As a new mom, I found myself longing to be in community with other mothers. I wanted to talk to moms who were in a similar phase of life that I was having just given birth. I felt this strong emotional post-birth rawness, I was shocked with the process of postpartum healing, and I also wanted to talk about nursing, babies, sleep, and how much I was getting pooped on. As a first time mom, I had a ton of questions especially about breastfeeding. So I bundled up my newborn son and off I went to breastfeeding support group. Breastfeeding group was so much more for me than just going to ask questions. I ended up learning a wealth of women's wisdom about nursing from all the other women's questions and concerns, it was sometimes my excuse to shower that day, or not, and it was just nice to be in community with other new moms.
Breastfeeding group was helpful for me later on as well. I made it a point to get to a breastfeeding support group when I was gearing up to go back to work and I had a ton of questions about pumping and schedules, I visited when I began to introduce solids, and then again when I was beginning the process of weaning. Most support groups are lead by a breastfeeding councilor or certified lactation consultant and others are peer to peer groups.
There are a abundant amount of local lactation support groups for nursing women here in Cleveland! Check out our list below to see what group meets near you or that works best with your schedule. Also, if you are looking for private one on one lactation support we offer in home breastfeeding support services and classes at The Womb Wellness Center. You can learn more by clicking HERE or giving us a call at 828-231-6159 to schedule an appointment.
Breastfeeding support groups are helpful for:
Breastfeeding Support Groups in the Greater Cleveland Area
Mama Bird Breastfeeding and Mothering Group via Zoom
1st and 3rd Thursday’s 8-9pm
Register Here: https://www.mamabirdhendry.com/groups
Breastfeeding Medicine of Northeast Ohio
Prep+ Working Moms Breastfeeding Support Group: Meets the first Thursday of the month from 10:30-12:00pm at Senders Pediatics 2054 S Green Rd, South Euclid, Ohio 44121
Breastfeeding USA Westside Chapter
General Breastfeeding Meeting: Fourth Tuesday of every month at 7pm 15800 Detroit Avenue, Lakewood, OH 44107, Suite D
Nursing Toddlers and Preschoolers: First Friday of the Month 10:00-12:00 at the North Olmsted Library
27403 Lorain Rd, North Olmsted, Ohio 44070
La Leche League of Ohio
Meets the second Friday of the month 10-12:00pm at the Cleveland Heights Library 2345 Lee Rd Cleveland Heights, OH 44118
Cleveland Westside Suburbs
LLL of Lakewood meets twice a month: The second Wednesday at 10 a.m. and the third Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at rotating locations on the west side of Cleveland, OH
Once a month- date varies 10:00-12:00pm Morley Library 184 Phelps St, Painesville, Ohio 44077
1st Friday of the Month 10-12:00pm Geneva Public Library
2nd Thursday of the Month 10-12:00pm at the Middlefield Library 16167 E High St, Middlefield, Ohio 44062
Cleveland Clinic Breastfeeding Support Groups
Cleveland Clinic Independence Family Health Center
Auditorium A, Lower Level, Crown Center Building 5001 Rockside Road, Independence 44131 Phone: 216.986.4000 | Tues. 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Cleveland Clinic Solon Family Health Center
29800 Bainbridge Road, Solon, 44139, Fourth floor conference room Phone: 440.519.6800 | Weds. 3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Cleveland Clinic Strongsville Family Health and Surgery Center
Strongsville Family Health Center, 16761 South Park Center, Strongsville 44136 , Community Room A
Phone: 440.878.2500 | Weds. 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Cleveland Clinic Willoughby Hills Family Health Center
2570 SOM Center Road, Willoughby Hills, 44094 Phone: 440.516.8312 | Thurs. 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Fairview Wellness Center, Room 205
3035 Wooster Rd., Rocky River, OH 44116
Mon., Tues., Weds., Fri. 1 to 3 p.m. | Thurs. 5 to 7 p.m.
Hillcrest Hospital, North Campus
Across from Hillcrest Hospital, West Entrance
Tues. & Fri. 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. | 1st & 3rd Weds. 6 to 7 p.m.
