Having a baby can be overwhelming for even the most-prepared parents but the Mama Coach and a local nurse are looking to make it a little less stressful.
Founded in 2016 by Carrie Bruno, a registered nurse, the Mama Coach has expanded from a small operation in western Canada to a country-wide business seeking to help new moms with not only lactation and breastfeeding but also sleeping issues and allergies.
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Each branch of the company usually involves one nurse who will come to the family’s home and work one-on-one with new parents to help address any issues they might have.
Ottawa’s branch is Antea Corluka, a registered nurse with over a decade of experience working in Ottawa and two little ones of her own. Being a parent is one of the requirements for becoming a coach so that the nurses have not only professional expertise but also personal.
“With me, a family gets to know me and we build a strong rapport and connection during pregnancy and I can follow them through after their baby arrives to help with breastfeeding, sleep, and newborn care,” said Corluka in an interview with Global News.
“They don’t feel rushed and they feel well-supported and taken care of with my home visits and many follow-up calls and emails.”
While Ottawa Public Health does offer a program that will have a nurse come to your home, it’s only for patients with a previous issue that has been identified in a hospital. The Public Health classes are only offered in large groups, and according to Corluka, have long wait times.
“It’s like comparing apples and oranges,” said Corluka. “Our services are not the same and Public Health is unfortunately not as comprehensive so I’m excited to be offering services that families deeply crave.”
While there are, in fact, wait times when it comes to OPH classes, Donna Casey, program and project management officer for OPH, says disputes the length.
“While some of OPH’s prenatal classes have wait times, OPH always tries to accommodate clients at different locations,” said Casey.
According to Corluka, new moms aren’t in the hospital long enough before lactation begins and new problems tend to arise after the mom is already home.
According to Corluka, whose day job is a nurse at the birthing unit at a hospital here in the city, new moms are only in hospital for an average of 34 hours for a vaginal birth and 48 hours for a caesarean section.
One of the hardest parts of becoming a new parent is dealing with a lack of sleep. While this is a normal part of having a baby, Corluka offers help to mitigate some of the issues parents can come across with babies who have trouble falling or staying asleep.
Liz Wardhaugh is a new parent, and she and her husband were having difficulty with their baby’s sleep patterns so they called Corluka.
“As brand new parents, we lacked confidence in having our son sleep independently at night and sleeping for naps on his own,” said Wardhaugh. “We learned how to watch for signs he was tired and when to put him to sleep. It was difficult at first and seemed overwhelming, but it was worth it.”
Costs depend on the service offered.
A prenatal class in the home is $250. The class is four-hours long and covers anything the family would want to talk about such as labour and delivery, epidurals, pain relief, breastfeeding and other common issues with the newborn.
A sleep package that is offered up until the child goes to school is $400 for two full weeks of support. It includes a preliminary assessment, an hour-long consultation and two weeks of help via phone or email.
The program is available from prenatal to four years old, and the older the child, the less focus there is on the length of sleep but more on sleep boundaries, like their own bed versus Mom and Dad’s bed.
For more information on what the Mama Coach offers, visit their website.
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