Michana comes to the Hush Little Baby team with a wealth of knowledge and experience in many different avenues of newborn care. Michana is one of Hush Little Baby’s most sought after Newborn Care Specialists and we are so lucky to have her on the team!
Where are you originally from and how did you get into the newborn care profession?
I was born in Altoona, PA but have lived in Southern Maryland since I was only a few months old. I was introduced to the world of newborn care randomly. I was searching for a new career and happened to stumble upon a newborn care specialist job posting. It sounded to good to be true. Four and a half years later here I am still loving every second of the newborn care world.
What is the greatest compliment you’ve ever received from a client?
My first client has become a very close friend who I now consider family. Little Baby “A” was born 2 months premature with a dislocated hip and clubfeet. Needless to say she had a lot going on and needed lots of help. I went in and cared for Baby “A” like she was my own and formed a bond with the mom and baby. The mom started calling me “Momma-Michana” and it has stuck. Baby “A” will be 5 in October and still calls me “Momma-Michana”. This is the greatest compliment anyone could ever give me because it truly showed the amount of trust and love they shared for me and me for them.
Do you specialize in a particular area of newborn care?
I do. I have attended the Newborn Care Training course through The Newborn Care Training Academy. I am certified as a Lactation Counselor and Child Passenger Technician. I have been trained as a Post-Partum Doula through DONA as well as a Sleep Consultant through the International Maternity and Parenting Institute. I pride myself in prenatal education and postpartum education.
What do you enjoy about working with new families?
I love being able to go to a new family’s home and help them with their transition from hospital to home with their new bundle of joy. I like to be in the home night one to answer those burning, got to know, unsure questions that many new parents have. Most of the time the new parents are coming home and they are so exhausted. Lets be honest, NO ONE gets any sleep in the hospital. I love the one on one support I get to give to new parents as they enter in this great new adventure of being a mom or dad.
Tell us a little about your educational background. What degrees or certifications do you have?
I have my certification as a Certified Nursing Assistant, Medical Assistant and Lactation Counselor. I am CPR certified as well. I am currently enrolled in an Occupational Therapy Assistant program and will graduate in January 2016 with my Associates. I plan on specializing in pediatrics with special needs and prematurity and would love to work in the NICU as an OTA while continuing to work as a Newborn Care Specialist. I will also be obtaining my certification in Sensory Integration and Infant Feeding and Swallowing once graduating and passing my boards. I am planning to take an Infant massage class in 2016.
Let’s talk newborns: what is your favorite part about caring for newborns?
I like to refer to myself as a Professional Baby Snuggler, ha-ha. Who wouldn’t want a job where you get to snuggle up to a baby and give them extra TLC? That is without a doubt my favorite part of being a Newborn Care Specialist!
Have you ever had to overcome a unique challenge as a newborn care provider? How did you solve it?
Working as a Newborn Care Specialist you get to meet all sorts of people from different parts of the world with different cultures. Sometimes it can be challenging until you either educate yourself on that specific culture. I’ve learned that strong communication with the family helps to overcome this and learn their care preferences.
If there were one thing you wish everyone knew about newborn care specialists, what would it be?
We are not “babysitters”. We offer so much more than a baby sitter offers. We provide lots of education, lactation support, postpartum support and much, much more.
How has being a mother impacted your career caring for newborns?
Being a mother has impacted my career to care for newborns in such a strong way. My son was born at 30 weeks and weighed 3lbs. 1.7 oz. He spent 2 months in the NICU and came home 3 days after his due date with oxygen and an apnea monitor. I not only have school education to support my career but also personal experience. I not only relate with parents who have a baby or babies in the NICU but also those moms recovering from a C-section and the whole pumping experience. My son is now a healthy 14 year old and you would never know he was premature by looking at him.
How would you characterize your approach to newborn care and working with new mothers?
I have a very “go with the flow” approach. I go in and find out what the parents’ expectations are and then we work from there. Of course I love sharing my knowledge and experience with new parents, but ultimately it is their decision if they want to utilize the information.
What do you enjoy about being on the Hush Little Baby Team?
I have been on the HHLB team now since March 2013 and have loved every minute. I have had the opportunity to attend training courses with Haleigh and some of the other HHLB team members. I love being able to collaborate with other team members, as we all do not have the exact same approach. We have a great team of ladies and I look forward to our team meetings when I get to see everyone. I have met some amazing women who I am proud to work with. We all share the same goal of providing amazing newborn care and support to our HHLB families.
What do you enjoy outside of caring for newborns?
I enjoy spending time with my amazing boyfriend, our puppy Bailey, my fun spirited son, and my family/friends. Going to the beach &/or pool, snowboarding, enjoying a glass of wine or a margarita and just having fun.
Share a fun fact about yourself!
My favorite show is “The Big Bang Theory”. It’s a great way to relax and wind down after a long day.