Coach Mikki and Friends

Terese Flores: Transforming Lives of New Mothers and Families S3E23

November 14, 2023 Coach Mikki
Coach Mikki and Friends
Terese Flores: Transforming Lives of New Mothers and Families S3E23
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Join us as we draw back the curtain on the life of Terese Flores, a beacon of support and knowledge for new mothers navigating the intricate, challenging, and rewarding journey of postpartum. As the founder of Fika Newborn and a dedicated postpartum doula, newborn care specialist, and educator, Terese is no stranger to the complexities of new parenthood. Her own journey, marked by fostering and adoption, and marked by profound loss, has shaped her mission to provide critical care, education, and most importantly, empathy to families in their most vulnerable times.

Discover how Therese's personal and professional experiences have led her to develop essential online education courses and virtual support systems for families grappling with the trials of postpartum and loss. Hear her insights on sibling integration and postpartum recovery, and her advocacy for the importance of memorializing loss. As you listen, you'll be moved by her courage and inspired by her dedication to supporting new mothers, soothing newborns, and guiding families on the path of healing and growth.



To connect with Terese - Fikanewborn

See the Youtube interview with Terese 

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Speaker 1:

Hey, I'm Coach Mickey and I'm so glad that you've joined us, and if this is your first time joining us, come on in and make yourself comfortable. And for those of you that join me on a regular basis, I'm so glad that you do. And, as you guys know, grab your favorite beverage. Especially if you're driving, be careful, but grab your favorite beverage, come on in, and I'm so excited for you to be here and share some of the insight and information with many of our guests. I also would like to thank so much for our sponsor, who is Dr Melissa Mandela, and if you have an opportunity to reach out to her, please do for all plant-based eating and lifestyle. She is pretty amazing for everything that you need, from psychiatric to health to pretty much anything at cooking. So please look down in the description and you will find her links. But today I am really happy because you have heard this person on before. She is pretty amazing. I think she is somebody everybody needs in their life, especially for if you're having a family. I wish I had known about someone like you and had or even had you with me, therese, when I was having children, but I'm so glad that you could be with me today. So welcome with me today, therese Flores. How are you? I'm doing well. How are you, mickey? I'm doing good, and I'm so glad that you had an opportunity to be able to come on, because having a child is a big event. But having a child and not knowing what to do, because obviously they don't come with a manual but I'm excited. So I'm going to let you jump right in and tell everybody what you do and what your expertise is and how you've helped other families.

Speaker 2:

Absolutely, thank you. Thanks for having me. Yes, so my name is Therese Flores. I'm the owner and the founder of Fika Newborn and I'm a postpartum doula and newborn care specialist as well as new parent educator. I also have formal education with an early childhood as well and I help new mothers transition home after they give birth. So you know moms will book me as early as they'll reserve me on their calendar as early as you know, four weeks pregnant, eight weeks pregnant, up until you know, sometimes their last minute moms that I try to squeeze in for help too. But I am, I'm with them and I'm on speed dial. I have 24 seven access to me once you book me and then I am with you the moment you arrive home from the hospital with you and your partner, and I help support you leading up to the birth, providing education, newborn care, products and recommendations, lactation support and supplements, all of those things. So we do do a meet and greet prenatal visit prior to maybe arriving and then, once you arrive home, you know you are. Your spouse usually keeps me up to date to saying you know we mom, mom's going into labor, so then I sort of time it like I'll be there within you know, one to two days afterwards, and some families have me come over right after they give birth, the moment they get home. They want me there. Some families prefer a little bit more privacy, so maybe they want two weeks to adjust with themselves as a new family dynamic and then they maybe will have me come in and they have a bunch of questions that they, you know, stopped up on during those two weeks that we, that we, can cover as well. So I'm there, I help you with education, lactation support, baby's first bath, umbilical cord care, and if I'm there, you know, longer, within the six to nine week period of postpartum support, then I like to implement a little bit of sleep training and sleep shaping. So it's very customizable. And yeah, I'm, you know, once a doula, always a doula. So I keep in touch with all of my previous clients and I have great relationships and friendships with some of them, so I always keep in touch with everyone.

