It is no secret new mothers have a difficult time feeding their newborns and getting a good night sleep. Mom/entrepreneur, Denise Stern of Bristow, thought there should be a business to help over-tired moms, so she created Let Mommy Sleep.
Let Mommy Sleep is a caregiving service that allows moms and dads to sleep through the night. The idea began out of necessity for Stern, who gave birth to twin girls, while her son was only 17 months old.
“It’s suppose to be a joyful experience,” said Stern, “not something you are just trying to survive.” However, with her babies feeding every two hours, Stern had little time to sleep. She needed help.
The more Stern discussed the issue in mommy groups and among friends, the more she realized she was not alone.
“Moms get kicked out of the hospital after two days,” said Stern, who explains new mothers leave with little education, and even less time to recover from giving birth.
Meanwhile parents today have more responsibilities and less of a support system. Most women work, and few moms in the area have their mothers living nearby.
“The more I saw, I said, ‘Wow, people can really use a hand,’” Stern said.
Stern saw the situation as an opportunity to fill a need, and having previously owned and run a business, she felt she had the knowledge to start a company.
She founded Let Mommy Sleep in Oct. 2010, a company, which provides overnight care, sleep training consultations, sleep coaching and support for twins and multiples. Overnight care includes feeding, soothing, changing and monitoring of a child.
To ensure quality, Stern is very choosy about her caregivers, hiring only registered nurses.
“She has to be a specific elite caregiver. You have to have hospital as well as some home experience. When you put both of those together, you get an elite caregiver that’s never existed before,” Stern said.
Stern believes a registered nurse provides experience parents can verify.
“As nurses, they report to the Virginia Board of Nursing. There is no reporting agency for someone just watching with a family; and I feel like for something so important, transparency is something you should expect. We’re part of the Better Business Bureau. If someone wants to make a complaint about me, I want people to know,” Stern said.
When these expert caregivers are with the children, they work in a regimented manner, recording feeding, sleeping and changing, so parents can keep track of their infants’ activities.
Stern has found many parents find the service invaluable. Still occasionally she hears, “Why does anyone need that? I took care of my babies myself.”
What Stern explains is all mothers find themselves in different situations
“We have moms who have medical needs; new moms who need education; families who have more than one child and need to be present during the day; and parents who have to go back to work,” said Stern.
Many moms must value Let Mommy Sleep, because the company has grown to become a 20-nurse operation in less than two years.
It helps that Let Mommy Sleep is the only business of its kind in the region.
When Stern saw that her company was doing so well, she decided she wanted to give something back to moms who could not afford her services. “Because I feel that transitional care should be for every mother who wants it. That’s obviously
not attainable,” said Stern.
Yet it did not mean that she could not help some parents.
“MISSON SLEEP came to be, because this is one group of moms that we know can use it, and deserve it,” Stern said, adding, “I think that every mother deserve it.”
MISSON SLEEP is the nonprofit arm of Let Mommy Sleep, which supplies free overnight care for newborns of the families of a wounded warriors or a soldier-parent deployed overseas.
“The public has been very generous, but now we need some corporate donations,” said Stern, who would like to offer more nonprofit services.
Yet, when she reflects, Stern continues to be amazed at how quickly her business has taken off through word of mouth, Internet and recommendations from hospitals.
“I didn’t expect it to be this big, but the phone just never stopped ringing,” Stern said.
She hopes it is a trend that continues, and that it grows into a culture of respecting women, mother and families.
© 2012, Stacy Shaw. All rights reserved.
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