As it has often been said, “There is no user manual that comes with a baby” but fortunately, ladies like Marta exist to help share her experiences of working with many babies (including many sets of twins!), families and situations to help demystify situations that range from breast feeding, sleep training, managing stress and organizing your life at home as a family.
Ladies, meet Marta.
Zuri Girl: How did you decide to become a Maternity Consultant?
Marta: I was born in Poland and spent great deal of time surrounded by infants. I have two younger brothers and both my aunt and my grandmother worked with babies under one. Working with families and babies is a part of me. In England I completed many childcare and sleep training courses and gained a Maternity Practitioner Award, all while working with babies part time, I updated my First Aid knowledge in Switzerland before launching Maternity Consultancy. I enjoyed attending the annual Maternity Nurse Conference in England and am a member of the Association of Birth and Baby Professionals and in the process of becoming a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants.
Zuri Girl: When does a mommy-to-be determine she needs help from someone like yourself?
Marta: Well, there are various elements to the services that I offer and it is advisable to book in advance if someone feels they would like my support for a few weeks after birth. First and foremost, I am a maternity nurse and prefer to be contacted 3-6 months before the due date to help establish a relationship and if needed offer advice on equipment and baby care products. My work with the family begins the moment mum and baby return home from the hospital. Together with parents, I work to establish a routine that will work for their family and teach them about healthy sleep habits. I support mums with both breast and bottle-feeding during the day and at night.
My consultancy services are in place to help establish daily routines and sleep patterns from newborns to school age children. Consults can be booked on ad-hoc basis. Many parents struggle with the difficulties of establishing a healthy sleep routine, it’s not an uncommon problem, especially for sleep deprived parents. I combine a few sleep-training methods, create a sleep plan for the family that should take no more than 1-2 weeks to implement, if followed consistently and with confidence.
Zuri Girl: So, can you let us in on a little trick to get children to bed?
Marta: Deciding that you need help is already a big step! Parents need to decide, “Today is the day for change!” Follow through and remember that they are the boss. The key is to have a clean plan of action, keep positive and be confident. Believe in change! Do not give too many choices to your child… sure, it’s ok to let them choose their pajamas (out of two options), but additional choices of something to drink right before bed, and if they would like another bedtime story are simply not conducive for good sleep habits. My advice is to consistently use key words that trigger your children’s routines. Children feel safe and thrive on routines.
Zuri Girl: Do you have tips on how to use such key-words, especially in a household that speaks more than one language?
Marta: Baby sign language! For example, when telling your child it’s time to “brush teeth”, use hand and arm motion to accompany these key words. If one parent is saying “brush teeth” in English, and the other is saying “die Zähne putzen” in German, the hand movement should be the same and children will pick up this action (and the languages!) early on.
Zuri Girl: We understand you offer a course on Developmental Baby Massage. Tell us more…
Marta: Indeed, I teach 1-to-1 sessions at the Osteopathic Centre for Children and Adults in Meilen for babies 8-weeks to crawling. Babies receive great benefits for physical and emotional development through proper baby massage techniques, including back strengthening, helping with “tummy time”, improving digestion and warming the body via improved blood circulation (babies’ hands & feet are always cold)!
“A relaxed tummy = happy baby” and if that’s not enough, there have been studies done on babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and those with special needs and these children gained weight, were more responsive and thrived as a result of baby massage.
Zuri Girl: What do you love most about your job?
Marta: When I see parents the next time and they say, “I slept, and the baby slept the whole night through!”
Website | Tel: +41 (0)78 677 21 70
Photo credit: IAN ARRIDGE
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