Hi!
I'm Jess Ahlum, a parenting coach with a focus on strengthening relationships and enhancing infant-parent mental health.

I specialize in working with newborn parents, providing a continuity of care from preconception family planning through the first year of your baby’s life. If you are seeking mind-body-spirit wellness services for you or your family, allow me the chance to introduce my practice…

Happy Families


Happy Babies

HFHB was established in 2008 with the mission of supporting families as they welcome a new baby. Lowering stress and optimizing wellness during this critical stage in life can make a lasting impact on the health of your baby, and grand babies! 

So, what do I offer?

One-on-One Coaching

My entire career (all 20 years of it!) has been focused on supporting families. My passion is helping early on in family life, even from before conception, to set up the healthiest foundation for growth and development. My services are designed as solutions to some of the most common, pain points families face including…

Having a safe, healthy pregnancy and birth

Having a happy and connected newborn parenting experience with sleep, crying, feeding, and play

Supporting optimal development for your unique child

Strengthening your marriage / co-parenting relationship(s)

Evolving your sense of self after becoming a parent


Looking for massage or yoga specific for the 4 trimesters? I can help! 

Give me a call for more info or to schedule a session. 

910-377-7450

Baby Bodywork and Newborn Consulting

Falling in love with your newborn is task number one in parenthood. This happens at different times for each family and it’s totally normal to feel more like a protector, or caregiver than someone with stars in their eyes. Many factors influence your experience including previous losses, expectations, hormones, and health. Add to that the overwhelm of feeding, sleeping, and understanding what needs your baby is expressing through their cries and the newborn stage can feel like survival. My focus is helping you understand your baby’s needs, and helping your baby feel better through my gentle hands on bodywork techniques. Each baby receives a full assessment so together we can see if your baby is tight or restricted, how their nervous system is adjusting to life outside the womb, and any compensatory patterns that can be corrected as they grow. You’ll leave each session with tools to use at home to help your baby thrive and strengthen the bond between you. Some indicators your baby needs bodywork include…

  • Long, short, or difficult birth 
  • Cesarean birth
  • Head turning preferences or tight neck and shoulders
  • Full body tension
  • Head flattening
  • Reflux like symptoms
  • Colic, excessive crying, or difficulty soothing
  • Breastfeeding trouble including poor latch, damaged nipples, lip blisters, etc
  • Tongue and lip tie
  • Airway issues including nasal sound, squeaking, snoring, gagging, etc
  • Constipation or diarrhea  
  • Restless sleeping, inability to stay asleep, falling asleep at the breast

Call, text, or e-mail to schedule a session.

Couples Coaching

I truly believe the best things your can do for your child are to love yourself, and build fondness and mange conflict with your partner. Having a baby can shake up even the strongest of couples, yet your baby needs the parenting relationship to be safe and consistent. Unlike marriage therapy, our sessions together do not have to focus on the past, or even what’s wrong. It’s about developing new tools to better communicate, and bring more mindfulness into your family life. 

  • Talk about what you need and want in life
  • Develop clear, kind communication with each other and yourself
  • Align your parenting values
  • Move more smoothly through transitions
  • Deepen your bonds and have more fun

Need to get buy in from your spouse? No problem, give me a call and I’ll help you lay out a plan.

Private & Group Classes

The Birth and Bonding Class

Prepare for the magic of childbirth and immediate newborn bonding, through my compilation of “most important things” in this (child)birth and bonding class.

  • Learn anatomy, stages of labor, and the deal with birth plans
  • Discover mindfulness, yoga, and massage to decrease stress before, during, and after birth
  • Have “no regrets” by understanding the importance of including baby in the birth process
  • Manage conflict and become a stronger couple
  • On top of all of this you will have me cheering from the sidelines and offering on demand support through text as you venture towards (and beyond) the birthday! 

4 sessions, two hour classes

* See events for upcoming classes.

Contact Jess for availability and to book your classes today!

The Baby Class

Pack up the baby and venture out to a safe, small,  group space for parents and their pre-walking babies. This group consists of mostly moms, but all primary caregivers are welcome. Babies range in age from prebirth (prenates) to those already crawling. 

  • Learn tools to help sooth your baby including The Tummy Time! Method, infant massage, baby states of arousal, and cues
  • Reflect on your experiences and connect with other newborn caregivers
  • Cultivate mindfulness skills to help you stay present with your baby
  • Find create new ways to play with your baby
  • On top of all of this you will have the opportunity to build community and watch other families grow! 
One hour groups are offered once a week.
 

