PHOENIX -- You wait nine long months to finally bring home your bundle of joy, and while you may have romanticized the idea of what life will be like, reality quickly sets in.
You realize how fussy a new baby can be. You quickly learn to get by on just a few hours of sleep. Even more quickly, you realize you don’t know exactly what you’re doing with this tiny being who is completely dependent on you for everything. That’s where experienced nurse Cara Dumaplin comes in.
After spending more than a dozen years taking care of women both before baby and after, she says she saw a need she knew she could meet.
“I would see these moms come in and they were vibrant and alive and so excited to have these babies. And they would come in for their postpartum visit and it was like a different person," she explained. "They were downtrodden. They were overwhelmed, anxious, and I just felt like if I could go home with her for two to four hours, I know I could make a difference in her life.”
With that her business was born. Taking Cara Babies offers new moms the chance to essentially bring a nurse home with them from the hospital.
Dumaplin helps moms adjust to life with a baby. That includes assisting with breastfeeding, newborn care and establishing sleep schedules. She'll do whatever it takes to help her charges settle in to their new lives, even if it means staying overnight.
Several moms we talked with said Dumaplin does more than just teach them how to care for their little ones. She also builds their confidence as mothers. And that's just as important as swaddling 101.
“Just the little text. 'I’m sorry you had a rough day, you’re doing a great job.' Everyone wants to hear that you’re not messing up," Kourtney Sutto said. "Every mom is different. Every kid is different."
Dumaplin, herself a mother of four, said because many Valley women don’t have their mothers and grandmothers nearby, it’s important to build a network of support.
“My mission is to educate, encourage and empower new moms so they feel like, ‘I can do this I’m enjoying my baby.'"
Taking Cara Babies can also offer exhausted moms a solid eight hours of sleep every now and then by caring for baby overnight while mom gets some much-needed rest.