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Meet Jana Spillers of Bishop Babies in Oak Cliff

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jana Spillers.

Jana, before we jump into specific questions about your work, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started Bishop Babies when I was newly pregnant with my now 2.5 year old. I began with baby wearing, cloth diapering, baby care and CPR classes and then added lactation support, postpartum doula services and car seat safety as I expanded my education certifications. I am now also helping clients discover more natural methods of dealing with common health and wellness issues. I teach clients how to use essential oils to support themselves and their children. My current project has been helping families make elderberry syrup to get through cold and flu season. I plan to offer prepared childbirth classes in the near future as well. On a personal level, I serve as the Sunshine Chair on the board of Rosemont Early Childhood PTA. I coordinate volunteers to provide meals to families after the birth of a child, illness or other event. I also recently opened a Little Free Library in my yard in North Oak Cliff, providing free books to anyone who wants them.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The greatest struggle I have recently experienced is overcoming misconceptions regarding infants. For example, practices such as feeding very young babies rice cereal in a bedtime bottle to “make them sleep longer” or turning young toddlers forward facing in their car seats “because the doctor said it was ok” are common but can be very harmful. I focus on educating parents and providing the tools for them to advocate for themselves and their children. Our culture doesn’t do a stellar job of supporting young families, so some parents are unaware that services like mine even exist.

We’d love to hear more about your work.
I specialize in educating and empowering new parents through infant care and safety classes, a new parent hotline, postpartum doula and lactation services. I am one of very few car seat safety technicians in this area and the only lactation certified neonatal nurse practitioner making home visits. Often, new mothers come to me after seeing multiple other lactation professionals and we can work through their issues to find a solution. I’m most proud of these victories and that I am now experiencing repeat clients returning with their next baby after seeking my help with a previous child. Nothing makes me happier than seeing a mother and baby work through their struggles and thrive in a long term nursing relationship.

My nurse practitioner experience enables me to approach lactation from a holistic perspective for both mother and baby. If I’m unable to resolve an issue, I can generally give recommendations or refer to a colleague who can provide a solution. I greatly value my network of doulas, midwives, physicians, chiropractors, social workers, counselors, dietitians, pediatric dentists and lactation consultants. Together, we form a safety net of professionals monitoring and supporting the new mother and child. My favorite way to care for clients is in collaboration with other birth workers with multiple sets of eyes on mother and baby in the early days and weeks after birth. This fills the traditional gap between birth and the first six week postpartum visit.

What were you like growing up?
I was a very outgoing child who used big words beyond my years. I loved dolls, dance and wanted to be a pediatrician.

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