There seems to be an endless supply of services for helping babies get started on the right foot.
Helping babies feed better. Helping babies sleep better. Helping babies reach milestones.
But what about mom? New moms often need help juggling all of the new responsibilities that come with a new baby, but unless there is a medical problem, they're often left to figure it out on their own.
Enter Anna Gallup and Motion in Motherhood.
Anna realized she could use her skills and training as an occupational therapist to break down the everyday responsibilities and activities of motherhood and help new moms find ways to better manage their day to day lives with confidence.
I recently had a chance to talk to Anna about what she does and how she empowers new moms. Read a little of what we talked about below!
First of all, can you just give me an overview of the services you provide?
Motion in Motherhood is a holistic practice rooted in occupational therapy that is designed to empower expecting and new moms during their postpartum journey. We address:
-pain prevention and alleviation
-lactation and feeding support
-realistic goal-setting using time management and energy conservation techniques
-return to meaningful activities (intimacy, work, self-care, etc.) with decreased anxiety and sense of overwhelm
How do your services differ from other providers like a postpartum doula?
Our services help empower new moms by prioritizing their experience and helping them to achieve their postpartum goals from the start.
We take into consideration each mom's environment, support system, mental health, and physical abilities when setting goals and during all treatment sessions.
This holistic practice (rooted in occupational therapy) allows for us to break down individual activities and rebuild them in a way that is both achievable and realistic for mom.
For example, if mom is experiencing difficulties breastfeeding her infant, has neck pain, and is overwhelmed by her new routine, we would formulate individualized goals which address each concern and would help her to modify her routine to feel successful and confident - while preventing pain and overwhelm.
When is the best time for someone to begin working with you?
I highly recommend an initial visit during the 3rd trimester to help mom prepare for her transition into motherhood. Whether or not you complete this session before baby arrives, I recommend all moms schedule an evaluation within the first few weeks postpartum, and from there, we will schedule follow up sessions to ensure mom's goals are achieved.
Is it ever "too late" for a mom to benefit from your services?
No. Many say, "once postpartum, always postpartum." If you're a parent and are experiencing physical pain during your daily routine, having difficulty nourishing your child, feeling overwhelmed or anxious, having difficulty prioritizing yourself, or having trouble accomplishing meaningful activities and tasks, Motion in Motherhood is here for you.
How often do you meet with clients? Are you available virtually?
I recommend 1 visit before baby arrives, 1 evaluation postpartum, and typically 3-5 visits following the evaluation to ensure all of mom's goals are met and she is feeling confident in all areas. Because sessions are individually tailored to mom's goals, fewer or more sessions can be completed after the evaluation.
All sessions are currently offered virtually as well as in mom's home (depending on location).
What does a typical visit or session look like? What can clients expect?
During the 3rd trimester, we address what mom's transition into motherhood may look like. We discuss topics such as role transitions, breastfeeding, mental health changes that can occur postpartum, and how to effectively navigate those early postpartum days and weeks. We will create a postpartum plan together including goals, self-care strategies, and support systems available during the postpartum transition.
Our initial evaluation is completed postpartum (ideally within the first 1-3 weeks). During the evaluation, a thorough medical history is taken, feeding is assessed if desired, and together we formulate goals and a plan to help mom progress, ensuring her needs are met and that she is also being well cared for during her transition into early motherhood.
We will then complete several follow up sessions which include specialized education and practice, ensuring mom is able to accomplish her goals in a way that is both physically and emotionally fulfilling.