Lakewood Hospital Nursing Mom’s Chat
Lakewood United Methodist Church, 15700 Detroit Ave., Lakewood, 44107 Lakewood Family Room, Basement
Phone: 216.529.5018 | Weds. 9:30 to 11 a.m.
Medina Hospital Family Birthing Center (Second Floor)
1000 E. Washington St., Medina, OH 44256 Phone: 330.721.5090 | Thurs. 1 to 3 p.m.
TriPoint Medical Center: 7590 Auburn Road, Concord Twp., OH 44077 - TriPoint Physician Pavilion, Lubrizol Conference Room 2 Breastfeeding support group meets every Wednesday at 10:00 am the third Wednesday of the month at 6:00pm
UH Elyria Medical Center
630 East River Street Elyria, OH 44035 Support groups meets on Mondays and Fridays at 11:00am and Wednesdays at 6:00pm
St. John Medical Center: Breastfeeding support group meets on Wednesdays at 10:00 am in the Community Outreach Room 29000 Center Ridge Road Westlake,Ohio 44145
Do you want to learn more about the birth process, be in community with other women, find support and encouragement during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time? I encourage you to attend a women's circle, birth group, gathering, or meeting as a way to educate and prepare yourself for your birth. Or you can even start your own!
There are a variety of free monthly meetings that are open to the public all around the Greater Cleveland area. These birth group meetings are open to women who are planning a hospital or home birth and those who are pregnant or postpartum (babies welcome!).
Northeast Ohio Birth Support Groups and Women's Circles that are supporting women throughout pregnancy, birth, and postpartum time.
About Birth Choices Educational Meetings- Hosted by Cleveland home birth midwife Pam Kolanz
When: Meets the third Monday of each month at 7pm
Location: Bainbridge Library 17222 Snyder Road Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44023
Circle of Life Birth Group- Hosted by Cleveland home birth midwife Rosie Messina
When: Meets the second Tuesday of the month at 7pm
Location: Circle of Life 15800 Detroit Ave Lakewood, OH 44177
Home Birth Options Monthly Meetings- Hosted by Cleveland home birth midwife Kimberly French
When: Every 4th Monday except Dec at 7:00pm
Location: Pilgrim Congregational Church 2592 West 14th Street, Cleveland Ohio 441137:00to 9:00 p.m.
ICAN(International Cesearean Awareness Network) of Greater Cleveland
When: Meets second Wednesday of each month at 7pm
Location: Brookyln Branch Library 4480 Ridge Rd Brooklyn, OH 44144
Mother Rising Birth Story Circle- Hosted by studio owners Shauna Rich and Danielle Breech
When: Meets the Fourth Tuesday of each month at 7pm
Location: Mother Rising 137 Main Street Chardon, OH 44024
Natural Childbirth Network of Lake County- Hosted by Jenna Hall
When: No regular meetings, check their Facebook page for upcoming events
Location: Lake County- Location varies
My yoga practice has been an integral part of my life for close to 15 years now. Naturally, when I was pregnant my practice provided me with an opportunity to quiet down and listen to my body, connect with my baby, and most of all help me prepare my body for my birth. Yoga helped to keep my mind sane and relieved the aches and pains from my growing belly. It was such a wonderful way to nourish my body and baby throughout my pregnancy. I often encourage my prenatal massage clients to find a local prenatal yoga class to learn various yoga poses to help relieve muscle tension between massages.
Many of the yoga breathing techniques can be used in labor as well. Just like you can go deep and find the strength to hold a pose you despise for over a minute in a yoga class you can use that same strength and determination to work through a contraction in labor. Similar to being in a yoga pose, during birth we are releasing and surrendering, using our breath, and our focus. You can do anything for a minute! Contractions come and go but you always get a break. Yoga is a wonderful self care tool to help guide you through your pregnancy and birth gracefully.
Here is a current list (as of Oct 2015) of yoga studios in Northeast Ohio that offer yoga classes to pregnant women. There are a variety of prenatal classes in the greater Cleveland area some are very slow and restorative and others are more invigorating but hopefully you will find a class that will help to quiet your mind, ease your aches, and leave you feeling stronger and more confident in your body.
