For this season’s Modern Bump Brunch coming up on May 26th, we’re posting interviews with our event sponsors to personally connect our readers with the people behind these wonderful family-focused businesses. Today we’re featuring our interview with Jennifer Garden of SleepDreams, a team of registered occupational therapists highly trained in the science of infant and child sleep.
JENNIFER GARDEN OF SLEEPDREAMS
Modern Mama: What made you decide to focus your occupational therapy practice on infant and child sleep?
Jennifer: I have always worked in the area of paediatrics and sleep has come up as a problem with the children I saw on my caseload frequently. I then had my twins and realised that it’s probably the most important activity we do on a daily basis. If sleep is not going well, most of our other daily activities aren’t either. I really opened my mind to expanding my practice to typically developing children as many of them don’t sleep which affects the entire family’s well being.
Modern Mama: What is your favourite aspect of working with new parents and their children?
Jennifer: As a health care professional, I love helping. That’s my job. As a mom, there’s nothing more rewarding than helping another family sort through challenges that can be overcome with support, correct education and encouragement.
Modern Mama: Do you think having twins yourself has improved your ability to relate to your clients and provide them with practical advice?
Jennifer: Absolutely, I understand what families are going through and I have a lot of empathy. Before having children, I think I was a good occupational therapist and able to apply the theory. But, after having children, I see my practice a lot differently. I have walked in the shoes of new parents and understand how rewarding yet challenging those first few years can be. All of our OT’s give research and evidence based advice but there’s also a real element of practicality, like what you can actually accomplish in your day and not to overdo things. I tell all of my clients ‘in order to be a good parent, you must also take care of yourself’. Most of all, I feel it is important that we respect individual differences and not judge others on parenting practices.
Modern Mama: Why are you looking forward to our Modern Bump Brunch?
Jennifer: Connecting with mothers in our community is important. I feel it takes a village to raise a child and I look forward to meeting the next generation’s parents and to hearing their questions.