Speaker 1:

That's amazing. I mean, like I said, having a child is a huge endeavor to begin with. So and then coming home, because I know, even with my children you know I had them both C-section, and there's a lot too, especially when you're trying to recover yourself. You know your own body, but now you also have this small child that depends on you, so having someone that can come in and work with you is amazing. So I got to ask how did you get started with this? I mean, I know this is your passion, you've been doing this for a long time, but what brought you to where you are today? Sure.

Speaker 2:

Yes, so I. So I had a very unconventional overhood to motherhood. My husband and I we loved children and you know, it wasn't even really a discussion once we got married or even engaged. We knew we loved children and we wanted a big family, and that was that. After a few years of being married, we had some friends that had become foster parents, and so we knew that there was a need and we loved children and that's all that really mattered to us. So we said, you know what, like we want a family now, so let's dive in and do it. So so we so we actually went ahead became foster parents within like a year span. We had a little baby girl come to us for six months. She was reunited with family. We took a little break for a few months and then we got a sibling, set over two and three years old, who we have now adopted. So and then after then, right before we had adopted them, I became pregnant with a biological child and at 20 weeks she was actually diagnosed with a life limiting condition. So we knew that she wasn't going to, that there was no chance of survival after birth. So we decided to carry her and it was a really difficult time and it wasn't a difficult decision because we knew that we were going to carry her and move forward, but it was. It was very difficult because we didn't have an OB that necessarily agreed. And so I mean, it was just earth shattering when he looked at me and he said, like if you choose to carry this child, she will, the child will ruin your life. And that was very, very difficult. And my husband said it's not, it's not, that's not an option for us to terminate the pregnancy. And he said then you're going to walk through this alone. So I was left two weeks out, any answers. I then switched to an amazing. I was referred to by a friend, to an amazing high risk OB, and I've been with him ever since. He's awesome and kind of forgot about the other guy, thankfully, and out of sight, out of mind, and so I did carry her until 31 weeks when I went into labor with polyhydrominos. So her, my daughter's condition, her diagnosis was limb body wall complex, lbwc. It affects about only one in 15 million pregnancies and her condition was not genetic, it was just a random chance. And so my, her kidneys were not contained within. She had no frontal muscle wall. So her kidneys, excuse me, she had no frontal muscle wall so her organs were just floating in amniotic fluid so her kidneys produced excess fluid. So that put me into labor. Because I had excess fluid in my body. So that pressure caused me to go into labor at 31 weeks and she was born via C-section. But in the meantime I had an amazing doula that I booked while I was pregnant, when I was 12 weeks pregnant, and she was with me through the whole pregnancy and I prepared myself by doing some excuse me, I've been getting over a little cold Some pain management techniques. One of them is pretty popular, it's called Hypno Babies. So I'm using hypnosis for pain management, self-taught hypnosis. I was able to do it unknowingly. I dilated eight centimeters at home and then I walked into the hospital through the security, through triage. They offered me a wheelchair. I said no thanks and they did the vaginal exam. They said you're eight centimeters. So we got to stop this because we were going planning to do a C-section. I just unknowingly labored and I didn't realize that progressed. So we did do a C-section. I was actually on comfort care and palliative care at 20 weeks so I was closely monitored and because of my daughter's life-limiting diagnosis. So it was really a memorable experience because the hospital really catered to sibling integration and they really helped guide my family and I just on ways to memorialize her at her birth and her passing and I have her little hand prints right up there on the desk you see them in her ultrasound and they really helped us with ideas to memorialize her. They provided us with those hand prints for free of cost, which was really sweet and just different ways and connected us with different families. So, like I said, sibling integration. So my kiddos were able to be there and to meet her. We had a photographer come who does this voluntarily to take pictures, and she just sort of. People had told me like, oh, it might be weird having a photographer in the room, but then others had told me they just act like a fly on the wall, they know what to do, they're trained to do this type of situation. So she really was amazing and she got amazing photos and didn't interfere with any of us and so, anyways, I had a doula through the whole process. I had a doula in the C-section room with me. I was able to create a playlist that played music during my C-section and so after that I took some time to recover, obviously, and I was a postpartum doula prior, but I really found a niche and a need for excuse me, to get some water. I really saw that there was a need and lack of support for bereaved mothers and mothers who have experienced loss, or even mothers that are now pregnant after loss so maybe their previous pregnancies have had a loss and so their second pregnancy is just really triggering for them because of their first ex-prior experience. So there wasn't there, and there still isn't, a lot of resources. So I really wanted to step into that realm and support other mothers going through this and whether it's a live birth or not, and so I didn't want anyone to experience what I had gone through, and people didn't really know quite how to respond after I gave birth because they thought, well, maybe she doesn't need help because there's no baby to take care of. So I think that was sort of their mentality Traditionally. I think a lot of mother-in-laws and moms think we'll come over and help because the baby's there and it's a lot going on, but you still have a postpartum period even after you don't have a live birth, and I think that that's something that our culture needs to be made more aware of. So since then I started stepping into the realm and helping moms with pregnancy after loss, even on their third pregnancy. Sometimes they have a more difficult time because two pregnancies ago they had a loss. And just having me there and someone who's been through it and walked through it, I think it's very valuable to be educated in that realm. But it's just completely different if you have someone who has experienced it in your home with you and you just don't even have words to say to each other. You just know what you're feeling and you just have a different connection with sharing stories and things. And then also I do offer online education on my website, fecunduborncom, and I'm launching some courses for bereavement modules where I have an MFT. Come in and she talks about postpartum loss and the cross, the intersection between postpartum depression and loss. And then I have a few guest speakers, authors who have written in books after they have experienced infant loss, as well as just overall newborn education and basic swaddling techniques. So we really have a full spectrum of education that we offer and we look forward to adding to that library on a monthly basis.

