To support parents who value sleep for their child, their family, and individual selves during those early years through education, customized sleep plans, and support.
To normalize safe and healthy sleep in our society changing the narrative that exhaustion is normal during those first few years of parenthood and breaking down myths and misconceptions about sleep training in general.
Welcome to the Stork Community!
Here is my story!
I graduated from Missouri State University in 2011 with a B.S. in Biology and a Math Minor with my original plan being to become a zoologist or perhaps some sort of teacher. However, once I got out into the real world, I felt like something was missing. Little did I know that the several paths I have taken and people that I have met would lead me to where I am today! Here is my journey and how I am able to serve you ...
I started babysitting for a neighbor during the summer of 2001...when I was TWELVE years old. I don’t mean just a date night here or there. No. I was watching a newborn child from 6am to 6pm, Monday through Friday.
Overtime, babysitting for several families led to long-term nannying for a few. I began to believe in the importance of raising well-rounded children. However, with more families, I began to recognize the support and education for the parents themselves were just as important.
After years of experience as a nanny for newborn children up through preschool, I stumbled upon the term Postpartum Doula (PD). I did some research and BOOM! Back in 2014, I began studying with ProDoula, a professional doula certification agency and began work as an independent contractor for a local doula agency.
I imagined my days as a PD would consist of snuggling a baby, completing tasks around the house and building a relationship with the mother while answering any questions & building her confidence.
It wasn’t long before I discovered that most families hiring a PD desired overnight shifts. This meant I would go to a family’s house several nights a week around 9pm or 10pm, sleep in the same room as the newborn, and tend to the baby’s every waking until 7am or 8am.
MY STORK STORY
Now. If you have ever been in the same room as a sleeping newborn, you know newborns are frickin’...noisy...sleepers! Falling asleep was nearly impossible with all the smacking & grunting.
And if there was no noise? I would frantically hop out of bed and check to make sure that the baby was still breathing.
By the time I could get to sleep myself, either the baby would be waking for a feeding or I would wake due to paranoia thinking I heard crying.
After getting home from a shift, I would immediately pass out in my bed. It did not matter how many nights a week I worked. Even with just one night a week, I was always exhausted. My mind was foggy. I couldn’t focus on anything. I was irritable. I didn't feel like myself!
I began to wonder, "If I...someone who has no children, who gets to hand over the baby and go home to sleep for however long I wanted or needed. If I feel this way?! I cannot imagine what it is like for a parent experiencing this day in & day out, month after month, and sometimes year after year."
So, I wanted to learn what is normal for sleep development and how could I help families reach their sleep goals without exhausting myself. Because ya see? That lifestyle I was living was not a sustainable one!
Fast forward to June 2018 when I became a certified Child Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute. Not only did this program reassure me that I knew what I was talking about, but it has also given me a community of mentors and peers, updated and evidence-based material at my fingertips, and education/advice on how to help families to the best of my potential.
Now I support parents in a different way than I could ever have imagined!
Being an Infant & Toddler Sleep Consultant is such an honor for me. I get to impact more lives by working with multiple families and families all over the US. I get to hear some of the most authentic, raw emotions and thoughts from parents. We connect on a level that goes deeper than the surface from the very first conversation.
My passion is to empower you as a parent and individual during your first few steps through parenthood with compassionate support and evidence-based information! And I do this by using the elements of the EPS.
Sleep deprivation weighs down on individuals & families physically, mentally, emotionally, and economically. It affects relationships, health, productivity both at work & home and overall happiness & well-being.
With some googling, reading, & education I learned the ins & outs of Child Sleep Consulting. I bought the books required for a certification program with the intention of learning about sleep for my job as a Postpartum Doula.
After helping my sleep deprived friends back in my home state, Missouri, to improve their toddlers' sleep through education and support via email and phone, the light bulb turned on.
I decided to start practicing as an Infant & Toddler Sleep Consultant in addition to working as a Postpartum Doula.
CERTIFICATIONS AND AFFILIATIONS
Member and Certified Child Sleep Consultant of the Family Sleep Institute
Member of Peninsula Maternal Mental Health Coalition of Postpartum Support Virginia
Member of the Child Sleep Institute's Sleep Coach Collective
Reducing the Risk of SIDS and SUID in Early Education and Child Care Certification
Intersection of Sleep Training and Breastfeeding Training
Basics of Lactation Management Complete Nursing Course
Safe Care Consulting: Strengthening Partnerships with Childcare Providers Training
What does it mean to be a Certified Child Sleep Consultant?
Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits from Birth Through Early Childhood
Biological Sleep Milestones: Stages and Transitions
Common Sleeping Challenges and Solutions: Behavioral, Delayed Onset of Sleep, Crying, Fragmented Sleep, Parasomnias.
Working with Families of Children With Special Needs
Medical Conditions which Effect Sleep
The Incidence, Pathophysiology and Treatment of GERD During Infancy
Parent Coaching 101
Case Study Reviews
Intake Assessments, Evaluation, Creating Sleep Plans, Coaching Process and Support
Final Project with Three Different Families
What does it mean to be a Certified Postpartum Doula?
I participated in a 12-hour workshop and was required to meet specific requirement within a six-month time span to complete the ProDoula Postpartum Doula Certification, which consisted of the following...