It's all about you and your

CREW!

Coaching, health coaching, wellness coaching, relationship coaching, virtual coaching, life coaching, childbirth education, doula, birth class, virtual childbirth class, newborn class, birth and bonding, infant sleep, sleep consultant, gentle sleep, normal infant sleep, attachment parenting, baby sleep, help for sleep, pediatric sleep consultant, Colic, gas, baby massage, craniosacral therapy, newborn, postpartum support, infant development, Tongue tie, lip tie, oral ties, breastfeeding, tethered oral issue, baby bodywork, baby class, infant massage, postpartum support, moms groups, baby massage, tummy time, attachment, infant parent therapy, virtual parenting class, parenting classes, parent child therapy, circle of security

It's all about...

Family Leadership Informed by the Latest
Emotional-Brain Science"

My approach…

Raising a human is the hardest, most important job in the world; but where’s the how-do guide? Poke around online, read some books, ask your peers, and you’ll have so much conflicting information that your confidence can begin to crumble. Try to get in alignment with your co-parent(s) and add to the frustration as perspectives on parenting collide within your own home. All of this is just too much when what you need is a solid blueprint for developmental success.

My approach fosters long term holistic health with an emphasis on developmental brain science and attachment focused therapy. By understanding a few key concepts (based on how to nurture your Crew’s needs without losing your mental, physical, and spiritual health) you can have happiness and in-home harmony. Let’s work together to foster you kid’s maturational growth and instill core values of kindness, confidence, and resiliency. 

If you’re working to reconnect with estranged family or friends, or establish clear relational boundaries to protect your emotional health, I can help with that too. Family is complicated; but there is a way through. I can help you find a way. 

The Littlest Crew / Coaching for Prenatal, Birth, and Infant Relationships

Supporting the littlest crew members is my biggest passion!

Not only can we prevent stress and developmental challenges by focusing on prenatal and infant relationships, but we have the best chance at setting kids up for long term success if we nurture our little ones before and right after they are born. To build better relationships with your crew I offer prenatal education on birth, infant development, and the transition into parenthood.

For those who have already given birth or welcomed their adopted baby, I offer therapeutic coaching and education to work through birth challenges and optimize bonding. If a new babe has left your older kiddo feeling weird, or your partner feeling left out I can offer support there too.

If you experienced birth trauma, perinatal loss, or are having trouble bonding with your baby due to postpartum mood disorders (or other factors) please reach out for support. My approach optimizes healing through compassionate and integrative therapies. 

When you know it’s not just about you anymore, it’s time to invest in the emotional lives of your Crew!

This might be a good fit if you:

  • Are pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or healing from a pregnancy loss
  • Want private birth education
  • Need support for newborn parenting
  • Feel ambivalence in your new role as a parent 

 

Baby Blueprints

Baby Blueprints is a 6-week group for expectant and infant parents. We meet virtually for 90 minutes of live coaching and education each week to help you understand what is foundational in infant development and how to nurture your child’s brain architecture through a model of co-regulation. 

It’s fascinating stuff that will help you feel confident in your parenting choices and open you up to the world of nurturing attachment science. The models range from the spirituality of birth, to how stress impacts the brain, to your baby’s sensory and reflex needs, and tools for communication.

This might be a good fit if you:

  • Are a first time parent and are looking for super cool classes as you prepare for birth and parenting
  • Are a seasoned parent and are exploring your values and philosophies for parenting
  • Have a family history of mental illness and want to optimize your infant’s mental health
  • Are healing from birth and strengthening your infant-parent bond
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). 

My practice includes a combination of soft tissue massage, myofascial release, craniosacral therapy, Thai yoga massage, and developmental movement therapies. 

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
Circle of Security

The Circle of Security is an internationally renowned, evidence-based parenting program best for when kids are between 2-10.

The intention is to prevent and heal disruptions to healthy, happy, parent-child relationships, and foster secure attachment.