Speaker 1:

Well, first of all, I'm sorry. I mean, I guess there is no words you can say to somebody who's had a loss, and I know that had been very difficult. But I commend you for having the courage to be able to take what happened and what you went through and you're there for other people, to be able to be there for them and know what they're going through, or understand, I should say, what they're going through and then offer that as a service. I mean, that really takes a special person to do that. But knowing that you're a foster parent and you have your own children and what you're doing, I mean your heart is as big as your body. Teresa, my gosh, that's pretty amazing. But I know you're busy all the time because, like you said, you're there and you're available for all these parents. But tell us about these classes that you have coming up. I know you're talking about the one, but also people can reach out to you virtually too, right? I mean, are you also in person or can you do virtual?

Speaker 2:

Yep, so I do offer virtual as well. I have a HIPAA compliant platform that I used to meet with parents. I have different categories. I have one that's called Milk Mentor and that's all about lactation support. I have a free 15-minute consultation for each class. I have one for swaddling, I have one for baby-led weaning. So I just have different categories that you can book and, of course, some of them are more lengthy where maybe the parents want more of a check-in basis. So maybe it's not a single one-hour meeting, but maybe it's. You know, we do a two-week contract, virtually, and we meet three hours each week, so that's an option as well.

Speaker 1:

And then I am. You cover a whole plethora of things, you know, right, with a newborn, like you said, even just the lactation and the swaddling, because that's something I wouldn't even think about. But I'm assuming that all of those things really kind of come into play when you, when you have I mean, I know that having a child and keeping them close to you was when my children were little but there's so many more, so much more research and findings that you can actually help, that helps in the development of the child. I remember researching and I did it with my son where you had all the black and white toys and maybe a splash of red and that was to help stimulate mentally for the child. You know, and it's, and I and I work with Dr Sears, you know. But but you've, what you're doing is so much more involved in hands on.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, so we do a lot of that, like, like you mentioned, like the high contrast flashcards, just developmentally appropriate activities to implement during tummy time. We all do all that in person but of course, virtually I'm always happy. I always help the clients with ideas over the virtually or help create, create like a plan and layout for them as well with ideas. That's really useful and you know, sometimes a lot of these families they might have they have in laws and grandparents come into town after baby arrives but those grandparents just want to be grandparents and snuggle the baby. They don't necessarily want to wake up in the middle night and feed them. So a majority of my work is overnight care and then I do daytime as well. But yes, I do offer virtual, virtual to and you know we do. I am a certified CPR first aid instructor as well. So sometimes the families would like like to go over, you know, prevent choking prevention and infant while I'm over there or take a formal class. So if you're at home which is really beneficial because they don't have to go out you know a lot of places don't allow babies, so if I come in their home and babies there needs a feeding break, that's really great to do a great option to do in their home as well for CPR and first aid training.

