Member Stories: Martina

I stumbled upon New Kind during a late-night, fear-induced Google rabbit hole when my baby was about 7 weeks old, and it felt like I had been rescued.

Martina, New Kind Member

I felt very, very underprepared for this motherhood thing. I've always had fear around the idea of giving birth, so when I found out I was pregnant I threw myself into preparations for the birth experience: I read all the books, my husband and I took webinars, I made an extremely detailed birth plan and a 10-page Google doc (I'm not kidding) with my notes about the birthing process and plans for every scenario. Then, 2 weeks before my due date, I realized I knew what to expect for birth but didn't have a clue what to do once I had a baby. So I purchased a 20-hr "Newborn Basics" video course that evening with the intention of digging into it the next day. Unfortunately I woke up at 5am having contractions, and that was it -- my daughter Calliope was born the next day and I never took the newborn course,

In those early weeks with Calliope, I was most surprised by the overwhelming responsibility of breastfeeding. I was not prepared for the time commitment required, for all the planning and tracking that went with it, for the pumping, for the sore nipples and engorged breasts, and most of all, I was not prepared to be the only one who could feed our baby. My husband and I have always had a cooperative, equitable relationship, but suddenly everything was riding on me to feed the baby around the clock and he couldn't do much to help.

In general, for the first 2 months, I just kept thinking there was something I was missing. I felt that if I had "studied" (watched the Newborn Basics videos, for example) then I'd have all the answers and it would've been easier. I really couldn't believe that they just let anyone take a newborn baby home from the hospital without any kind of training or ongoing support.

I had fallen into a deep "mom social media" hole and it was not good. Instead of sleeping when my baby slept, I'd stay up reading Reddit and Instagram and blogs trying to find some kind of instruction manual for how to take care of the baby. I also found myself needing more emotional support, and I literally Googled things like "how to enjoy being a new mom" and "when will I ever sleep again?" I remember holding my baby in one arm to feed her while holding my phone in the other hand for Googling. The online research only heightened my stress levels, and it took me away from being present with my baby. It would take too long to find answers to my questions, or I'd find conflicting information, or answers that didn't quite fit with my specific situation. I was consumed with researching and learning the "right" way to do this.

Then I came across New Kind on Instagram during one of my stressful late night scrolls, and I know it sounds dramatic but I remember feeling like I was SAVED. There was no hesitation, no thinking it over. I just signed up right away and felt relief. I was also a bit sad because I realized that if I'd had something like New Kind sooner, my first 7 weeks could've been more focused on bonding with and enjoying my baby instead of being so scared, stressed, and overwhelmed. I still feel a bit sad about that, like I wasted those precious newborn weeks. 

When I joined New Kind, Hali texted me and we set up a time to meet on video the next day. She told me I could text her any questions in the meantime, so the first thing I did was ask her if the 4Moms Mamaroo swing is a good product. She responded with reviews of the product she received from other clients as well as her assurance it was safe. I was like "WOW. I don't have to google product reviews for 2 hours and stress that I'm buying something dangerous? Hali can just give me all the info in 2 minutes? This is great!" My baby was 7 weeks old at that point.

When I met Hali on video for the first time, I unloaded on her a bit (sorry Hali!), but I just had so many questions and felt such relief to have someone to ask. And even just knowing that there was someone I could ask made all the difference for me. I love that everything is done via text because I can quickly send off a question whenever I think of it, and I don't feel pressure to answer Hali right away when she responds.

Since sleep was my biggest stressor, we tackled that first. I had been tracking my baby's eating and sleeping so I sent Hali the recent "stats" to get her up to speed on Calliope's habits. Looking back on that text now, I see how overwhelmed I was-- the text I sent Hali says, "She slept for 2 straight hours on August 29th, that was the best sleep we've ever had since she was born!" (Poor me, excited to get 2 hours of sleep... how far we've come!) And Hali responded "Let's get her sleeping like August 29th more often."

That first week Hali taught me how to weigh the baby before and after breastfeeding so I could gauge how much she was eating. And since then she's given me tips for increasing my milk production and taught me how to powerpump. She's helped me teach the baby to take a pacifier and other soothing tips. She gave me advice on taking the baby out for short or long car trips. She helped me ease into feeding Calliope with a bottle to prepare for daycare when I return to work. When Calliope developed red cheeks, I sent Hali a video to see if it was worth calling the doctor (it was). She found a virtual moms group for me to join when I complained about the monotony of staying home with the baby all day. And when I woke up one morning to find my baby had totally flipped herself over in her bassinet, Hali assured me that was normal and no one had come in the middle of the night to flip the baby around. (I was so freaked out, I seriously thought someone had moved her because I didn't know she could move herself!)

Once I started asking Hali questions, I sometimes realized I actually knew more than I thought. I'd say something like "I'm doing XYZ, is that correct?" and she'd validate that what I was doing was good, which boosted my trust in myself and soothed my anxiety. She was also a sounding board when I just needed to vent about how I had suddenly become a stay at home mom, during a pandemic, in a new city, far from family.

Calliope is now 21 weeks old and we're working on getting ready for daycare and planning my return-to-work pumping schedule. Hali has been like my mom mentor through all of it! Hali is part sleep consultant, part lactation consultant, part baby product expert, part cheerleader, and part therapist!

I've told everyone I could think of who might benefit, and I'm planning to purchase a gift membership for a pregnant friend who's due this summer. I truly think this is one of the most valuable, important tools a new parent can have.

About New Kind

A New Kind membership gives new and expecting parents a direct line to a dedicated expert who can guide you through every step of pregnancy and the newborn stage. Our experts are certified postpartum doulas with specialized training and years of experience in postpartum recovery & wellness, newborn care, lactation, infant sleep, and more. We’re here to help parents reduce their stress, transition to their new roles with confidence, and soak up this special time with their little one. Learn more.

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