Stork’s private in-home services after birth include postpartum doulas, lactation support, massage and even baby gear advice. Photo by Getty images.

This consulting service wants to lighten the burden of your bouncing bundle

Having a baby has always been a life-altering experience, in mangers or in mansions—and that’s without a worldwide pandemic tilting the scales toward chaos. Granted, there have been other times in history (during the Black Plague, perhaps, or throughout the not-so-distant decades of Victorian England) when childbirth and childrearing couldn’t ever seem to come at a convenient time or without certain risks, but in the developed world, the impact of COVID-19 has turned one of life’s most celebratory events into an extremely solitary experience, forgoing the usual comforts of hands-on help, classes or even visits from friends and family for the sake of the public good. So what’s a new mom to do, welcoming the addition of a family member amidst the absence of all the rest? Luckily for Baton Rouge, Stork Maternity Consulting has continued to stand by with plenty of advice, resources and recommendations—even from afar.

Leah Frederick and Alexandra McCall expand a maternity consulting company to help Capital City families. Photo by Collin Richie.

Founded in Austin, Texas, before moving to Baton Rouge in 2018, Stork Maternity Consulting sprung from the brain of co-founder, registered nurse and mother-of-two Leah Frederick as an extension of her career in newborn care and postpartum support. When first-time mothers and fathers continued to express their lack of confidence or unpreparedness around bringing their child home from the hospital, she began to see a need for continued education and support, both physically and psychologically, for new families feeling unmoored and at risk for postpartum anxiety and depression.

“We started providing education for new mothers, but we also love working with husbands, to get together to talk about how babies can change your marriage,” she says. “My idea was to focus on the family during what we call the ‘fourth trimester,’ or the first three months after the baby arrives. We offer lots of breastfeeding support, if that’s what someone’s looking for. It’s just so nice to have someone around to mitigate all the emotional and physical changes that can happen to a mom or to her relationships, and we love helping to prepare families for what that’s going to look like.” 


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Frederick’s team is made up of educated professionals prepared to show up in the home to help with infant care and to provide mental support to mothers who sometimes just need a good sleep.

“It can be questions from ‘Am I swaddling correctly?’ or ‘Is this too much milk?’ to ‘Is so-and-so thing normal?'” says Frederick. “We’re right there holding their hand through the process and helping them be at peace.”

Of course, COVID-19 has necessarily changed up the business model a bit, with people forced to keep strangers away from their personal bubbles, no matter how trusted or helpful. And while Stork Maternity Consulting does offer virtual doula support, virtual lactation support, and virtual support groups led by professionals with evidence-based knowledge and advice, Frederick says she’s noticed a rise in anxiety and depression in new mothers due to the shortcomings of the Zoom era.


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Loneliness and lack of connection has been a major issue, since there’s only so much that texting and Zoom calls can do. They’re better than nothing, but the lack of physical connection with other mothers is really affecting their mental health, to be honest,” she says. “Plus, not everyone can afford to have a postpartum doula. Ours are excellent and very safe, but I feel like every family deserves to have even one person to help them through a lonely time. Some families have told me that our services have been everything to them.”

But with a new COVID-free world on the way, as well as with rising awareness of the emotional challenges of infant care, the future of familial bliss is looking bright.

“In the past five or six years, I’ve noticed a huge shift in looking beyond just physical support, and supporting people emotionally and psychologically wherever they are,” she says. “Dads are being made more aware of moms suffering distress to the point where they’re learning how to spot the signs, and learning when to make calls asking for help. The world is shifting more toward mindfulness and being more aware of our triggers and emotions and the dark sides of having a baby. It’s not taboo anymore, it’s just a matter of letting people in and helping them find peace and support in the experience.”

Learn more about Stork Maternity Consulting in this inRegister article from 2019.