How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have three children and all girls: Evelyn 7, Britney 5, and Kiera  2.

How did you end up in Stamford?
I grew up in Stamford. I went away to college but came back to be closer to my family. I met my husband, who is a native Stamford resident

What do you love about Stamford?
I love the diverse opportunities Stamford offers. You can go for a hike at the Bartlett Arboretum one day and see a show at the Palace Theatre another. All within 15 minute drive. The restaurants are exceptional and Wednesday jazz music in Columbus Park is a nice way to spend a night out when we find a babysitter! It’s a city feel but you can always recognize someone you know especially at the St. Leo’s fair. It’s a great place to raise children.

What’s your favorite restaurant in Stamford?
My favorite restaurant in Stamford is Table 104. Their mussels and brussels sprouts salad are phenomenal. Great place to go for a ladies night out.

What do you do when you need some “me time”?
To get some quality me time I book a full body massage. It’s the best way to relax and get pampered when I am away from the kids. I zone out breathing in lavender essential oils and let all the body aches and stress melt away. It refuels me for the next few weeks.

Tell us about your career in physical therapy.
I graduated from the University of Scranton with a Masters in physical therapy in 2006. I have worked in outpatient orthopedics at a sports clinic in New York. I thoroughly enjoyed working with pediatric orthopedic cases. It was very rewarding having a 3 year old come in not weight bearing on their leg and see them walk after a few visits. It challenged me to be creative and fun in my exercise treatments.After having children I worked at a home care facility so my days would mirror my husbands. It is amazing to have that flexibility and ability to still maintain my career. It was also nice for my husband to be Mr. Mom while I was working. He is the best cook!

One of your focuses is on helping moms with mastitis. How did your personal experience influence that focus?
I personally had mastitis due to multiple clogs, plebs, and nipple damage while trying to nurse my first. I had 105 fever on and off for three days. The medication made the fever go away but the clogs were still present. I had to drive to a woman’s clinic with a newborn after being wiped out from the flu like symptoms for treatment. I couldn’t treat myself because it was so painful to the touch. Thankfully with the help from a physical therapist and a lactationist my clogs went away, I didn’t have a second episode of mastitis, and was able to resume nursing. I said to myself there has to be a better way than for me to travel so far with a newborn! Why can’t a physical therapist come to me while I am recovering from delivery and mastitis?

I felt the need to share my personal experiences and compassion with moms struggling with similar health issues while trying to care for a newborn. High Quality Home Therapy is a great fit for me to pursue treating woman’s health in the convenience of patients home or in the facility wherever the patient prefers. We do not have aides to assist with the treatment because our facility has 1:1 treatments for 45 minutes allowing me time for the hands on treatment and exercise to speed up the patient’s recovery process.

What are your tips for new moms with mastitis?
My tip for new mom with mastitis is that you will get through this! Mastitis can escalate fast, so call in for reinforcements. You can be talking and feeling fine one minute and the fever spikes causing you to shake uncontrollably. Don’t feel guilty you cannot take care of your newborn. The baby won’t remember! It’s like what a flight attendant says on a plane: you have to put the oxygen mask on yourself first before your child to survive. Take care of yourself and your health first so you will be able to take care of your baby. You can continue to nurse or pump after you get the clog out through physical therapy, ultrasound, purposeful nursing/pumping, and massaging the milk ducts. Don’t suffer alone. We are here to help!

What do you love about your job?
I love that my job as a physical therapist makes a difference in the quality of life of my patients. When you have suffered from constant, daily pain it decreases your ability to enjoy everyday experiences and be that active mom you strive to be. It is so rewarding to hear feedback from moms who say they can continue to nurse after a clog was removed, or they can jump with their kids and no longer have leaks, or they can pick up their baby without back pain because their abdominal separation was fixed with exercise. I still have a career and enjoy being a mom and won’t have to miss field day at my child’s school because of it. It’s the best of both worlds.

How do you juggle your career with mommyhood?
It is a juggling act to have a career and be a mom to three active girls. Some days I feel like I nailed it, remembering the gluten free cookies at school and seeing a full case load, and other days totally dropped the ball: I forgot pajama day and wore two different shoes to work. My husband is a firefighter for the city of Stamford. He works 24 hours at a time and those days can be extra long especially if one of my girls is sick. I remember one night I had one child wheezing needing a nebulizer, another child throwing up from the stomach bug, and my youngest up saying she was hungry. I earned my mommy stripes that night by feeding one child bread in the bathroom while holding another ones hair, and giving the phone to entertain my oldest while she was on the nebulizer. It is never a dull moment and if they are quiet I need to go check on what they are up to… usually the youngest will get into the paint!

I think it is great for my daughters to see their mom working and having a career. I rely on them to be more self sufficient with their school bags, packing their own lunches, and helping with chores around the house. I cannot do everything alone, we are a team! Even the two years old, Kiera, has to put on her own shoes, by herself, to help us make it to daycare on time.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten from another mom?
The best advice from another mom, my sister, is to get help when you can. No one will give you a trophy as a mom for doing everything by yourself. My sister took my oldest out to playgrounds to let me sleep when I had my second. My mother in law offered to do our laundry and my mother offered to cook. Yes, you can do all of this yourself but why struggle? Your job is to care for that beautiful newborn and yourself. Your family and friends want to help… so let them!

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