“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”
~ Sharon L. Adler
Childbearing and parenting can bring the most beautiful moments of life…and the most absurd and heartbreaking. And with regularity, they bring every experience in-between. This is true for all parents, and yet, so often, mothers or fathers feel that they must be alone in their struggles and triumphs. Sharing our experiences with other parents can remind us that we are not alone in this journey, and can teach us that the support of community is an invaluable resource along the long road of parenting.
Open Circle is working with partner professionals to offer facilitated community groups that support families in their journey through conception pregnancy, birth, and parenting, as well as in illness and loss.
LGBTQ+ Pregnancy + Parenting Group
Open Circle and a small group of queer-identified professionals joined together to create a pregnancy and parenting group for the LGBTQ+ people in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. Our goal is to provide a place where queer families can grow their network of support, access resources (healthcare, legal, education, etc.) and talk about challenges and rewards of being LGBTQ+ and pregnant or parenting.
This is a group open to all LGBTQ+ people at every stage of the process – from those simply exploring becoming parents to those parenting older children. People who are single or in relationships are welcome, as are people who are transgender, gender-fluid or non-binary. This is a space designed to be welcoming and safe.
Facilitated by Nichole Heig, CNM, Jess Markowitz, LICSW, Ancha Santana, LICSW, and Sarah Bowman, MPH
Sessions will be drop-in, monthly, and last 90 minutes. We will have water and snacks. Each group will have a topic but we expect that the bulk of the time together will be spent discussing matters pertinent to the participants’ expressed needs.
Mindful Pregnancy Group
Pregnancy is a time of immense transformation and with the changes in your body, relationships, identity and lifestyle can create a need to connect with other pregnant people. Pregnancy groups at Open Circle Wellness & Education for families can provide opportunities to meet other expectant parents, learn about how to care for yourself during this time, prepare for the arrival of your little one and connect to a mindful, non-judgmental and supportive community.
Led by Lisa Gendron, a long time birth and postpartum doula and Birthing From Within Mentor, this group emphasizes an approach centered in self-compassion, resource building and understanding.
Open Circle Mindful Pregnancy Group welcomes pregnant people at any point in pregnancy and meets once monthly.
Open Circle for the 4th Trimester
The first three months after the birth of a baby (often referred to as the 4thtrimester) are often the most stressful and tender weeks in the life of a family. Learning to feed and soothe your newborn, recover from pregnancy and birth, and deal with the intensity of shifting relationships and identity can be a huge challenge. Open Circle offers a safe and nurturing space for finding your footing in the new life that welcoming a baby brings. With an emphasis on mindful self-compassion, resource building and practical solutions to support your new life as a parent,
Lisa Gendron guides this peer-to-peer support group with enormous respect for the difficulties facing new parents. She seeks to help parents in developing self-care practices and coping techniques to adjust to the challenges of the 4th trimester.
Offered bi-monthly, best suited for parents with babies ages 3-14 weeks.
Open Circle for Mindful Parenting
Being a parent can have enormous challenges! Parenting in the modern world can be an isolating and confusing experience… It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, but many parents feel without the social and emotional support needed to feel centered in their parenting journey. Join our village at Open Circle to connect with other parents, learn about ways you can practice self care as a parent and touch base about child development.
Led by Lisa Gendron, family doula and self-compassion practitioner/mother of three.
Meets once monthly
Future support groups will include:
- New Fathers groups
- Parents of Ill or Special Needs Children groups
- Pregnancy Loss groups
- Fertility Support groups
Please check back for more information.