Prental Yoga Thursdays at 5:30-6:45pm
Location: 12732 Larchmere Cleveland, OH 44120
Prenatal Yoga Sundays 4:00-5:00pm
Location: 7312 Center Street Mentor OH, 44060
Prenatal Yoga Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm and Saturdays 9:45am
Location: 524 E. Washington Street Chagrin Falls, Ohio 44022
Inner Bliss Yoga Studio
Pregnant Goddess Flow Tuesdays 6:15-7:30
Location: 29055 Clemens Road Westlake, Ohio 44145
Insight Learning and Wellness
Prenatal Yoga Wednesdays 6:00-7:00pm
Location: 25901 Emery Rd, 112 Warrensville, OH 44128
Prana Yoga and Dance
Prenatal Yoga Thursdays 8:15-9:15pm
Location: 7976 Broadview Rd, Broadview Heights, OH 44147
Prenatal Yoga Mondays 7:15-8:15, Wednesday 4:45-5:45, and Saturday 12:00-1:15pm
Location: 15602 Detroit Ave Lakewood, OH 44107
The Mandel Jewish Community Center
Prenatal Yoga Sundays at 11:35am
Prenatal Pilates Sundays 1:30-2:30pm
Location: 26001 S. Woodland Road Beachwood, OH 44122
Enjoy your prenatal yoga practice!
First of all, I can't even begin to put into words how excited I am about the upcoming Spinning Babies workshop in Cleveland. Eeeks! My inner birth nerd is totally geeking out. Gail Tully is doing amazing work for birthing mamas. She is know for being the "Spinning Babies" lady who teaches women how to create optimal fetal positioning. She teaches belly mapping so mothers can figure out the positions of their child in the womb. She has exercises to help women prepare their body for birth and to turn breech babies. She also has tools to help birth doulas or their care providers recognize labor signs of a mispositioned baby and what to do turn him or her in labor. Her website www.spinningbabies.com is for both expecting mothers and birth professionals and it has a wealth of information. Each time I visit her website I learn new tools for my massage and doula clients. I have passed along her website countless times to expecting mamas. I encourage you to explore her site or join me at her workshop!
The Spinning Babies workshop is on Thursday May 1st or Friday May 2nd from 8:30-5:30pm. You can visit her website to register http://spinningbabies.com/classes/calendar-of-events.
On the night you were born, I was awoken at 11pm with what I thought was a pretty strong braxton hicks. About ten minutes later I had another and my bag of waters broke. I was 38 weeks pregnant and 4 days. Many thoughts came rushing into my head. "Could this be it?" I thought, "Was that really my water breaking or I did I just pee myself?", "Only 10% of labors start with water breaking.", "Wholly crap is this it!" After about four or five more contractions that hour with a slow leak I knew that it was it. Our birth process had begun and I would meet you soon.
That second hour the surges began to get really close together. The sensations were strong, stronger than I had anticipated with labor just beginning. I woke your daddy up and then had a big cry. I had a moment of real doubt and I wasn't sure if I would really be able to birth you naturally. The contractions were getting intense fast. But your daddy told me that I was doing it and that we would meet you soon. At that point during each contraction I got on my hands and knees and rocked back and forth. We called our doula, Julie, and she headed to our house. We started gathering our things and packing our bags, because of course I hadn't packed for the hospital yet! As we were packing my contractions were getting stronger and more intense, they were two minutes apart and I knew labor was going really fast. We decided it was time to leave for the hospital so we called our doula back to have her meet us at the hospital. I went through transition during our 45 minute drive to the hospital, leaning over your car seat in the back of daddy's car, moaning and rocking to help me cope with the pain. Daddy kept reminding me to stay focused on my breath and that really helped me then. When we finally got to the hospital our doula met us outside. She knew just what to say and do to help me relax as we made our way up to the birthing suite. I started to feel a lot of pressure and once I was checked by the nurse at 3:00pm my cervix was completely dilated and I was ready to push. While I was pushing you were having a little bit of trouble. Your heart rate was low and it worried the OB and midwife, they were both there because my midwife arrived just before you were born. They gave me oxygen, an IV, and helped me change positions to help give you more oxygen. I started talking to you and telling you it was safe to be born now. You were born shortly there after and they put you on my chest and you were so beautiful. You had surprised us all because you were so healthy and pink with 9 9 Apgars. Maybe your heart rate was low because you were just as shocked as we were that you came into the world so fast?