* See events for upcoming classes.

Contact Jess for availability and to book your classes today

The Sleep Class

Sleep is one of the biggest concerns to new parents and this class is about sleep science, not sleep training. Once you understand the neuroscience, mental health, and attachment framework for infant sleep, I will coach you to find sleep practices that align with your family needs and values.

  • Understand biological norms for infant sleep
  • Support your child’s developmental needs for co-regulation and emotional safety
  • Ensure the entire family is getting the sleep they need within a context that protects holistic health
  • Prenatal through infant caregivers welcome!

Two hour classes are offered several times a year. Private consulting available in person, phone, or through skype.

* See events for upcoming classes.

Contact Jess for availability and to book your classes today!

 

The Parents Class

This is an internationally renowned, 8-week class series called Circle of Security Parenting. The focus is on raising a secure child through the science of infant mental health and attachment. This trauma informed series utilizes video clips of parent-child interactions to help you understand the needs behind the child’s behavior. 

  • Learn the difference between a secure base and a safe haven (*clue: you’re both to your kids) 
  • Build patience and reduce your parenting stress
  • Experience more joy with your kids
  • Break old family patterns

Class meets once a week, for 90 minutes ,for 8 consecutive weeks

* See events for upcoming classes.

Contact Jess for availability and to book your classes today!

The Birth of the Business

Since 2008, the Happy Families Happy Babies philosophy has been built around principles of a subject called “attachment theory.” The psychologist, John Bowlby, was the first to coin this term, which helps us understand how safe or unsafe we feel in the world– specifically in relationship to ourselves and others.

Much research has been done on meeting a child’s needs with a “secure base” from which he or she can explore the big wide world. The experiences we have with our primary caregivers (mom, dad, grandparents, etc.) shape how we form relationships throughout adulthood and help determine factors of independence and emotional security. The point is to be a sensitive and consistent caregiver from conception through the child’s 18-month mark so independence, self confidence, and emotional intelligence blossom from a secure foundation. 

Every parent, deep inside, knows how to raise their child by offering warmth, affection and nurturing caregiving. However, due to pressure to be the “perfect parent” amidst an over load of contradictory advise, and the fact that the ways in which we were parented unconsciously impact the ways we care for our own children, parents need support!

A few of my specialized trainings include:

  • Touch Research for Infant Massage: University of Miami Medical School, Tiffany Fields
  • Certified Fertility, Prenatal, and Infant Massage: Claire Marie Miller
  • Certified Gottman Level One Therapist: The Gottman Institute, John and Julie Gottman
  • Developmental Touch Points, Level One Practitioner: Dr.’s Vaught and Pollock
  • Working with Babies: John Chitty
  • Infant Craniosacral Therapy: Carol Gray
  • Certified Instructor of Infant Massage: Infant Massage USA, Justine Tutuska
  • Tummy Time! Method: Michelle Emanuel
  • Birth Doula: DONA International, Ann Tumblin
  • Certified Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator: Deb Harris
  • Functional Bowen Therapy, Pediatric Applications: Judy Terwilliger
  • Tongue Tie, A Comprehensive Approach to Assessment and Care: Melissa Cole
  •  Infant Sleep Educator, Bibomia: Inc: Dr. Greer Kirshenbaum, PhD (2020 start date)

Please feel free to email or call with any questions you may have. Check out the testimonials to learn more about others’ experiences. I hope to connect with you soon.  

Contact

Testimonials

“Jessica has been a wonderful resource to our family for the past three years. She initially worked with us as our doula before the birth of our first child and has since worked with us in other capacities post the birth of my first and second child. We most recently completed an infant massage class with her of which we thoroghly enjoyed and benefited from with our 7 month old. Her knowledge of infants, children and the growing family is endless. She is a joy to be around I highly recommend her and all that she has to offer!”

– Greer Elizabeth Creech

“My wife and I did a couple Tummy Time group sessions and a couple individual craniosacral therapy sessions as well. Jessica is great with babies, she has an aura that calms them right down. Jessica helps the babies tremendously in their development and gives great DIY tips for the parents at home. I would recommend both sessions to anyone!”

– Simon Mestdagh

 

 
 
 

“I was able to observe one of Jess’ classes for tummy time today. She is empathetic with the parents and the babies, truly masterful in her skill of pointing out what is working well and reinforcing each parent’s strength. It was more than just a tummy time class – it was a parenting support group! As someone who works with parents every day, I know they could all benefit from learning from Jess.”

– Norma Ortiz Escobar

 

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