Apr 15, 2019 | Around Town
As a new mom, you have many questions, all while running on little sleep and trying to do your best to raise your new tiny human. Wouldn’t it be great to have a professional by your side during this tough transition to motherhood, coaching you along while also allowing you to rest? Enter Cindy MacKinnon, owner of the Whole Bundle and professional live-in baby nurse that equips families with the tools they need to make a smooth transition into parenthood. Cindy’s goal is to have each family walk away feeling confident and prepared after having her support. Originally from Canada, Cindy moved to Raleigh 14 years ago with her husband and two daughters. She recently expanded her business to be a traveling baby nurse, both nationally and internationally! We sat down with Cindy to find out more about her business and how she works with families during this precious time.
What got you started and interested in the idea of the Whole Bundle?
I always knew that I would work with people directly and I knew that some sort of care or service would be involved. As a young mom, I struggled to find community. I had postpartum depression after my second child and I think that was the catalyst for recognizing that it truly takes a village not only to raise a child but also to empower and support a new mother and family. I taught pre-school for a few years before finding my direction into postpartum doula work. Since then, I have been a postpartum doula for almost 11 years and in the last few years I have re-branded The Whole Bundle to include live-in baby nurse services (nationally and internationally) as well as being a traveling or vacation baby nurse.
What’s a typical night look like for you when you are with a family?
When I am working as a postpartum doula, most of my local clients like overnight care. When I arrive we set a course for the night! One of my main jobs is making sure that mom and dad are getting as much sleep as possible. I oversee the care of the baby and make sure that all of their needs are met as well. If mom is nursing, I will bring baby to mom and she does her magic. I will bring mom water and a snack to make sure she stays well hydrated and nourished during this critical recovery period. After nursing I take baby back to settle in for hopefully another stretch of sleep. If baby is bottle-feeding (with no pumping) mom will get to sleep the full night and I will bottle-feed baby. Also, I start to take note of how baby is developing and where they are on their growth curves, so that I can give good guidance to mom and dad about what to expect in the coming days and weeks! I will also do light and quiet household chores, such as laundry and kitchen clean up, and even meal prep for the coming days. A postpartum doula is a jack-of-all-trades in that our main area of care is mom and baby, but helping with tasks to lighten the load for the next day is also part of our role. Helping with these tasks frees up more time for mom to focus on the needs of her newborn, herself, and the rest of her family.
“Cindy was a joy to be around and fit seamlessly into our family! She fit right in without being intrusive. She was always pleasant, helpful, and got along great with our other two young children. She was knowledgeable about all things baby and breastfeeding. Having Cindy with us allowed me to get a full night’s sleep, spend time with my older kids, and still gave me the precious time to bond with my new baby. Cindy also traveled with our family as we went on vacation and kept the baby healthy and happy. We will certainly miss having her with us!”
What’s your favorite part about working with new moms?
Helping mom to navigate this intense and amazing time and to be there to support her unconditionally without judgment while offering her direction, education, and hands-on learning is such a fulfilling part of what I do. I strive to build a close and trusting relationship with the new mom so that she knows I’ve got her back and that I am in this with her. I’m her teacher and her coach, but also I’m her friend and in some cases that friendship remains long after my contract ends.
What’s been the most rewarding part of your job?
Working with new moms and dads is an amazing experience. Each family is a unique journey. Being able to coach and educate both mom and dad so that they feel confident in their new roles and ready for the challenges that lie ahead is truly the most rewarding part of what I do!
What’s the best advice you can offer new moms?
I like to say that the newborn period is full of both magic and mayhem so the best advice I can give is to both allow and seek out help! Whether that means having a friend bring food, having your neighborhood chip in and pay for housecleaning, or hiring help in the form of a doula or night nurse! Help makes all the difference, especially in the first few weeks home. Mom needs rest and recovery and to give full attention to herself and her new baby (or babies!) Moms can get worn down by the day-to-day tasks that take their time and energy away from their self-care (rest and recovery) and their focus on their newborn. Allowing for help can create a more balanced and calm transition during what can be a very intense time!
You can find Cindy on Facebook and Instagram! She posts both educational pieces and fun tips for new parents. She is happy to answer questions and is always up to hear tips from parents that are going through the early weeks or have made it to the other side!
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