in the day/evening? What is your goal with this
business?
I see myself working day and evenings to meet the needs of my clients but also respecting the needs of my family (which I know will be a challenge). I have big goals! I hope to become a name in the NH Seacoast for helping women achieve their breastfeeding goals. I want Moobabies to be a place where women can find solid and up to date information. 

I have plans to create a corporate lactation program where I work with local companies to design lactation rooms and employee lactation support packages. 

I plan on releasing two online courses. Breastfeeding 101 will be a course that takes what you learn in childbirth education to the next level. I am also working on an infant sleep course which I am really excited about! The class will not be a step by step on how to get your child to sleep but details on what is normal infant sleep and what to expect in that first year. What is safe co-sleeping and what does the research say about “cry it out”. I wish I had taken a course on this with my first!!!  My experience as an online Faculty member has really taught me some great skills so why not marry the two and create informative courses for moms and partners to take in the comfort of their own home?!


My last goal is to give back to the community. I hope Moobabies will be able to work with local organizations to improve infant and maternal outcomes. I hope to provide volunteer services to teen mothers and single mothers who really need that extra support and guidance through the postpartum period.


6. Take me through your typical day at work.
My typical day isn’t clear yet since I am just starting, but I see myself making home visits during the week and providing online and phone consultations. Like most moms I will work through emails early in the morning to get ready for the day and probably have a few drop offs in-between patient visits. I love Skype and it’s amazing what you can do over the internet these days so this is a great option for a mom who may only have a few questions she needs answered. However nothing can replace the intimacy of a home visit. I come into your home and really have an opportunity to assess you and your baby in your own environment.



7. What is your success rate? What are customers saying about their
experience?
Success rate it difficult to answer because everyone’s definition of success is so different. One mom may only have a goal of breastfeeding for three weeks, another may only want to pump milk for her baby, another it may be to breastfeed for two years. Success to me is so individual! But I hope my success rate is 100%. Where there is a will there is a way right?


You can find some of my testimonials on my website www.moobabies.com.


8. Why do you think people should consider working with a lactation
consultant?

I think all women should see a lactation consultant in the first 48 hours of their baby’s life. Most of the local hospitals have LC’s on staff which is wonderful. My services are great for a mother who once home still needs help or is dealing with a more serious issue. 

If there is any pain with breastfeeding contact an LC immediately. Pain is the number one reason for a women to stop breastfeeding and is usually a sign of an issues with the babies latch. It’s amazing what a little support can do for a woman’s comfort and confidence. If a mom is unsure if she really needs a home visit she can call me for a phone consult and she can decide if a home visit is right. 

Many insurance companies now cover lactation services up to a certain dollar amount so I suggest all mothers call to find out their policy. Because I am a Certified Nurse Midwife I am an out of network provider for all health insurance plans. Moms are more likely to be reimbursed through insurance because of my advanced degree, which is exciting. My services are probably more expensive than other local lactation consultants, but I am not only assessing the breastfeeding needs but the physical needs of both mom and baby. I have a great deal of education and I will work with a family to provide the utmost of care.
9. What is your hope that they will benefit from this experience working with you?

I hope that every mom who works with me comes away empowered in their decision to breastfeed. Being a mother is an exhilarating and frightening experience, especially for new mothers. 

We don’t live in a culture where we surround ourselves with family and friends the way women used to raise children. We often feel isolated and alone in our struggles. I want women to go away from a visit with me knowing there is a new member to their “village”. I have been through many challenges myself and have many more to experience, but knowing we are not alone and there are other women enduring the same struggles reminds women of our strength. 

I want to bring out that strength and power in every women I am privileged to work with.


10. What are your favorite moments so far of how you feel you've been able
to help moms with nursing?
I worked with a mom who recently returned to work. She lived in another state and had one week to work with me to prepare. We worked together to create a plan for pumping at work but also a schedule for her daughter with her nanny. Her daughter had a lot of sleep issues and while I am not a sleep expert I was able to help her find a plan that worked for her and her family to get through one of the biggest adjustments of her life. 

It is always so rewarding to see a mother do something she thinks is impossible. 

This mom returned to work and has been able to continue to breastfeed her daughter since day one. There is nothing better than being a part of that success!


11. How does your business allow you to be a great mother?
My business allows me to be a great mother for a number of reasons. It allows me to be flexible and accommodate the needs of my own children. I can make their breakfast, put them down for naps, have a silly dance party, but also it allows me to do something I find personally fulfilling. The happier I am with myself the better a mom that I can be. I feel proud to have given my girls a great gift of breastfeeding and I hope that one day they find pride and inspiration in knowing their mother helped other moms and babies have that same gift.



12. What do you think would surprise readers to know about you?
I think readers would be surprised that although my resume looks impressive I too have moments of weakness like any mom. I don’t know it all and I ask for help when I need it. I LOVE being a mother but there are those moments when even I am not sure I can get through the day! I just remember that I am not alone in those feelings and look to friends and family for support through those hard times.


12. What is the coolest thing you've ever experienced as part of working
with this business?
Breastmilk is incredible! The science behind breastfeeding and the new research that comes out just motivates me to learn more. Did you know that women who breastfeed have lower risk of all cardiac disease, lower blood pressure and lower risk of a heart attack and that these benefits last well into menopause! The composition of breastmilk is constantly changing which I find fascinating. The milk a baby gets in the morning and night differ in their composition as does the milk a one month old gets versus a one year old. It is just incredible that our milk changes based on the needs of our infant.


13. What is a personal story of yours of how lactation specialists either
helped or did not help you with nursing?
I used a lactation consultant for both my children. I had my second just six months ago and I went to see my local lactation consultant to help me with my latch and over supply. Even with all my knowledge I knew that I needed that extra help to ensure everything was going according to plan. The support from her was amazing and it got me through those first two weeks of getting to know my baby.


14. How many kids do you have? Give us one word to describe them.
I have two girls. Adeline is three years old and Eloise is six months old. Adeline: Compassion and drama. Eloise: tranquility and determination.


15. What is your advice to someone who is pregnant or just starting with
nursing? Anything they can do to prepare themselves?

If you are pregnant and planning to breastfeed I advise you to “build your village”. Find the friends and family members who can be your support system after you have your baby. 

Don’t allow visitors that are not immediate family for the first two weeks. Set limits to even your close family, you can blame it on Moobabies. Those first few weeks are a crucial time for you and your baby to learn this special dance, don’t feel guilty about saying no. If someone asks how they can help tell them to bring or make food and always ask them to pick something up on the way over. Lower any expectations for productivity in those first weeks of life. Your only job is to eat, sleep and feed your baby.

I suggest reading over the information at www.kellymom.com. This is an incredible resource for all those questions you have at 2 am when everyone on Facebook is asleep. Take a deep breath and remember you can do this!


16. Anything else you want to add?
To all the moms out there if you don’t call Moobabies, call someone. Don’t go it alone. The first three months of a babies life is such an amazing time but it is also incredibly exhausting. 

Check out my Facebook page “moobabies” for updates and interesting research on breastfeeding. Contact me through my website www.moobabies.com or moobabieslactation@gmail.com. I can work with moms all over the country so please tell your friends! 

I will give a 20% one time discount on any service to mommy stories readers valid from August 2015 – August 2016. 

Thank you so much for this opportunity to share information about myself and my new business. I couldn’t be more excited to be going back home and starting this exciting journey with Moobabies.

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