So I have some big news…I’m going to have two new babies this year. Nope, calm down, we are not having twins. My other baby has become my new business. I have officially launched my private practice, Postpartum Living, LLC, which provides in-home occupational therapy services to moms before/after delivering their baby. You may have (or not) noticed that my blog homepage has a new button on it ;-). I’ve saved you the trouble of asking the questions and put a lot of the common ones I’ve been asked about this new biz:
How did this business idea come about?
Last year, (even before I found out I was pregnant, BTW), I started thinking about the gap in medical and support services that are offered to moms during that initial 6 weeks after having a baby. Our society focuses heavily on prenatal care, labor & delivery and the care of the newborn, but the mother’s recovery is an afterthought. As a result, many new moms are left to struggle physically, emotionally and mentally during the postpartum period. Perinatal mood disorders and postpartum depression/anxiety is affecting 20% of moms. Women are suffering with pelvic floor dysfunction, muscular skeletal problems from trying to “snap back” too quickly and the physical stress of caring for a newborn. Bottom line: they are just not receiving the support that they need. I’m also treating moms in the the prenatal stages, and moms who are well beyond the 6wk postpartum stage, but I know it’s the acute stage where most of the services are lacking.
Why do new moms need OT?
A lot of people wrongly assume “Postpartum” is only referring mental health. As an OT, I am addressing the physical, mental and emotional aspects of the postpartum period so that women can make a smooth transition into their new life as a mother. Why in-home model? Because I love driving. Just kidding… But in all seriousness, no new mom wants to leave the comforts of their home with a newborn, so they instead choose to just “live with it”. I no longer want to make that a barrier to them reserving the services and support that they need.
Do you even know how to run a business?
Great question…I’m a work in progress. Coming out of OT school I never thought I would own a business. I’ve never taken a single class in business, marketing, finance, accounting, website building, marketing or PR. Well I’ve thrown myself into all of it, as I’m in the beginning stages of entrepreneurship…prayers and guidance welcome. Since I conceived this idea about 7 months ago (apparently around the same time that I conceived this third baby), I’ve listened to so many podcasts, and read a bunch of books and journals to really understand where to even start. I’ve stayed up way to late googling big jargon-filled words like “single-member LLC”, “Professional liability limitations” and “capital expenses depreciation”. So then I went and built a website from scratch, because I hate outsourcing creativity and I’m too stubborn to spend money to do something I that I think I can figure out eventually. Building Therapeutic Miles as a blog really helped my develop those SEO and tech-skills. Let me tell you, it’s not the best idea to launch a business while pregnant and raising 2 toddlers…but I love a good challenge.
In the past few months, I’ve gone to and taken numerous courses to tailor my specialty in women’s health, including pelvic floor dysfunction therapy, breastfeeding courses for healthcare professionals, maternal mental health certification training, etc. The OT world is starting to recognize women’s health as an emerging field and I hope to only contribute to this effort in serving this niche population.
But you’re about to have a baby…
I am? Why yes, I am!! Not gonna lie, the timing isn’t the best. Or is it? You know what has been fascinating? Going through pregnancy and learning everything there is about pregnancy that I probably should have known with my first two. Same goes for postpartum knowledge. I’m learning all the different ways that moms around the world experience the postpartum period…from what they eat, to who supports them, to how they take care of their bodies. I’m using my own body as a guinea pig…devoting it to science, if you will. My clients might look at me sideways as I waddle into their homes, but who better to treat you than a 3rd time mom and postpartum expert? At least that’s my hope…
Thank you all for the support
Shoutout to all of my close friends and family who have been SO supportive of my career shift, letting me bounce ideas off of them and giving me crucial feedback and guidance when I had no clue. I’ve got the best tribe there is. Special thanks to my husband, who has been my #1 hype-man, my sounding board, and my go-to editor. It’s one thing to validate your spouse’s dreams, it’s another to take on a heavier burden so that she can achieve those dreams. Couldn’t have done it without you.
Feel free to check out my website, and LIKE my social media pages: facebook & instagram. Although I’m only providing services for those in the greater DC area, I’ll be sharing all types of useful information about prenatal and postpartum. PS- If you are local, I’m teaching a postpartum recovery workshop on Wednesday in DC, check my facebook page for details!