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Conversations with Brittany Cheng

Today we’d like to introduce you to Brittany Cheng.

Hi Brittany, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
After giving birth to my daughter, Rylan, in January 2020, my life quickly turned upside down. As I entered the world of motherhood during a global pandemic, nothing could prepare me for what was to come – not even my ten years of experience in working with children. At the time, I was employed as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist in the school setting. My maternity leave ended in March, right when the pandemic shut everything down. I decided to extend my time off to protect my family from exposure…unpaid and unsure of when it would be safe to go back to work. While I was off, I connected with a group of moms through a local mommy and me program. They became a community I could depend on during these wild times as a new parent.

Helping each other through sleepless nights, developmental leaps, and even blowouts via a massive group text, I came to realize that my knowledge as a pediatric occupational therapist helped to ease some of the concerns we were all having. It was then that I decided that I wanted to share my knowledge and experiences with other parents like us. At the same time, I was struggling to feed my own daughter a bottle. Me. A pediatric occupational therapist and feeding therapist. And it drove me crazy. I was not an infant or toddler specialist and most of the feeding clients I worked with were older children with sensory challenges that complicated mealtimes, but I couldn’t help but tear myself apart because I couldn’t figure out how to feed her a bottle. I began taking more feeding courses and then I figured it out. My daughter has tethered oral tissues (TOTs) or “tongue tie” that made bottle-feeding a challenge. After making this discovery, I fell down the rabbit hole for all things TOTs-related and infant-feeding. I soon realized that this was my calling and I needed to help other parents who struggled like me.

Over the course of my career, I’ve noticed that many parents seek to understand what they can do to help their children’s development and feeding skills but are overwhelmed by the vast amount of information thrown at them after a simple web search. During a period of isolation and unimaginable obstacles as a new parent, these questions oftentimes spiral into “mommy guilt.” “Am I doing enough?” “Will my child be okay?” “What did I do wrong?”

In addition, when trying to find parent-support services that go beyond what insurers deem as “medical necessity,” I noticed a lack in programs that serve to proactively educate and empower new parents. I quickly came to realize that I had the opportunity to combine my love for being a mom and my passion for all things “OT” to create a valuable resource for new parents. And so began my journey to create Wayz To Play, Inc.

I decided not to return to my job at the schools and to dedicate my time to parenting my baby and starting my new business. I now serve Orange County as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist and Feeding Therapist who specializes in working with children one year and under. I have advanced training and experience in working with babies with tethered oral tissues AKA “tongue tie” like both of my children. The pandemic left the perfect opportunity for me to connect with other providers in my community to establish a solid team of professionals I can collaborate with and refer my families to as well. My goal with Wayz To Play, Inc. is to make sure every parent has a supportive community and is left feeling empowered in parenthood. I want to support parents like myself who have ever wondered if they are doing “enough.”

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
Learning the ins and outs to becoming an entrepreneur in the midst of a pandemic while raising a newborn was a mountain I’ll never forget that I climbed.

Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
I am a Pediatric Occupational Therapist who specializes in working with children one and under with feeding and developmental challenges. I have specialized training in addressing complications associated with tethered oral tissues “TOTs”. I take pride in my holistic and collaborative approach to supporting parents. Over the past two years, I have established strong relationships with other local specialists in order to ensure that we are providing our families the most effective and efficient care plan. My personal experience as a mother of children with TOTs has enriched my lens as a practitioner as well. I empathize with parents who struggle to feed their children and I will do everything I can to support them to the best of my ability.

Are there any important lessons you’ve learned that you can share with us?
Out of all of the lessons I’ve learned while becoming a momtrepreneur, the most important lesson so far has been to give myself grace as a parent. It doesn’t matter how much training or experience you have- being a parent is HARD. It’s ok if you don’t have all of the answers… Remember to seek help when you need it and to take care of yourself along the way.

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