Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You’re going back to work and you’ve decided on the Nanny Route

By Lindsay Heller, Psy.D. , Licensed Clinical Psychologist and former nanny of 10 years.

As a new mom, just thinking about the process of going back to work for the first time after baby can be difficult to ponder. Not only are there many emotions involved with entrusting someone with the care of your baby, there are many practical issues to sort out as well.

By the time you are in the second trimester of your pregnancy, you should have an idea as to what your childcare situation is going to look like. Whether you will be planning to go back to work within months of giving birth or are planning to stay home full-time you need to think about what type of help you will need.

Never fear! With a little preparation, this transition can run smoothly and relatively painlessly. The most important first step is to dedicate yourself to this process. If you find yourself not wanting to deal with it, and maybe even being in denial of this process, talk with someone about it. If you make decisions about this process feeling that way, they will not be the best decisions and you may end up having to come back and revisit the process in a few months, which will just wreak havoc on your household, emotions and hinder your ability to find balance between work life and home life.

In the case that you opt to put your baby in daycare, here are some quick tips to consider:
  • Make sure the daycare is properly licensed
  • Inquire about the daily schedule
  • Find out the ratio of adults to children
  • Find out the other ages of the children in their care. How many other infants are there
  • Speak with a current parent who has their child in daycare at the same daycare.

When considering the nanny route, the next step involves finding the right nanny for your family. This is a very important step in ensuring that you find someone who is a great fit for your family long-term. Here’s a checklist for success:

  • Identify your families needs
  • Develop a job description,
  • Screen applicants
  • Conduct interviews
  • Have a try-out period
  • Conduct a background check
  • Make decision to hire
  • Develop a work agreement

Once you find your Mary Poppins, here are some tips to ease the process of returning to work:

Start your nanny before you go back to work. Practice being away from your baby – not only to check out the nanny but also so that you can get used to the idea of being away from your child. This can be a difficult transition that will definitely be eased if done slowly.

Self care list - Many moms are unprepared to fill their time once they have a little help. Plan ahead and develop a self-care list that becomes a “Mommy must-do list” Get out to that yoga class you have been meaning to go to. See a movie. Hang out with your girlfriends.

Get support. This can be a tough process – you don’t have to be super woman. Talk about your feelings related to this process.

Bank it - Start freezing breast milk sooner than later in anticipation of this process. Having a frozen breast milk stash will help by providing options and flexibility once you make the transition back to work. Planning for this will also prevent you from having a breast milk panic a week before returning to work.

Develop a system to communicate with your nanny about your baby. Whether it’s a white board or a notebook log, find out what works for your family. This is not only practical but will be an invaluable journal to accompany your child’s baby book with written daily accounts of your baby’s first year.

Stay connected. Have your nanny take pictures of your baby or video while you are at work. Some of these pictures she could even e-mail straight from her phone to your desktop at work. Call and check in at the same time each day.

For more details and secrets to finding the right nanny for your family attend “Find the Right Nanny for Your Family” Hot Topics Class at the Santa Monica Pump Station & Nurtury. Call 310-998-1981 and sign-up now.

This class will provide you with strategies for finding a nanny as well as maintaining your nanny long-term. Join other moms to discuss fears, concerns, and questions regarding hiring a nanny. Receive helpful take-home handouts including a comprehensive list of questions to ask at every phase of interviewing, reference checking and a step-by-step road map to ensure you take the right steps to find the right nanny for your family! If you are currently looking for childcare, don't miss this essential class!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Pump Station Babies!

Ok, let's face it - we all think we have the cutest (and most precocious) baby on the block - well at the Pump Station & Nurtury - we believe you! You do have the cutest and most precocious baby!

With that said, we invite you to send us your own personal Baby Bio! Send us a great picture of your baby or a friends and then include a little information about him or her. Does your baby have a nickname? a favorite food? a favorite vacation spot or even a favorite sports team? Baby Bios should be under 220 Characters long. Photos may be cropped to fit in the allotted space.

Send your photo to info@pumpstation.com.

My name is Wilder. I am 7 months old. I like to eat squash, peas and pears. I love to go for walks in my moby wrap with dad and play peek-a-boo with mom.
» View more

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Breaking the Cycle of Mommy Competition Can Help Raise A Mom’s Self-Esteem

Don’t you just cringe when you hear your neighbor say, “My child slept through the night and he’s only six weeks old!” or “Wow, I can fit into my Levi’s now” and she only had her baby a few months ago? Granted, we all want to be excited for moms who have a fairly easy time with their babies; however, if you are going to do a little bragging of your own (which is a God-given right as a mommy!) follow up by talking about an area in which you are pretty lame. A perfect mom is hard for anyone to bond with. We feel we can never live up to that type of mother so we shy away from intimidation.

However, a mother who is confident and a tad self-deprecating is alluring. She shows us her strengths as well as her weaknesses, which allows others to bond with her in a non-competitive way. The more women continue the cycle of female or mommy competition the less chances we have to build a universal female support system.

Women need women. Little girls need to be taught to celebrate the successes of other girls while still embracing their differences. If women support other women, and I mean confident women, then our daughters will learn that there is no place for clique-ish, catty behavior and that others who exceed far beyond us shall be applauded. This stance starts in the home and is taught by mothers.

