i have found it
actual knitting content

how hard would it be?

It's not a hypothetical question. I'm really asking and would love input.

After reading the doula story matthew linked to in the comments of the post below this one, how hard would it be to set up a town-wide program that would link new moms with old, ahem, more experienced moms and doulas (etc.)? It seems that all of the components exist in, for example, Oneonta, but what is missing are all of the linkages. Would privacy laws get in the way, do you think?

I'm toying with a new quest here. Might be on to something -- or not.

More later...

Comments

No way. We could do it here. I was just talking with Sallie and Joy about this as we prepared for our upcoming talk on Birthing Matters. It's on that To-Do-Eventually list of mine.

There are a couple of models from Seattle that I'm familiar with: the First Weeks program was a weekly drop-in support group for mom and babies up to 6 months or so. Every week there was some kind of topic followed by an open Q&A and sharing time. A lactation consultant ran that group, so BFing help was at hand for problems no matter how simple or challenging.

There was also PEPS (Program for Early Parent Support) in which women who gave birth during a three-month period were hooked up by ZIP code. A volunteer trained PEPS leader facilitated discussion for a 12-week stint. Neighborhood playgroups naturally developed out of many of these PEPS groups.

We could definitely do it here.

BTW, my opening "No way" in the above comment referred to "Would privacy laws get in the way?" Just to clarify.

Right on, sisters...

Who among us would not benefit from woman-to-woman advice, support, and generic kvetching?

In Ann Arbor, from whence we arrived, I attended a weekly "Mothering Arts" group like the First Weeks meetings that Kate describes. It also was open to pregnant women, who could come and ask questions about childbirth and post-partum issues from women who recently had experienced them.

I think I might be simply delusional and enjoying second ("golden") trimester energy at the moment - plus, basking in the break from teaching this week - but I want to help make this happen in Oneonta.

Hey Sallie, I'm in A2 now, lived here about 10 years. I'm not into knitting, but I know there's a yarn store next to Le Dog on Main street?

Interesting.

There are a lot of postpartum support groups here in the Boston-area, but I did not really know about any of them until I was in the throes of unpleasant postpartum stuff and feeling way too icky to join anything.

I think those of us who are experienced mothers have some responsibility to take new moms under our wing. A formal system where everyone has doula services would be fantastic, but so would calling that friend of a friend's cousin who you know just had a baby and inviting her out to lunch or over to your house for tea.

An experienced mom reached out to me when my son was a few months old and I was so incredibly grateful just to have someone to talk to about the grind of parenthood. I've since tried to return the favor whenever possible--invited a new mom over for lunch and held the baby so she could eat, passed along old copies of Brain, Child. Let her bitch about her husband/job/lack of societal supports and just listened.

Those of us who know how crappy and isolating early motherhood often is, need to step up.

Karrie -- I agree. But part of the problem is getting the right people hooked up. I'd love to step up for a new mom, but can't if I can't find her. In Oneonta, at least, there seem to be plenty of people who want to help -- either in a professional doula-like way or just in come have coffee like way -- and plenty of moms who need it. The trick now is hooking them up with each other in a more reliable way. The current word-of-mouth system just isn't quite doing it.

Kate and Sallie -- what do you think the next step would be? Getting information about how other places like A2 and Seattle do this?

Matthew -- Yarn? Not sure Sallie's a knitter, but I'd come to A2 just for yarn.

I confess - I am not a knitter, though it is one of those domestic arts/skills that I have on my list to acquire.

Hmm, I am thinking I would go to A2 just for the lobster bisque at Le Dog. (Actually, I think Matthew is referring to that nice yarn shop on Main St. - not sure if they serve the bisque there or only at the shack closer to State St.?)

I like what Karrie said about experienced mothers having a responsibility to reach out to new mothers - I wish more of us recognized this and/or were able to act upon this. I also like what Adrienne said about finding a practical way to connect experienced and new moms in Oneonta for us (or in other communities where everyone might be). I think just making the connection can be a hurdle - we live relentlessly mobile lives that can take us far from friends or family whom we can turn to and/or can take notice of us.

BTW, I mentioned this idea to two pregnant women at my prenatal yoga class this morning - both recently relocated to the area - they want in! So, some information seeking about other models seems a good start. Or it might just come down to choosing a time and place, printing some flyers, and getting women together to say what we want.

Also, Adrienne and Kate - we might mention this idea at the childbirth talk this coming Thursday at Pine Lake - free and open to anyone who happens to be in the Oneonta area :)

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