Today we’d like to introduce you to Gina Mydlo.
Hi Gina, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I am a pediatric physical therapist, a wife, and a mother to a four years old son. I’ve been working as a therapist for longer than I’ve been a mother and have always loved working in pediatrics. My son was born premature and with a spinal cord impairment. The first three years of his life, he needed all kinds of therapies to help him succeed: physical, lactation, occupational, speech, feeding, and psychological. Because of my background, I had a lot of education and knew how to promote his development in certain areas. But he also benefited greatly from the variety of therapists and professionals that helped us along the way.
Going through this process made me realize something important. Only parents who have a baby who is already experiencing issues receive extra support from professionals. Otherwise, parents don’t receive the education and resources they need to promote their infant’s development until AFTER their child is already experiencing significant delays or difficulties.
Pediatric therapists are experts on infant development, and as a physical therapist I have a ton of information on infant sleep, feeding, and development that can help PREVENT issues before they start. So I teamed up with my sister, who is a pediatric speech therapist and lactation counselor, and we started teaching infant development courses to parents!
We started out teaching in person in St. Louis, but we really want to help as many parents as possible. So we have made our courses available online so parents can access them anywhere, anytime. We also have a free buying guide to help parents decide which baby products are helpful and which ones are actually harmful.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
As a working mother, there is just limited time to start and grow a business from nothing. I worked on building my online courses and create content for social media during my son’s naptimes or when he goes to bed at night. I also did not have a personal presence on social media prior to this, so I was way behind the times in knowing how to promote a business on Facebook or Instagram. I had to basically teach myself everything and did a lot of trial and error. Luckily I have a close friend who was able to help me on some of the website building and technical side of things – it’s not as easy as one might think!
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Their Best Start?
My sister Laura and I are both pediatric therapists. She is a pediatric speech therapist and lactation counselor who has extensive expertise in treating infant feeding disorders. I’m a pediatric physical therapist, and I also specialize in working with young infants and work very closely with feeding therapists and lactation professionals. I make sure the baby is positioned properly for all feedings (breastfeeding, bottle feeding, solid feeding), and I assess how baby’s physical body may be impacting her other skills like feeding and sleeping. So for example, if baby has some tightness in her body we need to address that to get the best results out of her feeding therapy.
Laura and I offer a really unique, comprehensive approach that parents may not find elsewhere. We understand and teach that each of baby’s essential skills (feeding, sleeping, motor) is deeply connected and impact each other. So if baby is having a hard time sleeping, we don’t just give some general sleep recommendations. Instead, we look at the root cause of why baby may not be sleeping. Does the infant have issues feeding? Is the infant tight or gassy? Is there an airway issue? We know that if a baby has a poor latch to the breast, she may get gassy and have reflux, which makes her uncomfortable, which makes it difficult for her to sleep, no matter how much behavioral sleep intervention you implement.
Once you are taught to start looking at your infant as a whole and have a deeper understanding of your baby’s development, you can become much more confident in your decisions as a parent.
We currently offer two online courses on young infant development.
One course is called Baby’s Best Moves, and in it I guide you through all the essential milestones from birth to six months and how you can promote all those milestones in easy to implement and realistic ways. I’ll also teach you what you can do from the start to prevent common infant issues like flat head syndrome and torticollis (tight neck).
The other course is called Baby’s Best Start, and my sister and I both teach that course. We teach everything you need to know about infant feeding, sleeping, and helping baby have a calm body to thrive in all areas of development. We also teach you how each of these areas is deeply connected which will help you understand your baby’s cues so much more easily.
We also offer a free guide called “How to Buy for Baby” where we show you what baby products are best for baby and which ones you should avoid that are either dangerous or don’t promote proper development. We cover bottles, pacifiers, swaddles, sleep sacks, containers (bouncy seats, swings, play seats, exersaucers…etc.), baby carriers, car seats, and more! Unfortunately, big companies just want to sell their stuff and have really misleading advertising in tons of these baby products. As therapists, we know how to read past that false advertisement, but we want parents to be able to do that too!
Our mission is to make sure that parents have the CORRECT information on their baby’s development (because there is too much misinformation out there!), and with that education they will feel more empowered and confident as parents. Knowing how to promote your infant’s development from the beginning is priceless, and in doing so you can prevent so many issues down the road.
You can find us on social media @theirbeststart for free, easy-to-follow parenting tips and tricks!
What would you say have been one of the most important lessons you’ve learned?
I’ve learned that it is so important to ask for help! My friends and family have been so supportive of this journey. From photos and videos of their babies to having them give me honest feedback on some course material to helping me advertise and build my website, I have had so much help from them along the way.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Website: www.theirbeststart.com
- Instagram: @theirbeststart
- Facebook: @theirbeststart