Need a ‘pick-me-up?’ Read Kimberley Clayton Blaine’s new book, Mommy Confidence: 8 Easy Steps to Reclaiming Balance, Motivation and Your Inner Diva. Kimberley is a national parenting expert and a licensed Family and Child Therapist who specializes in working with children ages newborn to six years old. Kimberley is the founder and executive producer of a grassroots webshow, called www.TheGoToMom.TV. Kimberley is a national speaker and teaches Early Childhood Brain Development and Positive Discipline Strategies at UCLA Extension Education Department. Visit www.MommyConfidence.com

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sleep Tips for Daylight Savings this Sunday!

Spring Ahead Without
Falling Behind on Sleep
Daylight Savings this Sunday, March 8

Before bed, turn clocks ahead 1 hour. If your child normally sleeps till 6:30 AM, the next morning she will likely sleep till 7:30 AM. If you're happy about this change, great! Just protect her room from too much light in the early morning, and use white noise so she won't wake with the birds.

If you'd rather help your child get back to her usual schedule, try the following:

1. Put your child down at her regular bedtime, say 7:30 PM, on Saturday night.

2. Set your alarm for 6:30 AM (according to the new clock) and wake your child at this time. To her, it will feel like it's 5:30 AM, but don't worry. She'll be tired, but she'll adjust.

3. If your child naps, put her down at her normal nap time according to the new clock and resume a normal schedule from there. Don't allow her to nap longer than usual.

4. On Sunday night, put her down at her usual bedtime according to the new time.

Excerpt from The Sleepeasy Solution: The Exhausted Parent's Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep -- from Birth to Age 5.

Winner of the iParenting Media Award!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Customer Service – Are you Dissatisfied? Disappointed?

Jessica Sacher MN, RN, IBCLC
Corky Harvey MS, RN, IBCLC
Wendy Haldeman MN, RN, IBCLC

2008 was a tough year for everyone and it’s no surprise to anyone that 2009 has gotten off to a rocky start! Everywhere you look you see headlines emphasizing the loss of jobs and homes across the country. Is there an end in sight? We constantly hear reports of customer service dropping off due to reductions in staffing everywhere. This has got us thinking – are we meeting your expectations?

Have you been Dissatisfied or Disappointed with the customer service you are getting when you shop? Who among us has not been? Who hasn’t gone shopping and encountered a less than helpful sales person? Truth is, we all have had these experiences.

Businesses everywhere want their customer satisfaction ratings to be high. We at the Pump Station are no exception. Corky, Wendy and I have poured our hearts and souls into making the Pump Station what it is. We are proud that we have become a resource for new parents, and that we have successfully helped so many mothers over the years achieve their breastfeeding goals.

When things don’t go well either with a business transaction or a private consultation, we want to know about it. Should we fall short in your expectations, we want to hear from you!
Should we exceed your expectations we would also love to hear from you! We love to share these types of success stories with our team!

To facilitate this we have created a special customer service email CustomerService@PumpStation.com

This email will be monitored daily and it will allow you to contact us so that your concerns can be handled. You do matter to us, and we want you to leave the Pump Station & Nurtury™ feeling that we met your needs and that you felt taken care of in the best sense of the word. It is our goal to continue to meet the needs of new mothers and their babies, and to help you transition into this new and wonderful world of motherhood.

In this difficult economy we want to reach out and say Thank You to all of our clients who we have been able to help over the years. We wish you all the best in weathering the storm out there during this difficult economic climate.

In appreciation - we’d like to extend to you a very special offer to say Thank You!

From March 3rd thru March 9th – we invite you to shop our stores or our website and take advantage of the special offer on the coupon attached.

Thanks for supporting us for all these Years!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Casting Call Los Angeles: Mommie Matters… What matters to Moms

Hey New Pump Station Mommies who are Breastfeeding!
We are currently in the process of looking for a diverse group of about 30-40 new mothers and their babies to participate in the taping of the Pump Station's new production about Moms for Moms. (Babies must be between 2 weeks and 8 months old at time of filming)

Mommie Matters- “What Matters to Moms”™  will be a series of 3-5 minute webisodes devoted to exploring the feelings, fears, frustrations and solutions to the ultimate joy of being a new mother.

These moms will join us for breastfeeding support groups in a relaxed atmosphere  where they will be asked to discuss all the issues and questions that confront women during this age-old, life changing event.

The hosts of these webisodes will be Corky Harvey MS, RN, CLC and Wendy Haldeman MN, RN, CLC. Corky and Wendy are mothers, registered nurses, breastfeeding experts and co-owners of the The Pump Station & Nurtury™ with stores in Santa Monica and Hollywood California.

Each webisode would be created from longer pre-taped sessions with Wendy and Corky hosting new moms and their babies in a Breastfeeding Support Group setting.  The webisodes would then be streamed on the www.PumpStation.com,  Facebook, Youtube and other media where it can be of help to Moms.

4 Sessions - Saturday March 21st and Sunday March 22nd
12noon-3pm  - 0-4 month old babies
2pm-5pm - 4-8 month old babies
(Selected participants will only be asked to attend one session  based
their babies age at the time of filming)

Hollywood Pump Station & Nurtury
1248 Vine St.
Corner of Fountain and Vine

Each mom/baby who participates will receive a $50 Pump Station gift card, lunch and refreshments - plus free breastfeeding & mothering advice from Wendy & Corky! 

How to Apply: 
If you are interested in being part of this new Pump Station Production please send us an email with a little information about you and your baby and a photo.  Applications must be sent to MommieMatters@PumpStation.com by end of day Monday March 9th.  Moms who are invited to participate will be notified via email by Friday March 13th Please include your phone number in your email communication, in case we need to call you for more information.

All participants will be required to sign release forms the day of taping.