Favorite Central Mass Resources
Pregnancy and parenting are some of the most joyous yet most challenging seasons of our lives. Truth be told, we can't do it on our own; we need a village. Here are a few resources hand-picked by me to get you started.
Participating in an informative evidence-based childbirth class is one of the top things I recommend to my clients. Independent childbirth classes (as opposed to hospital-based) are usually the best. Here are a few that I personally observed and can vouch for:
Babies in Common
Breastfeeding can be hard sometimes, but it doesn't have to feel impossible. I believe that women don't fail to breastfeed - we fail to support them. Here are a few excellent resources, from lactation consultants to support groups:
Shelly Taft, IBCLC
Jeanette Mesite Frem, IBCLC
Michelle Stolow, IBCLC
Rachel O'Brien, IBCLC
Dairy Fairy Lactation
Lindsey and Megan provide in-home lactation support, and cover most of Massachusetts.
Babies in Common
They have excellent feeding support groups
St Vincent Hospital
Breastfeeding support group on Saturdays
La Leche League of MA, RI, VT
These are a few local chiropractors certified in the Webster Technique (meaning they are skilled to take care of pregnant women):
Dr. Brittany Falcone at Worcester Family Chiropractic
Dr. Jackie Debs at inBalance Chiropractic & Wellness
Dr. Karen Griffin
West Boylston, MA
Dr. Jen Connors at Cafe of Life Sturbridge Family Chiropractic
Dr. Karen Moriarty at Northboro Chiropractic Center
Dr. Mike Morgan at Princeton Family Chiropractic
The midwifery model of care operates from the perspective that birth is normal unless proven otherwise. Midwives are an option worth exploring for all women, particularly those that are low-risk and seeking a natural, physiological birth experience:
Joyce Kimball, CPM
Dina Fraize, CPM
Sue Smith, CPM
Massachusetts Midwives Alliance
A list of all homebirth midwives
The Reliant Midwives
St. Vincent’s Hospital
Below are several local moms' groups (dads are often welcome, too!) that range from very informal to quite organized:
Informal playdates and gatherings
MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers)
First Baptist Church in Holden, MA
Meets 1st and 3rd Fridays of the month
Holistic Moms Network
Northboro Chiropractic Center
Meets 2nd Thursday of the month
Worcester Family Partnership
Monday-Friday 9:30-11:00 am
Free Moms' Group on Tuesday mornings
Peaceful Birth and Beyond
Free Mom & Baby Group
Free Moms' Gathering in Millbury
The Cake Shop Cafe
First Monday of the month, 9-12
Free Moms' Gathering in Marlborough
The Coffee Loft
First Tuesday of the month, 10-12
Visiting Moms Program
This is a free home visiting program. Trained volunteers visit new parents weekly, as they adjust to parenthood.
Maternity photographers, newborn photographers, and family photographers are worthwhile investments for those who are interested in capturing these special, fleeting moments in time:
Shirley Anne Photography
Maternity, birth, newborn photography
Knit Together Photography
Elaine Freitas Photography
Maternity, birth, newborn, family photography
Gentle Grace Photography
Maternity, birth, newborn, breastfeeding photography
Mental health is equally important to physical health, and speaking with a mental health professional can make all the difference when one’s immersion into new parenthood isn’t as smooth as they had hoped:
Jennifer Gorham, Psy.D.
Deeply Rooted Wellness and Counseling
Jill Tonelli, LMHC
My favorite books for new moms and dads.
Pregnancy, Childbirth, And The Newborn by Simkin, Whalley and Keppler
This is an excellent book that covers everything.
The Birth Partner by Penny Simkin
How to help a woman through childbirth, from the partner's point of view.
The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth by Henci Goer
Good for hospital birth preparation.
Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin
This book has wonderful, empowering birth stories and information.
Dr. Jack Newman's Guide to Breastfeeding
The best breastfeeding book, in my opinion.
The Baby Book by William Sears
Gentle and informative.
The Happiest Baby on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp
The 5 S's work like magic.
Respectful parenting advice
Parenting by Nature Blog
A few resources that didn't fit under the above categories...
Birth Statistics for MA
You can find each hospital's Cesarean birth rates in Table 18.
Evidence Based Birth
An excellent resource if you have a question about any birth-related options.
The VBAC Project
Evidence-based information about vaginal birth after cesarean.
The Business of Being Born
A documentary about how the American health care system approaches childbirth.
Family-centered (or gentle) Cesarean birth video
Shows options that you might want to ask for your birth.