Speaker 1:

I've been doing this for quite a while, so how old? What's the oldest person that you have that you start with? An infant that is now grown to a certain age. What age is that at the moment?

Speaker 2:

I think they're both. I believe they're just entering high school right now.

Speaker 1:

It's interesting to see these children grow.

Speaker 2:

Oh yeah, because I keep in touch with their parents on Facebook. So they're going to homecoming, and you know, and then I do all this screenshot to my other, like calling. I'll be like can you guess who this is, you know? So yeah, they're going to homecoming and prom and all of that. So yeah, it's crazy. I have to count backwards in the years and like, okay, yeah, that makes sense.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. Now you, you started, and I just want to touch on this a little bit. You actually had an opportunity to go to Europe and this actually kind of helped with what you're doing and how you deal with the newborns, what they do over there, how it was kind of different, yeah yeah, so I am.

Speaker 2:

So I love the name, my name, the company name, fika newborn. It comes from the Swedish tradition of sort of having coffee, having a coffee break and just having something sweet and gathering around and reconnecting. So when I was in visiting in Europe, I have a friend who lives over there so I had gone quite a bit and stayed with her and then one of the times she had been come engaged by to a Swedish man and he had come back over to Eastern Europe where we were staying and he had brought over the tradition of Fika. So my friend was super excited and she said, like let's try this new thing, fika. So in her apartment Each day we would put out some tea and coffee and candy or cookies and like on the dining room table and then here in America everyone, monday through Friday, everyone is gone working nine to five. In Europe it's slower, everyone's home during the day. So so you know, from nine to five, you know somewhere between there around one, between one PM and four PM, you know you do FICA, you put out on the table, everyone comes from their bedrooms or you know wherever they're at doing errands and everyone just joins together and has time to reconnect and just a treat. So I really thought that that was fun. And just when I decided to do my rebrand and launch my online education, I was brainstorming. For months, my husband and I were brainstorming different branding names and models and I thought, well, fica. And then I thought, well, how could I love the name and I love what it means and what it represents, but how can I incorporate it into my company? And I thought, well, you know, it's really a time to reconnect and just to shed light on you know, onto your child, and to reconnect and just to be present in your parenting. And, like I mentioned before, I do a lot of overnight care. So I always tell my clients you know, you want to maximize your healing by maximizing your rest and your sleep so that you can become fully present with your child during the day. So I'm a firm believer that if the mom is well rested and then both parents are well rested and it's a, you know, a happy home during the day because they got a good night's sleep then they're able to really fully enjoy motherhood on a different level and enjoy their baby as well.

Speaker 1:

That's awesome. I love it. Yeah, I know Europe's a little bit different. I've had an opportunity to travel and, yeah, you have to. We try to get done in, you know, 12 hours. It takes them two or three days, but it's much more enjoyable. Yeah, so we got a few more. We got about another minute or two. So what would you like to share with everyone? Obviously, all of your links will be down below, so you'll have an opportunity to connect with Charisse, and I highly recommend that you do. Whether you're having a baby or you know someone who is, you know, maybe want to reach out to her for other other reasons, maybe to connect with her. So her informational down be down in the description below. We guys will be able to connect with that. But what's? What's something? I know you got an event coming up so we can, we can share that, but is there anything else that you would like to share?

Speaker 2:

No, I just encourage you to check us out on social media at Fika Newborn and FikaNewborncom. Take a look, browse around at our online education. I have blogs posted that are you know, tons of a wealth of information as well. So, yeah, just take a look and feel free to reach out anytime.

Speaker 1:

Great. Well, thank you so much for being with us today. I I really am excited. I love what you do. I really do. Like I said, if I had known there was anybody out there like you when I was having children, I definitely would have put on my list of people to call. So thank you so much. All right, thank you for joining us. I'm coach, mickey. Please connect with our guests. They love hearing from you and, again, please keep your comments, your questions and your suggestions coming. I highly recommend that you connect with these people. They're amazing in what they do and remember, most courageous thing you can do is be yourself. I look forward to seeing you next week with another fun guest. Until then, see ya.

Postpartum Doula and Newborn Care Specialist
Supporting Bereaved Mothers