Your daddy and I were so happy you were here. I had waited so long to meet you and I instantly fell in love with you. You were born at 3:31am, weighed 6lbs and 6 oz, and were 18 1/2 inches long. You were the cutest baby I had ever seen!
After I found out I was pregnant my husband remarked one afternoon that we should go to the library to get some pregnancy books. I just laughed and pointed to my bookshelf. "Honey," I said "I have them all right there." While working with prenatal massage and doula clients over the past five or six years I feel as if I have read every book I could get my hands on about fertility, pregnancy, birth, doulas, and postpartum care. There are countless books to help women prepare for childbirth, connect with their babies, and take care of their bodies during pregnancy. Below is a list of a few of my favorites that I felt were worth re-reading and my top five go to recommendations to my prenatal massage and doula clients.
Top Five Must Read Pregnancy Books:
1. Ina May's Guide to Childbirth, by Ina May Gaskin (Really any of her books, Spiritual Midwifery, Birth Matters, or Ina May's Guide to Breastfeeding)
Highlights: Other women's Birth Stories, Women's Empowerment, Getting a feeling of the deep trust in women's bodies and women's wisdom to birth naturally.
2. The Birth Partner: A Complete Guide to Childbirth for Dad's, Doulas, and All Other Labor Companions, by Penny Simkin
Highlights: Wonderful break down of the various roles of a laboring women's support team, great list of comfort measures, and a general understanding of how labor works.
3. Birthing From Within, by Pam England
Hightlights: Hands down the best childbirth preparation book, creative ways to unleash and overcome fears of childbirth and prepare for birth.
4. Bountiful, Beautiful, Blissful, by Gurmukh
Highlights: Helps you to tap into the spiritual aspect of pregnancy, yoga poses and meditations to bring you back into your body and connect with your baby.
5. Wise Women Herbal for the Childbearing Year, by Susan Weed
Hightlights: A go to manual for finding natural ways to ease and eliminate pregnancy symptoms.
If you have been to the Womb Wellness Center recently many of you have noticed that Jolynn is expecting her first child! She is due with a sweet baby boy at the end of November. She is feeling great and will continue to provide massage therapy services until sometime in November. She will out of the office from the end of November through January 2014. Jolynn will return to offer massage and doula services after maternity leave but we will have to keep you posted as to when her official maternity leave dates will be. As far as doula services, she has decided not to take on any new clients with due dates before Spring 2014. If you or anyone you know is due before March 2014 and is interested hiring a doula we would be happy to pass along our doula referral list.
A Rebozo is traditionally used in Mexico, its a long woven piece of cloth that is wrapped around the body in various ways to support a pregnant or laboring women, it can also be used as a baby carrier, or a shawl. Rebozo's are a wonderful tool to use to help improve your comfort in pregnancy and during your birth process.
How can a Rebozo can help during pregnancy and labor?
I will unfortunately be out of town and will be missing this event. But I thought many of you would be interested in taking this wonderful Rebozo class. Gena Kirby will be leading the Cleveland Rebozo Workshop in August and class details are listed below.
A workshop on using the Rebozo in Pregnancy and Labor for Doulas, Midwives, and Parents with Gena Kirby
Sunday August 4th, 2013
Medina, Ohio (exact location TBA)
''The Rebozo has been used for comfort during pregnancy and labor in Mexico for years. My hope is to share this special tool and skill set with birth partners, doulas, grandmas, dads etc. The rebozo empowers the birthing woman and her partner, they are connected to each other through the rebozo. This class is 5 hours and is broken up into three separate parts. The first focuses on Relaxation then we move on to comfort and positioning then onto strength in labor.'' - Gena Kirby
• Early Bird Tickets - $100
• Expecting Couples Tickets - $75
• General Admission Tickets - $125
For more information you can visit the Facebook invitation https://www.facebook.com/events/631575546853612/
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