Tell us a bit about who you are and what you do. Please include your business name and your role.
I am Traci Martin-Robinson, a Certified Nurse Midwife who works at Baby+Company in Charlotte. Baby+Company is a freestanding network of birth centers providing out of hospital birth services in collaboration with healthcare systems. In Charlotte, we collaborate with Novant Health. My role as a midwife and provider at Baby+Company is to help women and families through all stages of their life including preconception care, prenatal care, labor and birth, postpartum, and well woman care.
What prompted you to get into this business? Was there a particular revelation or experience that compelled you to move forward with your plans?
I have spent years educating and empowering women before, during, and after childbearing years. My passion for out of hospital birth has always been the motivation for pursuing my childhood dream of being a midwife. I worked as a labor and delivery nurse for years before I finally got the courage to apply for midwifery school. Every birth I have ever witnessed has played a major role in my motivation to move forward and complete my midwifery education.
How many years of experience do you have in either your business or the baby/mommy industry? And yes, parenting definitely counts!
I have been a mom to my precious son for 6 years now! Being a boy mom has definitely given me many experiences I cherish. Shortly after he was born, I got involved in maternity care as a RN and later became a nurse midwife. I started working at Baby+Company in Charlotte in June, 2016. Before that I was involved with a birth center in the greater Houston, TX area - my hometown – and there I also worked in a busy labor and delivery unit of the hospital.
What’s your favorite thing about working in the baby/mommy industry? What fuels your love for it?
My favorite things about working in this industry is watching women become mothers for the first time and again when they add a new addition to the family. The growth I witness and the empowerment I am able to help them feel really fuels my soul.
What baby/mommy product do you recommend the most? What are some of your other favorites? Why?
I love cloth diapers! I have many favorite brands and recommend them when I can. Although they can be intimidating, once you are educated on them, it is pretty simple. They are good for the babies and the earth. I also love recommending home-made baby food using breastmilk as a primary source of nutrients long after exclusive breastfeeding stops.
What is your number one piece of advice for new moms?
There are many “right” and different ways to raise a child, but you can only do what you can do. Try to keep big decisions less stressful by deciding what is right for YOUR family at the time and try to surround yourself with positive influences and supportive friends and family.
What would you say is the hardest part about being a parent? If you aren’t a parent yourself, what do you think is the hardest part?
Never knowing if you are making the right decision for your child because there are so many options and opinions out there. I have learned to let go of some of the things I imagined I would be or do before I had my son. Times change, things change, kids change, and parents evolve. The only thing that stays the same is you being their mom. You were meant to be their mom for some reason, so your way must be right for them!
In your experience, what helps the most in the first 12 weeks postpartum?
Having a large support system. Also, having a plan for taking care of simple things like household chores, meal prepping, and child care, especially if you plan to go back to work. I love when new parents come up with plans and split up task to make the postpartum days run smooth.
Share your respectful insights on a hot button topic (bottle vs. nursing, co-sleeping, pacifiers, paternity leave, or any topic you’re most passionate about).
As with any hot topic there are many different ways to do things. For example, not all moms can or want to breastfeed and that is OK. We all have choices and reasons for our choices that maybe the general public has no idea about. My insight on choosing not to breastfeed directly at the breast is that there must be a reason for that choice and therefore there should be alternatives available to moms. If you are open to only pumping, that’s a great alternative. If you don’t want to at all, that is also ok because then we can focus on another area of parenting that you are passionate about and make that great for you and your family! I find when a mom chooses to do something different than the majority, maybe due to hardship, they end up being outstanding in other areas of parenting and are profoundly influential in their life and community.
Leave us with something important, inspiring, funny, or wise. Be creative!
Words of wisdom: Giving birth is not the finish line, so no matter how you want it to go, how you dream it to be, or how it ends up, the hard part starts when that precious newborn is in your arms. They will always be your baby, and you will always advocate for their well-being. Relax, enjoy your pregnancy, and trust in yourself as a parent that you are doing what is right for you and your family.
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