Meet the Women Who Power Our Network
Pacify is on a mission to relieve new parent anxiety and keep both parents and children healthy. We have interviewed hundreds of maternal and pediatric experts in the U.S. and Canada, and only hire those who have the knowledge, expertise, and compassion to truly understand new parents and give them the help they deserve. These are some of the women that spend their days and nights supporting new parents in their most critical times of need - now more than ever.
"I feel like I am making an impact that lasts a lifetime; we're helping a mom in that first month. This could make the difference in that infant's health through their lifespan and the mom’s."
Our Chief Clinical Officer, Melanie Silverman, is delighted to introduce just a few of the friendly faces that make Pacify the reliable, reassuring, and vital support network that it is today. Watch the interview above, and read on to learn about their experience working in tele-lactation, how COVID-19 has changed the way they provide care, and why they've dedicated their lives to helping new and expecting parents keep their families safe and healthy.
Kayellen Young IBCLC, RLC, CD(DONA) - Pacify Provider, California
Q: Do you feel new parents are more anxious during this global pandemic?
Karen: In a lot of cases, we end up talking about the fact that we're sheltering in. I had one mom in particular who started the call in tears and said, "I'm a new mom, I'm having a lot of issues." She was pretty nervous. I worked with her on position and latch, and during the course of the consultation I asked, "Is there anyone there with you?" And she said, "No there isn't." She really started to cry again. She goes, "Because of COVID, I am sheltering in without my family."
That was pretty emotional, and I really spent a lot of time with her going over position latch and I assured her that she was doing an excellent job. My heart went out to that lady. I stayed on that call as long as I could until I was satisfied that she was satisfied and that she was getting the help she needed.
Q: What are two of the most common questions you hear from new parents who call Pacify?
Kayellen: One of the more common questions is about the latch, in the very beginning, these moms aren't getting the latch correctly, it causes pain, there's less milk transfer, so that will create a lot more worries. Another one is about milk supply issues, especially if this is the first baby that they have breastfed and having a baby that's at the breast often. It makes them first think they don't have the milk supply, and a lot of times it's just about reassuring them and giving them information as to why the baby's eating often. Ways to tell that the baby is are getting enough milk is by counting dirty diapers.
Linda: It’s really interesting when I answer the call, they typically start with, "I just have a quick question." And it doesn't end as a quick question. What happens is I end up asking them questions about the latch, the outputs and how they're perceiving their milk flow. Is the baby latching deep enough? Is there milk transfer? Is the baby content afterwards? Peeing, bowel movements, it just goes on and on.
The other question I get is if the baby nursed so well in the hospital, than why is the baby not nursing well now? The baby's learning and the milk is changing, the volume is increasing, and the baby figures out what hunger is.
Q: Why do you believe tele-lactation is so important?
Kayellen: I think tele-lactation is really important because it's immediate. These moms have questions, and can’t go to a doctor's office, you can't get appointment. The moms need to have that stress relieved ASAP, so this is instantaneous. They also don't have to leave home. If you've got a toddler or your spouse is working and there's only one car - you don't even have to get yourself looking pretty because for a lot of these moms, just getting themselves together in the morning is difficult.
Another reason is it reduces the burden on the healthcare system. We have moms going to the doctor just because they're concerned about whether they're breastfeeding the baby correctly or not, but they can call us instead, that saves those appointments for child checkups and sick children.
And last, this will save a lot of money in insurance costs. If a mom can quickly be on the phone with us for 5 or 10 minutes and get the question answered, the cost of this call versus going to the doctor and submitting an insurance claim is a lot lower.
When a mom has a breastfeeding question, is it an emergency?
Melanie: Yes. If she does not get that question answered, she risks losing her milk supply. I think that's what's so magical about the Pacify app, it solves a problem the minute you need help. If a mom waits 2-3 days her milk supply is compromised, but if she can get the help immediately with our app, we can avoid the problem by solving her issues instantly and from anywhere.
Q: Can you explain your philosophy of care when it comes to helping breastfeeding mothers?
Linda: As a registered nurse and an IBCLC, and in my tenure of nursing at the hospital, I was a case manager. I see what mothers need, whether they're a first-time or a seasoned mom, they're learning about this tiny human that they just birthed, not only do I have to know what to tell them, but also how to tell them. If I'm just giving them statistics, they're not likely to listen. I want to assure them that their milk is the best thing they'll ever give their baby...I want to help them continue to produce this milk and to preserve it. I know now, there are a lot of stressors present in their lives, it’s nice to have someone a click away; to talk with, to bring them out of their sadness, and I think that's really important. I too feel like I want to be the person that I wish I had in my breastfeeding journey many years ago, and so I put out my heart to every mom that calls me.
Karen: Okay. First and foremost, I would like to say that it would be wonderful if every mom had the opportunity in her last trimester to have a comprehensive, interactive, prenatal breastfeeding class. So that way when we consult, they know a little bit about how the breast works and how. The size of the baby's stomach. The difference between colostrum and transitional milk, and why that latch changes once the milk comes. But my philosophy is to help every mom that I see reach her breastfeeding goal, whether that breastfeeding goal is one month, three months, six months or more. I always figure out where mommy is and how to get her to where she needs to be.
"My philosophy is to help every mom that I see reach her breastfeeding goal, whether that breastfeeding goal is one month, three months, six months or more. I always figure out where mommy is and how to get her to where she needs to be."
Q: What is the best part of your job at Pacify?
Kayellen: The best part of my job at Pacify is I can work my schedule around it, I can be available whenever these moms need help, 24/7. I also think that being alongside a mom in the most critical time in her life, because again, she is so worried about this little human being that she is responsible for. Also, I feel like I am making an impact that lasts a lifetime, we're helping a mom in that first month. This could make the difference in that infant's health through their lifespan and the mom’s.
Linda: Well, six years ago, it doesn't seem that long. When I started with Pacify, I was so excited that I could do outreach, because at that time our hospital created a baby cafe, which was another form of outreach. I decided that even though I could be at baby café, moms could call and I could see them for appointments, but when they would call me at 10:00pm, it was difficult to be able to communicate. When I started with Pacify, I was able to do face time, real time and answer calls anytime, it was the best thing ever. I think that outreach is so important because we have so many rural areas and small towns and places that don't have the support at the hospital. I think it's just so important that we are available to these moms when they need it.
Karen: The best part of my job at Pacify is the gratitude that the moms have at the end of the call. Often you have to assure them that you're perfect, your body works perfect. This is the information that you need to be successful. And I always try and spend as much time as I can and make sure they comprehend that. At the end, the gratification that the mom shows me is, I can't even describe it. I mean I love that the mom is smiling and sometimes waving at me at the end of every call.
In an effort to keep all new parents connected and informed during these uncertain times, Melanie is hosting live Q&As every Friday at 1:30pm EST, on Pacify's Instagram LIVE. Tune in to meet more Pacify Providers, learn from other experts in the field, and have your questions answered!
To tune in:
1 - Visit Pacify's instagram (@pacifyapp) at the time of the live stream and click our logo graphic, which will have a colorful circle around it indicating there is a live stream in-progress. If you're prompted, select “Watch Live Video”.
2 - When you're connected you'll see Melanie on your screen! Feel free to write a hello in the comment box, and ask as many pregnancy, breastfeeding, and baby-related questions as you like! Your messages will appear in the live feed - Melanie will read and answer as many questions on-air as time allows.