It's all about your

Baby!

happy-baby-family-therapy

My passion for babies stems from my own early attachment experiences. Part of my healing journey has been collecting a personal history of my own time during conception, gestation, birth, and infancy. I am lucky enough to have both parents alive and well enough to share their memories of that time with me. I know a few of my own stressful imprints come from the time I spent in the NICU, being parented by hippies who weren’t able to do their own therapy before passing along unconscious generational wounds. I internalized their stress and feel those impacts today.

Moreover, I can point to my own past pre and perinatal experiences as the origin of the limitations I have today. These are unconscious memories stored as body sensations, painful emotions, and limiting beliefs about my self-worth and self-efficacy. All of this despite having two loving parents who were giving their best who simply didn’t understand the infant needs I had for emotional and physical security. 

Infants are unable to advocate for themselves and are completely dependent on their caregivers to provide a solid foundation for development. This makes infants our most vulnerable citizens because their needs are often misunderstood in the context of lifespan development. 

During infancy, the foundation for lifelong learning, personality, health, and happiness is formed.

 What is lesser-known, is that development actually begins prenatally and is largely influenced by the parents’ emotional states. This points to the importance of accessing support all through pregnancy and beyond. An infant’s nervous system develops and grows in direct relation to the experiences infants are having. Because of how rapidly development occurs, it doesn’t take much stress to make a lasting imprint. And yet, early caregiving is one of the most stressful experiences for families.

However, if caught in time, the effects of stressors and trauma can possibly be amended and even avoided in the future. 

My life’s work has been dedicated to understanding infant development and how daily caregiving shelters or exposes infants to stress; stress that resides in the body-mind-spirit in non-verbal, hard to pinpoint ways that interrupt optimal growth and the fullest expressions of life. 

Working with babies is the most direct form of prevention and early intervention, and can change the entire trajectory of growth for individual and population health.

It would be my honor to work with you, your family, and your baby. Collectively, by investing in prenatal and infant-parent health, we can shape the next generation to feel secure, connected, and whole.

Certification Highlights

Coaching and Education

Somatic and Manual Theraphy

Infants

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Coaching and Education

-Coaching for Self Leadership, Internal Family Systems presented virtually by Guthrie Sayen and Brian Jaudon, completed Nov 2021
-Circle of Security Parenting, Certified Facilitator, Presented in West Hartford, CT by Deb Harris, Completed Sept 2019
-Gottman Couples Therapy: A Research Based Approach, Level 1, Closing the
-Understanding the Gut Brain: Stress, Appetite, Digestion, and Mood Institute
-The National Outdoor Leadership School, Sea Kayaking in Patagonia, Chile
-Integrative Health Coaching, Foundations Training Duke Integrative
-Touch Points Certified Individual Level, Smart Start of New Hanover County, presented by Hoke Pollock and Donna Vaught, Completed October 2010

Somatic and Manual Therapy

-Somatic Experiencing Skill Course, Memory and Trauma, resented online by Peter Levine, beginning Nov 2021, in progress
-Dynamic and Postural Reflex Integration, Parts 1 and Parts 2 Masgutova(MNRI), completed Feb 2021
-Neurotactile Integration, Masgutova (MNRI) , compeleted May 2021
-200 Hour Kunga Yoga Teacher Training, Jess Bichler and Jamie Annette, Presented in Wilmington, NC, Completed August 2018
-Thai Yoga Therapy, Advanced Practitioner Training, Deon Thai Method, On-going from 2011-2015
-Craniosacral Therapy Level I, The Upledger Institute, Presented in Mariann Sisco, Completed January 2010

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Infants

-Introduction to Intronauts and Infants Reflex Integration, Masgutova(MNRI), Sept 2021
-Infant Sleep Educator Certification, BeboMia presented online by Greer Kirshenbaum, completed Aug 2020
-Functional Bowen Therapy Concepts II: Pediatric Application, Presented by Judy Terwiliger, Chapel Hill, NC, Completed July 2019
-Tongue Tie. Comprehensive Assessment and Care, presented by Melissa Cole in Charlottesville, VA completed Feb 2019
-Birth Doula Training, DONA International, Ann Tumblin, Presented in Chapel Hill,NC, completed February 2009
-Infant Massage USA CEIM Training, Justine Tutuska, Presented in New Bern, NC, Completed March 2018
-Craniosacral Therapy for Infants and Subtle Hands on Skills, Carol Gray, Presented in Portland OR, Completed May 2015

Infant Sleep Coaching

There is an alternative to sleep training your baby and I am super passionate about getting this information to you!

