Director, General Practitioner, Breastfeeding Medicine Specialist and mother to three precious daughters, Dr. Amber Hart is in a unique position to combine her extensive medical knowledge with her own personal and practical experience to optimise the wellbeing of mothers and babies. She created Maternal and Infant Wellbeing Melbourne, a boutique women’s health and perinatal experience, to nurture women and babies by providing consistent, evidence-based, exceptional quality care. Instead of being left to fend for themselves a few short weeks after giving birth, new mums are provided with tools, care and nourishment, with a huge range of specialists on hand to give guidance and support. Here Amber talks to The Natural Parent Magazine about what inspires her to do what she does, the challenges she has overcome, and her hopes and dreams for the future.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
Having worked in the perinatal space for many years, I was becoming more and more frustrated with the lack of support for families, particularly in the postpartum period. I would regularly have families coming to me just a few short weeks after having a baby, having seen multiple different practitioners who had told them multiple different things and their heads would be spinning. This prompted me to create Maternal and Infant Wellbeing Melbourne, a holistic, evidence-based centre with everything a new family could need under one roof. As part of this amazing service, I have created a breastfeeding haven where mums can come for a whole day, be nurtured with massage, nutrition and sleep and settling advice and have all of their feeds supported. This means that instead of having a brief encounter and being sent out on their own, they are given the tools and confidence to be able to troubleshoot their feeding difficulties after 7 hours of practice, while also feeling that they have been nurtured and made to feel like the goddesses that they are.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Maternal and Infant Wellbeing Melbourne started out as a one-woman-show, just me, doing infant feeding, sleep and settling consultations. Now we are a divine, multidisciplinary clinic offering families specialist GPs, Paediatricians, Women’s Health Physiotherapists, Women’s Health Osteopaths, Psychologists, Naturopaths, Nutritionists, Acupuncturists, Breastfeeding and Sleep and Settling Consultants and a Day Spa and a Breastfeeding Day Stay Retreat. It has been a dream come true watching this beautiful space bloom.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
The biggest breakthrough so far has been hitting that tipping point of chatter amongst families and seeing our client base grow. One of the biggest challenges has been knowing that so many people would benefit from the beautiful service, but not knowing the best way to reach them. While the fancy marketing campaigns are necessary, the biggest endorsement has to be word of mouth, and we’re really starting to see this explode.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
This has been much harder than I thought it would be. While I was expecting to work really hard to get this venture off the ground, I didn’t expect that it would occupy every second of my thoughts day and night. Luckily I have a very supportive partner who has been able to pick up some of the slack in the early days, and now that we are finding our feet more, I make sure I’m home for dinner every night, I make time to watch kids’ sport games, and the kids love to come into our bed on Sunday mornings for a family hug and catch up/debrief. While the mummy guilt is there, I’m trying to focus on the fact that I’m showing my girls that if you want something badly enough and you put in the effort, you can make your dreams come true.