Meet the mama behind Nourishing Nugget
If there’s one thing we can’t get enough of as moms, it’s access to resources and information. And it’s even better when it’s information and advice given from other moms! We love the moms out there who’ve made it their goal to educate, empower and encourage other moms. That’s exactly what Melissa Spadone does. Not only is she a board certified nurse practitioner and breastfeeding educator, but she also started her own platform to support and inform mothers called Nourishing Nugget.
If you’re a mama who enjoys humor, real life moments and a community of like minded moms then you’ll feel right at home on Melissa’s blog. Bringing mommas together to motivate, educate and support each other during our mothering journeys is what she’s all about and we are so excited to share her as a resource with you today!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Katy?
I’m a Texan, born and raised, and my family moved to Katy when I was in Jr High. My husband and I met at Cinco Ranch High School!
You’re a mama to three! How old are they and did you always know you wanted a big family?
Mason is 4, Riley is 2, and Avery is 7 months! I grew up with two sisters and loved it! I always knew I wanted a house full of Nuggets. Crazy, loud and wonderful!
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in the community of Katy?
The wonderful people!
Greatest gift about being a mom?
Everything, I love everything. I mean, who doesn’t love a show while pooping!?
Least favorite mom job? (i.e. packing lunches, dishes, bath time, etc.)
Currently, washing pump parts and bottles nightly. 5 more months, 5 more months…it’s nots like I’m counting or anything!
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I’m extremely dyslexic.
We’re big on self-care for moms, as hard as it is to find the time, what’s something you do just for yourself?
Nothing relaxes me more than walking around Target with a coffee and no Nuggets. Really any kind of shopping alone is wonderful!
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
Dance parties! So good for the soul and fixing a bad mood!
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
Coffee, a smile and laughing when things get stressful.
Outside of being a mama, you’re a Board Certified Pediatric Nurse and Breastfeeding Educator. Tell us about your journey into the medical field and what you love most about what you do?
Honestly, being a Nurse Practitioner was never part of the plan. My heart was always geared toward bedside nursing. I was passionate about helping educate the population about common medical concerns and advocating for them. I stared my nursing career at Texas Tech University where I received my bachelor’s degree in Nursing. I worked as a floor nurse for about 3 years before I started getting frustrated seeing things that needed to happen for my patients but not having the authority to make those changes. On a whim I applied to grad school and was wonderfully surprised when I got my acceptance call. I received my Master’s in Nursing from Johns Hopkins University where my focus of study was pediatrics.
My absolute favorite part of my job is watching my little Nuggets grow! I have been blessed to witness many of my patient’s births and have watched/helped them get their first latch on the breast. I’ve walked their parents through their first fever, I’ve couched them through sleepless nights, thousands of ears infections, broken bones, developmental delays and so much more. Watching a Nugget grow up is truly a miracle in front of your eyes and I get the privilege to see this with many Nuggets. There is no greater feeling then having a little Nugget excited to see you and want to come to the office.
What hospital are you with and what do you deal with most in your field?
I work in an outpatient primary care pediatric clinic. We see everything from Well Child Exams to common childhood illness to ADHD to chronic diseases like diabetes and asthma and so much more.
Tell us a bit about your platform, Nourishing Nugget, when you started it, and the inspiration behind it!
I started Nourishing Nugget almost a year ago (a year next month, YAY) to help momma navigate motherhood. I am a strong believer in motivating, educating and supporting each other in this crazy journey called motherhood. In clinic every day, I answer the same questions over and over and over again (what is a fever, how did the ear infection happen, is it a problem Nugget isn’t walking yet, etc.) and felt that there had to be a better way to educate parents of common childhood illness and childhood development. I find that parents cannot properly advocate for their Nugget if they are not properly educated on the topic and know what to ask.
What kind of content can moms expect on your social channels and blog?
-Pediatric health topics that range from normal childhood development, to common illnesses, to medication hacks, to things to avoid with Nuggets, to first aid and safety (like the Heimlich Maneuver) and more
-Breastfeeding topics that include the basics of breast milk production, how to pump, caffeine/alcohol/medication intake while breastfeeding and more
-Car seat education!
-Mom life: Topics life postpartum hair loss, self-care, working mom life
You mention on your blog that you had two very different breastfeeding journeys. Has this shaped how you work with nursing women?
Every single breastfeeding relationship is different and must be approached that way. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to breastfeeding. My first Nugget was a NICU Nugget and I was an exclusive pumper for 6 months before he finally made the transition over to the breast and nursed till self-weaning. Both my daughters latched right after birth without issues. I am also a full-time working mom who has to pump during work. I feel like with my education mixed with my experience as a nursing mom I can provided not only evidenced based knowledge but also tip and tricks that have been put to the test many time!
What makes your blog unique and what content are you most passionate about producing for your audience?
My content isn’t unique; this information is all over the internet. I feel what makes my platform stand out is the way that it is presented. It’s real, down to earth and easy to understand. I try to break down very complicated topics into the most basic terms so parents truly understand how to help their Nugget. They don’t need to be able to diagnosis Nugget but they need to know enough to know the correct questions to ask, when to push for a second opinion and the confidence to really advocate for their nugget.
If I had to pick just one of my passions with pediatric health care it would be car seat safety!
There’s a tremendous amount of support and resources for women who breastfeed because it’s the most nutritious option for children, but not a lot of nutrition help and advice beyond the 1st year. Is it your mission to provide nutritional support beyond the breastfeeding years?
Absolutely! As the page continues we will be covering baby led weaning, picky eaters, diets in Nuggets and more! The foods we eat are the back bone of our health!
What would you tell a mama struggling with breastfeeding?
Educate yourself! The number one reason most breastfeeding relationships end is because of lack of understanding of breastfeeding and lack of support! Education and support are VITAL for each and every mother! Also, most mommas need to know that breastfeeding does not have to be all or nothing!
Proudest moment as a nurse or helping moms during the postpartum stage?
Catching and helping mommas find help with postpartum depression/anxiety. We screen momma in the office at Nuggets well visits and I take it very seriously. Moms, especially right after giving birth, seem to fall through the cracks and PPD and PPA are often missed.
We can all agree postpartum care and maternity leave in our country could be better- what are some things you think women are lacking after baby?
Education and support! So much focus in this country during pregnancy is focus on material items for Nugget when moms should really be flooded with knowledge and skills to care for Nugget. Parents should be educated about how to install and use a car seat, moms should be given multiple breastfeeding classes and should be given a mentor to contact through those first few weeks PP and parents should be showered with books about fevers, introducing foods, dealing with a crying baby, what the first few months of life will be like instead of all they cute blanket and baby clothes are will most likely never be used.
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable and dreaded MOM GUILT?
If you have mom guilt it just means that you love you Nugget! No mom is perfect! We all give cereal for dinner, hit Nuggets head on the car when putting them in, skip pages in the book at bedtime and yell! We all do…if someone says they don’t, they are lying my dear!
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
Enjoy sleeping in and drinking that coffee while watching what YOU want to watch!
For more information on Melissa, be sure to follow along on social media and visit her website!