I’m really excited to introduce all of you to Dr. Jessica Madden, board certified neonatologist, pediatrician, and founder of Primrose Newborn Care, an in-home neonatology visiting service. Dr. Madden is on a mission to help moms better adjust to life at home with a new baby. Her home visits are tailored specifically to the needs of the mom she’s visiting, and popular topics of discussion range from newborn care and feeding, colic, and safe sleep through essential services like postpartum depression screening. Being a neonatologist, she also knows a thing or two about premature babies (she’s on the advisory board for Project Preemie) and has a specific NICU graduate visitation package, too. Dr. Madden is one of only two neonatologists in the United States performing in-home visits, and we’re really lucky to have her here in Cleveland! Check out our interview with her below.
Where are you originally from?
I grew up in Lyndhurst, went to St. Greg’s for grade school, and graduated from Notre Dame Cathedral Latin H.S. We lived in Cleveland Heights (Cedar-Lee neighborhood) when our oldest 3 kids were babies.
Where’d you go to school & what’s your current profession?
I went to the University of Notre Dame for undergrad and Ohio State for medical school. I did my pediatric residency training in Massachusetts and the returned to Cleveland for my fellowship at Rainbow Babies in 2006. I am a neonatologist, which is a pediatrician who has specialized in taking care of sick newborns and preemies. I am on currently on staff at UH/Rainbow Babies.
Where do you live today and how long have you lived in this area?
We moved back to the Cleveland area from Boston in 2006. My family and I live in Willowick, which is about 5 minute drive from my mom’s house in Euclid.
How many children do you have & what are their ages?
I have 4 kids, a 13 year old daughter (Grace), 10 year old son (Tommy), 9 year old daughter (Gabby), and 6 year old daughter (Claire).
What’s your favorite things about Northeast Ohio?
Many things 🙂
It’s my “home”, and it has a much lower cost of living than many parts of the U.S. There’s tons to do here, including sports, theater, park system, beaches, etc.- we love living on the lake! Plus we love being able to experience all four seasons.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
In high school I was passionate about art and strongly considered applying to the Cleveland Institute of Art.
Please tell us about your community involvement – a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or business – how do you rely on the women of Northeast Ohio?
I started Primrose Newborn Care, a neonatology home visiting service for preemies and newborns, in the spring of 2018. My services include newborn house calls for minor illnesses, helping parents of premature infants transition home after NICU discharge, guidance with feeding and sleeping problems, and screening moms for postpartum depression and anxiety. I am one of two neonatologists in the entire U.S. doing newborn home visits.
My community involvement includes being on the advisory board of Project Preemie, a member of UH’s Infant-Maternal Mental Health interest group, and volunteering at my kids’ school (Mater Dei Academy in Wickliffe) as a track and field coach and member of the PTA.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
Having my 3 oldest children in the midst of intense medical training without totally losing my mind!
What was your biggest failure?
I had a research internship in a prestigious lab at CWRU one summer as an undergrad and walked out and quit halfway through the summer after messing up an experiment.
What’s the one thing you’re most passionate about?
Supporting new moms and babies in the home setting by increasing awareness and diagnosis of possible problems (like postpartum depression), helping moms to feel less isolated and overwhelmed, and connecting families with community resources. I’d like the focus of the postpartum period to be flipped from “baby-centered” to both mom and baby-centered.
Can you give us one pearl of wisdom, the one thing you wish more people knew?
Transitioning to motherhood can be extraordinarily difficult and it’s sometimes the moms who seem to have their act together on the outside who have having the most difficulties. If you are struggling after having your baby, be it your first or 6th child, please do not feel ashamed to admit it and reach out to your family, friends, and neighbors for help!
If you could encourage more people to take action in some way, what would it be?
When a friend or loved one has a baby, try to change the focus of your visits from seeing the new baby to helping the new mom. If you are worried that she is struggling with postpartum depression (which 1 in 7 moms experience), don’t be afraid to speak up and help her to get the help that she needs.
Last question – is there anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
My husband, Tom, who left his job as an accountant to stay home with our kids when they were babies and toddlers and has supported me during every step of my career.
other meet-a-mom features
Father’s Day is this weekend and we wanted to introduce to you Andrew from Class 101! Hear what he has to say about being prepared for College Admissions!
Meet Jennifer Woda from Sing & Swing, music classes for infants and children all over Cleveland’s East Side!
Excited for you to meet local Cleveland Mom of Two, Breast Cancer Survivor and Owner of Barre3 Solon, Vicki Giancola!!