With 281K followers on Instagram, labor and delivery nurse Liesel Teen is something of a household name. Through her account, @mommy.labornurse, the BSN/RN provides education on everything from the stages of labor to how to communicate with your partner to pumping and breastfeeding.
Teen has become a one-stop-shop for all things pregnancy, birth, and new motherhood on Instagram, and the Instagram sensation spoke to Nurse.org to tell us how she got her start, why she’s so passionate about educating through her online platform, and how she balances being a mom herself while serving other moms.
An Early Love of Labor and Delivery (L&D) Nursing
After becoming interested in nursing through her roommate, who was in nursing school at the time, Teen had a suspicion that her fascination with all things pregnancy and birth might lead her to the obstetrical field.
Thinking back to the stories her own mother would tell of the labor and delivery nurses who had helped bring her and her sister into the world –”My mom always said, ‘Those were just the best nurses in the world, I am so grateful for them!’”–Teen was further intrigued. And once she went through her OB rotation, the decision was made.
“I’ll never forget my first vaginal birth I saw,” Teen says. “ It was truly the most amazing thing I had ever seen at that point in my life. I walked out of that room and KNEW one day I would be a labor and delivery nurse, even if it took me 10 years to get there!”
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Making a Name for Herself Online
After becoming a mom herself in 2017 and while working full-time at the hospital, Teen decided that she wanted to pursue ways that she could continue to do the job that she loved while also dedicating more time to her being at home with her son.
This next part might surprise you–Teen says that she literally did a search for “How to make money online at home,” and when blogging came up as one of the first results, she says she almost immediately knew it was something she could do.
“I know first-hand the impact that poor-education has on birth,” she explains. “I see moms come into the hospital all the time with no idea as to what is about to happen, and it’s terrifying for many of them. I made a commitment at that point that I wanted to try and do something to change that.”
There was no accidental overnight Instagram explosion for Teen. Instead, she approached her side hustle with the same dedication she applied to her education and work as a nurse–she did her research, was diligent in creating quality content, and spent time learning as much as she could about the digital world of social media, blogging, Pinterest, and monetizing. After writing content for almost four months straight, she launched her blog to the public –”aka my 300 friends on my personal social media!” Teen jokes–on February 5th, 2018.
What started out as just a website and a “much different looking” Instagram account two years ago has grown to a website, Instagram, 3 Facebook groups, Pinterest, and a potential YouTube channel for the now popular influencer.
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Education for All
As a former labor and delivery nurse myself, I appreciate how Teen so expertly walks the line between giving medical advice and educating. Her content is impeccably researched and presented in such relatable and practical ways that both nurses and parents-to-be can find it helpful.
Nurses do a lot of educating and that’s the part of her new role that Teen finds the most rewarding. She tells Nurse.org that she sees her online platform–which includes her Instagram, her website, and her prenatal education courses–as an extension of her work as a nurse.
“I love just thinking of a really cool, creative way to illustrate a subject that’s otherwise boring so someone is more apt to read about it and learn,” she explains. “Educating is what I’ve always truly loved about the nursing profession in general, and it’s pretty cool that I can do it from home now (and educate thousands of women).”
Teen says she has been surprised at just how many women are lacking even basic pregnancy, birth, and postpartum information. “ me realize even more that there is such a need to spread this type of information on social media, as a means to fill in the gaps,” she adds.
There’s Room for Everyone on the Internet
These days, Teen spends her days away from the hospital working in a nearby office space that she rents while her son attends preschool. She has hired an assistant to help her with the work of running her platforms, answering emails and DMs, working with companies for sponsored posts, monetization, posting, and photography, so she can really focus on content creation. Just like she approached starting her business with intention, Teen is intentional about work-life balance. She builds in a family day on Fridays, leaves her computer at the office when she comes home, and enjoys a complete day off of work on Saturdays.
The young nurse entrepreneur has certainly carved out a career that allows her to do what she loves best, and in her refreshingly upbeat way, Teen says that she is not interested in competing with anyone for followers on the Internet. Instead, she encourages any medical professional who’s interested in expanding serving patients through social media to give it a shot.
“If you are a nurse, doctor, PA, NP, etc. and you want to start exploring social media as an option, we welcome you,” she says. “The beginning is the hardest part, but if you are passionate about your area of expertise, there is certainly a space here for you.”