This approach is all about nurturing your baby and informs your choices with developmental brain science, awareness of infant mental health, and universal biologically normal infant sleep. The best place to begin is to watch my free Infant Sleep Webinar to get the gist of the sleep science and ensure this approach aligns with your parenting values to nurture your child’s unique sleep needs.

My intro package includes a one-hour consultation (virtually or by phone) so we can dive into your sleep situation and explore all kinds of options. After our call, I am available for check in’s as you experiment over the next week. Add another week of coaching and support for as long as needed (2-3 weeks is recommended, although many families find the answers they are looking for within the first phone consultation). 

This might be a good fit if you:

  • Have questions about what’s normal.
  • Want to be a responsive and loving caregiver 24/7.
  • Are interested in protecting your child’s emotional and cognitive health and development. 
  • Wonder about “bad sleep habits.”
  • Need some tips on safe infant sleep.
  • Feel concerned that your child isn’t sleeping well.
  • Anticipating a transition is coming to the sleep arrangements of your home. 
  • Are in a sleep crisis and need immediate support for your own mental wellbeing.
Pediatric Bodywork

Bodywork is an umbrella term used to describe hands-on (or manual) therapies. Many parents wonder how bodywork can help their child; what a great question! As we know the mind, brain, and body are all interconnected.

Long before a child can verbalize their experiences or create conscious memories, their bodies are taking the brunt of their experiences and taking these “felt” experiences to adapt and grow. From gestation to birth, through the major motor achievements of crawling and walking, your child’s body is center stage.

Add to this the sensory and emotional experiences that are imprinted into the body’s posture, the mind’s perceptions, and the ways the brain and nervous system respond to stress, and you can begin to see how working with the body can maximize holistic health.

Another cool way to conceptualize this is that the brain and the skin are formed from the same embryological tissues; working with the body’s surface, changes the depths.

I offer in-office, in-home, and *virtual sessions (*see infant massage classes). 

Currently my practice is heavily influenced by the Masgutova Neurosensorimotor Reflex Integration (MNRI ©) method. This work is known as “the missing link” in therapies supporting physical, cognitive, and social emotional development for typical and neurodiverse kids. I integrate other modalities into my sessions including soft tissue massage, craniosacral therapy, myofascial release, Thai Yoga,  and developmental movement exercises.

While my specialty is working with pre-crawling babies, I also work with older children. Please reach out so I can answer your questions and share some treatment ideas for your child’s unique situation.

This might be a good fit if your child :

  • Had a difficult birth or birth injury
  • Was a premie
  • Is uncomfortable in their body (tightness, wriggling, and grunting, unable to soothe)
  • Has/had trouble with feeding, constipation, reflux, or other tummy troubles
  • Experiences anxiety, depression, or emotional overwhelm
  • Has had surgery, significant injury, or otherwise complicated medical history
  • Seems to have difficulty processing the world
Ankyloglossia / Tongue and Lip Ties

I fell into a specialty working with infants with tongue and lip ties a few years ago.

Most of my tongue tie client dyads find me along their breastfeeding journey. Their baby is having difficulty gaining weight or maintaining a good latch at the breast or bottle. Sometimes the baby looks great but the breastfeeding parent has damaged breast tissue or pain with nursing.

Typically it’s intuition that brings a parent to realize their child has tethered oral tissue. I support dyads with bodywork, oral assessments, pre and post frenectomy care, and consulting about how to navigate the tongue tie situation. We can meet in my office, in your home, virtually, or in one of the two frenectomy clinics I work in on the ankyloglossia team.

Whenever indicated we can work with your lactation consultant for an interdisciplinary session using bodywork to help your baby get back to the breast.  

Signs that your baby may be tied:

  • Lip blisters
  • A thick covering of milk residue on the tongue
  • Chomping, clicking, coming on and off the breast
  • Milk dribbling from the mouth when at the breast or bottle
  • Difficulty gaining weight
  • Damaged breast tissue
  • Pain at the breast
  • Trouble nursing on one side versus the other
  • Falling asleep at the breast
  • Nursing seems to take a long time
  • Gass, reflux, and GI concerns
  • Your intuition says something’s not quite right with how your baby feeds
Infant Massage Classes

I love teaching infant massage!

This has been my primary community outreach effort since 2007 because it is one of the best ways to deepen infant-caregiver bonds.

Each class is different; I am creative and spontaneous catering the material to the folks in the room. We will cover some infant massage strokes so you can massage your baby during or after class (depending on what they are up for), and we will talk about all kinds of other things related to babies and parenting.

Currently, this is a virtual offering, held Tuesday at 10 am eastern time (with a minimum of 4 registrants). 

Join the class if you want to :

  • Connect with other parents and babies
  • Discuss cool developmental science
  • Deepen your infant-parent bond
  • Learn to massage your baby
  • Ask an infant developmental specialist questions