You’ve learned all there is to know about conception, pregnancy, birth and even postpartum, but I’d be willing to bet there is one essential thing missing from your to-do and to-know lists. Community. That’s a pretty broad term, so let me break down what having a solid community tribe can do for you during your childbearing years, and what community can look like.
How can having a tribe help me?
Imagine a friend coming over just to check on you. Maybe they do the dishes, clear the table or do a load of laundry. Even better, they bring you a meal. These kinds of little tasks can add up, and having someone to help, even a little, can mean the difference between sleeping when baby sleeps and feeling like a zombie.
So many people have been through having and raising babies. It can be such a relief to hear someone fondly recall something you feel insecure about.
Having and raising babies can be incredibly isolating. We’ve become distant as a nation, so when things get hard there aren’t many people to reach out to. The support that a solid community circle can bring can really be as simple as just having other people around.
While hearing other’s advice can sometime feel burdensome, if you can learn to receive the advice and filter out unneeded or unwanted advice, these experienced people can prove to be very valuable in your growth as a parent.
So, who are these people that make up the community tribe?
Those who live nearest to us can be the most valuable resource we have! Unfortunately, many people don’t know their neighbors. An easy step to take is to simply say hello and ask about them. Maybe let them know how long you’ve lived there and just be forward in that you’d like to get to know them better.
Neighbors can end up becoming lifelong friends, and who doesn’t want a friend who lives right next door?!
There are support groups, fitness groups, breastfeeding groups, groups for single parents, natural parents, and everything in between! I personally run a homebirthers group for the Columbus, Ohio area (click here to check it out). There is quite possibly a group of parents that aligns with your lifestyle and beliefs. Check with local midwives and doulas. They will know where these groups are. You can also search Facebook groups. Start with the name of your city or area and add “parents” or “moms”. These groups usually split off into more specific groups, and even meet up groups.
Don’t feel weird about starting to attend these groups before baby comes, or even while trying to conceive. You never know who you’ll meet and what kinds of insights you’ll get!
A few notes about Facebook groups. You’ll want to be mindful of any toxic language coming out of parent groups. If it’s not filling your cup to be in the group, it’s okay to leave all together or find/build your own group. If you’re in the Columbus, Ohio area, Mom’s Meet Moms: Columbus is an excellent group for connecting with other parents in person and online (click here to check it out)
This might seem obvious to some but hear me out. Sure, you already know if your immediate family is going to be helpful or not, but have you considered extended family or friends of the family? Maybe your second cousin owns a catering business and would love to help feed you. Maybe your sister’s good friend just had a baby and is looking to connect with other new parents.
There are as many types of birth and postpartum professionals as there are types of families. It can be difficult to know what kind of professionals you’ll want before you need them. I usually recommend researching a childbirth education course (I recommend
So, there you have it. Now you know who your tribe is and how to reach out to them. It’s time to bust out of that bubble, put on your mask, and go meet some people!
I'm a wife, mother of two, avid reader, doula, birth educator and an aspiring midwife. I grew up in Iowa, and my family and I moved to Columbus in 2019, and have decided to call it home.