Isis Maternity was a business that provided childbirth classes, breastfeeding support, parent workshops and a retail store. When it abruptly closed all its centers this week, the Boston Herald headline read “Isis Maternity Closing Leaves a Void”. It’s true, for families (and employees) it has been upsetting.
However, I do not see “a void”. There are, and have been, many places to connect and learn with other parents. Several women-owned small businesses and family centered non-profits continue to offer workshops, consultations, support groups and more. Take heart. There is someone, somewhere, who can help you. Here are a few examples. I’ve listed more on my resources page.
For Breast feeding Support
LC Home Visits.com
An association of eleven IBCLC who come to your home visits for breastfeeding consultations. They cover from North shore, Central Massachusetts and Worcester to south of Boston.
Baby Café USA
Free weekly drop-in meetings to get answers to your breastfeeding questions and meet other new moms. These are facilitated by an IBCLC.
Nursing Mothers Council
There are several NMC chapters across the commonwealth. The monthly gatherings are free, drop-in anytime.
Parenting workshops, places to meet.
Family Networks are across the state. Very good resources for families with children 0-3 years old.
The Center for Early Relationship Support. This is part of Jewish Family and Child Services though you don’t have to be Jewish to partake in these resources. Moms support groups, counseling, sleep consultants and more. This includes adoptive families as well.
MotherWoman.org An excellent resource based in Western Massachusetts.
Years ago, I compiled a resource guide for Cambridge and Somerville families with children 0-3 years old. For those cities, there was an impressive array of programs; free, low cost or sliding scale. Sadly, other cities right nearby had much less to offer. It often comes down to funding.
Isis offered many classes and groups for a fee and they had to close for financial reasons. Non-profits like Birth to Three and Jewish Family and Child Services also struggle with their budgets. Family support is a great investment, though usually not in pure financial terms.
How do we most effectively support families, regardless of location or income? All families need guidance, the proverbial village. I think one part of the answer is local, neighborhood places.
Check out these links here and on my resources page. Let me know, what was most helpful to you now or when you were a new parent? I look forward to hearing from you.