Secure attachment in children is associated with confidence, independence, empathy, critical thinking, prosocial behavior and so much more!

You’ll learn a simple model to understand your child’s needs for connection and independent play, reflect on your own childhood experiences, and discover ways to nurture yourself so you are available to support your child’s emotional development.

It’s everything any parent wished for their child, condensed into an 8 week (or less) format.

Available virtual or in person, private or group settings. 

This might be a good fit for you if you are:

  • Fostering or adopting kids
  • Working to change your child’s undesirable behaviors, meltdowns, and insecurities
  • Annoyed, overwhelmed, or otherwise nearing the end of your parenting patience
  • Adjusting to your child’s new diagnosis including ADD, reactive attachment disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, anxiety, or learning difference
  • Interested in nurturing emotional intelligence within your family
  • Determined to overcome your own childhood challenges through better parenting
  • Part of the movement away from behavioral consequences and into long term relationship health
Big Kids, Young Adults, and Family Coaching

Just when you think the work is done you find yourself at the beginning of a whole new phase of development as your kid moves towards autonomy.

The tween, teen, and early 20’s present unique relationship challenges as the big kid in your life practices spreading their wings in preparation for leaving the nest.

My academic career actually started with the study of adolescent development; a subject near and dear to my heart as I remember the growing pains of the teenage years.

My coaching services targeted at parent-big kid relationships will highlight neurological changes in the adolescent brain and strategies for helping keep your kid safe and connected (to you).

Don’t wait for a crisis; coaching your big kid crew should be preventive and serve as a continuation of your earlier bonding efforts. 

If you are the big (adult) kid needing supporting for a strained relationship please reach out. I can help you individually assess your needs and develop a plan of action or work collectively with you and your Crew member to move forward.

This might be a good fit for you if you are:

  • Concerned about the choices your kid is making
  • Missing a connection with your child
  • Experiencing a family shift (divorce, new relationship, moving, job loss, school changes, etc)
  • Interested in fostering your child’s independence and self-confidence
  • Looking for ways to make a lasting positive impact on your child’s final stage of pediatric development

What to Expect with Family Coaching

  • I might interrupt and redirect to steer the conversation in a more helpful direction
  • I will not allow fighting in session and will work hard to make sure each session ends with feelings of deeper understading and connection (even if it means we go over time)
  • It may take some time to observe the family dynamics. I will share observations of what’s coming up in the present moment as well as offer education no “what’s happening” and why from an attachment-science perspective Change happens based on what happens in and outside of the session
  • I might ask you to check into your body and describe physical sensations, use your breath to regulate stress, have you move around in space, or other somatic techniques to integrate your mind-body experiences
  • Working with kids always requires working with parents and (sometimes) siblings and other family members

Policies of Mutual Respect

  • Let’s have a chat before you shop or schedule so we know if we are a good for for each other.
  • I don’t take insurance; I do take HSA and FSA; cash, check and cards; Venmo (name is @jess-ahlum); I can also send you a Paypal invoice or receipt. Check out all services and pricing in the Shop tab.
  • Our work together will be held in confidence; however, if subpoenaed by the courts, I am lawfully obligated to comply with all requests. (Unlike a lawyer or doctor with client privilege).
  • Please come committed to your session. I’m happy to be flexible with rescheduling; however, I do charge a $25 no show fee (it’s only fair). 

*   Disclaimer

A coaching relationship is not mental health, substance abuse, or medical treatment. I am not a licensed mental health provider. I work as a coach and educator with a license to provided hands on (manual therapy) and the highest level of national certification for health and wellness coaching.  In the event that you feel the need for a licensed professional counselor, it is your responsibility to seek this out. There may also be a time when I need to refer you to work in conjunction with another provider, if our work together takes me outside my scope of practice. 

Testimonials

The No-Stress-Jess Method

A playful spirit on the coast of North Carolina, nurturing world peace one relationship at a time. I’m here to listen, help, and coach you through all of life’s adventures. From You to your Boo, and your Crew.