10 Questions for The Mama Coach

Calling all mothers! Whether your baby is breastfeeding, potty-training or is still on the way, our interview with The Mama Coach’s Angela Nichols is a must-read. From what moved her to start working with new moms and families to The Newborn Course, Angela shares her experience as a mother and registered nurse specializing in supporting parents in, well, becoming parents.

TSG Fort Worth: Can you tell our readers a little bit about your professional background?

Angela Nichols: I have been a registered nurse for 17 years and have dedicated my career to being a nurse in labor and delivery, high-risk antepartum, mother baby, and gynecology. I’m certified in fetal monitoring, NRP, BLS, ACLS Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, ASA stroke certified, and much more. Further, I have extensive training through the Mama Coach network, which I collaborate with frequently. I also bring many personal experiences that allow me to empathize with my clients. I’ve personally experienced infertility with PCOS, miscarriage, hyperemesis, vaginal bleeding with bed rest, severe antepartum and postpartum depression and anxiety, cesarean sections with breech babies, poor breastfeeding experiences, and poor experiences with healthcare providers.

TSG Fort Worth: What moved you to transition from an RN in the hospital to The Mama Coach?

AN: I was already a nurse when I had my first baby, so it was assumed that I already “knew everything” and I wasn’t offered much help or advice. My medical issues weren’t addressed, nor was I educated about them. My breastfeeding attempts with both children went miserably and I ended up quitting after six weeks. I realized that this experience was more of the norm and I never wanted another new parent to feel the way I did when I had my firstborn.

Like me, many moms and families suffer greatly in the areas of prenatal and postpartum support and education. I’ve seen many patients come into the hospital with no idea what to expect from their labor and delivery, postpartum, breastfeeding, and going home experiences; and Covid-19 only made it even more difficult for moms and families to achieve their prenatal and postpartum goals. Googling and watching YouTube videos can be misinformative and lacking a scientific basis.

Like me, many moms and families weren’t able to achieve their postpartum goals and I never want anyone to experience that feeling. In short, I was in a unique position to marry my personal experience with my professional background – and I was (and still am) very passionate about helping families.

TSG Fort Worth: How has Covid-19 affected moms and new families?

AN: Covid-19 has compounded the lack of prenatal and postpartum support and education. Many don’t know that their mother, partner, sister, friend, and other children won’t be able to visit freely. The ability to take prenatal or breastfeeding classes still varies, leading to an increasing number of moms not reaching their prenatal or postpartum goals. Families have turned to providers that offer services that aren’t backed by solid, verified scientific evidence. If anything, Covid-19 has fueled my fire to help mothers and families.

TSG Fort Worth: How has Covid-19 changed the way you work with clients?

AN: We are continuing to bring services to clients in whichever ways they feel most comfortable and whichever ways work best for them. Most of our sessions take place through a secure video chat platform, and I offer packages with weekly emails and/or follow-up phone calls.

TSG Fort Worth: When is it “too soon” or “too late” for parents to benefit from working with The Mama Coach?

AN: We support and build relationships with clients from “pregnancy to potty training and beyond.” We offer prenatal classes that cover the last trimester, labor and delivery, breastfeeding, and bringing baby home. Our breastfeeding support is from pregnancy to weaning, whether mom is ready at 6 weeks or 2 years. Our sleep support is for newborns 4-6 weeks old up to early elementary school, and our potty training support is best for 2-3 years old, but occasionally older kids.

TSG Fort Worth: What support do most parents seek?

AN: Support for sleep and feeding are most often requested, especially since the two are so interwoven. If baby is hungry or having feeding issues, they’re not likely to sleep well. Alternatively, if baby is not sleeping well, their eating and milestone developments may suffer. Pro Tip: Optimal sleep and eating are based on age and developmental milestones, the key to success is setting realistic, science-backed goals.

TSG Fort Worth: How do you typically work with parents to set and achieve their goals?

AN:  The first step is to ensure parents are setting realistic expectations and willing to implement the plan! When it’s determined that I’m a good fit for the client, I make every effort to meet parents where they are and create a plan based on their goals and timeline. From there, I employ large doses of empathy to understand and support our clients. It’s my job to support, never judge parents. Equally important to know is that The Mama Coach uses only scientifically verified research and we blend the best parts of many methods to create a personalized experience to meet the parents’ goals where they are.

TSG Fort Worth: Can you tell us a little bit about your process?

AN: As a registered nurse, my assessment starts with the very first interaction, before we’re even formally working together. This can happen over email, private messages, or in-person when people ask what I do and express an interest. I like to ask questions, taking note of what is and isn’t working, and what the parents’ goals are. When we formalize our relationship, the client sets up an account on our secure platform to answer health questionnaires. Using our consultation and questionnaire, I personalize the plan and walk clients through the process, answering any questions or concerns. The plan is finalized and then sent to the client to implement and I’m available for support throughout the implementation. Additionally, I’m available for follow up consultations “post-graduation.”

TSG Fort Worth: What is the best way for parents to work with The Mama Coach?

AN: The Mama Coach offers a variety of plans, workshops, and packages that can be customized – within reason, of course! We can bring our services to clients via video while they relax in their yoga pants or partner with children’s boutiques for in-person workshops. Additionally, we offer online workshops.

TSG Fort Worth: Can you tell us a little bit more about your online offerings?

AN: Our online courses are great for busy parents who like to do things on their own time. Currently, we offer two online courses: The Newborn Course and the Antenatal Hand Expressions. The Newborn Coat is for learning how to support your fussy baby, newborn care, what a safe sleep space can look like, how to solve feeding issues and where to start with laying foundational sleep habits. This course was created to help you with all aspects as you enter your parenting journey. If you are a new parent or eagerly anticipating your baby, this newborn course is a perfect place to start gaining foundational knowledge surrounding feeding and sleep. We are here to answer all of your most googled questions as new parents. The Antenatal Hand Expression course is the most important thing you can do to prepare yourself for a successful breastfeeding journey while still pregnant. Collecting colostrum during the last few weeks of pregnancy to give your baby in the first days after birth can help lower the risk of jaundice, low blood sugar, and extreme weight loss. It can also alleviate your worries about “making enough milk.”

TSG Fort Worth: Finally, can you share what’s most important to you about working with families?

AN: Absolutely! My ultimate goal is to be empathetic and non-judgemental in helping mothers and families achieve their goals.

Interested in working with Angela? Reach out here – and don’t forget to tell her Scout sent you!