Tracy Crockett's job is to cuddle tiny babies and make sure they get some sleep and so do their parents. Crockett has worked more than 17 years in pediatrics, neonatal intensive care and labor delivery. And that experience launched her career as a postpartum doula. After working part-time as a postpartum doula for 13 years, she launched Sweet Dreams Doula
in January 2019.
"It is my passion to nurture, support, encourage and educate growing families," she tells me.
Crockett, a native of Syracuse, N.Y., moved to Fuquay-Varina about 20 years ago. She and her husband have four children, three grandchildren and are in the process of adopting from foster care through Lutheran Family Services Carolina. I checked in with Crockett to learn more about her work. Here's a Q&A.
GAM: What all do you offer, and what changes have you had to make during COVID?
Tracy Crockett: We offer daytime and fully awake overnight postpartum doula support, Infant/toddler sleep coaching and Infant feeding support. COVID has required us to make a few changes in our support. We still offer in-home, hands-on care, but respect the boundaries and comfort level of the families we support by wearing masks if required and taking all safety precautions. Each doula only works with one family at a time until completion of the contract to limit exposure risks that working with multiple families could produce.
GAM: You see a lot of absolutely exhausted new parents. What are the biggest struggles they're facing?
TC: I think one of the biggest struggles new parents face is feeling overwhelmed trying to navigate their new family structure. New parents often are exhausted and lack confidence in all the new baby skills because these sweet little bundles don’t come with instruction manuals. Our goal is to help ease them through that delicate time and promote confidence while supporting them physically and emotionally. We encourage, educate and assist in strengthening the skills to help their new family flourish.
GAM: You've helped a lot of babies sleep. What's your top tip for parents who are wondering if they'll ever get a good night sleep again?
TC: My top sleep tip is setting up the nursery or baby’s sleep area for optimal sleep. That means temperature set at 68-70 degrees, blackout curtains to regulate circadian rhythm, white noise machine, fan on for circulation (studies show it reduces SIDS by 72%), if a night light is needed use a red one as it does not affect melatonin production like yellow or white light and most importantly … hire Sweet Dreams Doula to help you get some much needed zzzzzz’s!
GAM: What do you love about what you do?
TC: Being able to nurture, encourage, educate and help new families navigate their first few months is so rewarding. It brings me immeasurable joy and fulfillment. The heartfelt appreciation from the families I support is what confirms that this is my calling.
Go Ask Mom features local moms every Monday.