pregnancy & postpartum

newborn care


- dr. patricia

As a mother and doctor I understand better than most the challenges faced by new parents. I'd love to support you!

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Whether you are driven by finances, career goals, or familial obligation; returning to work after maternity leave is PAINFUL. Emotionally and physically. You just spent the better part of a year growing another person within your body. You protected them, nourished them, and cherished a special bond unlike any other. It is difficult to express in words what it feels like when you are forced to separate from someone who literally was a part of you. This struggle is magnified by the delicate innocence of childhood. Everything within you wants to hold your child close, protect them from harm, and celebrate every milestone. Unfortunately, the financial structure of most homes makes this impossible. Mother’s are forced to return to work while their babies are still newborns. This intense struggle has been termed “mom guilt,” but it is so much more then guilt. It is a feeling of shear inadequacy– you want to be mommy 100% of the time while simultaneously providing for the family, preparing all the meals, AND keeping the house looking immaculate.
I spent the 20 years prior to the birth of our son picturing a life where I worked 5 days a week and came home to cuddle my baby before bed, then cherished weekends as a family. But the moment Luke was born that image shattered. He is my beating heart outside my body and I immediately wanted to be with him every minute of every day. Working as a doctor went from my dream, to something that prevented me from being with my son.
I knew I needed balance, a way to nourish both my career and my maternal bond. Thankfully, I was looking to start a new job at the time so I was able to make it clear I was only interested in part time work and return to work slowly. My first day back at work Luke was 16 weeks old and exclusively breastfed (more on that later). The first month I only worked 1 day per week, and even that was excruciating. My first day at work, I texted and called hourly to ensure Luke wasn’t screaming inconsonsolably. He did excellent! I held him the rest of the night. Each proceeding week the separation became a little better, but it has never lost it’s sting. Eventually, I picked up more shifts until I found the balance I was searching for. Two or three days each week Luke spends time with a family friend while I take care of children at a pediatric clinic. Although, I still deeply miss Luke when we are separated, I actually find I am a better mother because of this balance. I never knew how nice it would be being able to use the restroom alone and getting to eat my meal while it is still warm!!!
The biggest challenge I faced during my return to work was that Luke refused all bottles. It didn’t matter the shape of the nipple, temperature of the milk or who offered it. He refused it with venom! To prevent my 4 month old from becoming dehydrated his babysitter resorted to feeding Luke with a medicine syringe. When we were finally reunited he would nurse immediately and cluster feed for the rest of the evening!  When he became hungry he would cry for hours on end each day I worked and I felt like I was starving my child. Every week I prayed he would take a bottle, he never did… Relief came when Luke was about 6 months old and able to eat solids, between babyfood and an ounce of water his hunger was kept at a manageable level until we were reunited. THEN at about 9 months old I learned about Kabrita! This is not an ad, it is our honest story. Kabrita is a goats milk formula which is easy on the belly and sweet like breastmilk; Luke LOVED it! Imagine my surprise that Luke would happily drink this formula from a bottle, but only wanted breast milk straight from the tap. With the help of Kabrita and a variety of solid foods, Luke was no longer Hungary, and my son learned to look forward to his time at the babysitter and playing with his friends.
Separation from your child may never feel natural, and has never gotten easy, but balance is the key. If your finances allow try to return to work slowly. Also if possible look for childcare near your place of work so that you can breast or bottle feed your baby on breaks. Those sweet snuggles will help carry you through the hours you are a part. You can do this mama!