“One of the most important things you can do on this earth is to let people know they are not alone.”
~ Sharon L. Adler

Dear Expecting and New Families,

I am sad to announce that due to the impact of COVID-19, during July and August 2020 Open Circle will be temporarily canceling all yoga and dance classes and most support groups*, along with massage and acupuncture sessions. *The Open Circle Fathering Group continues to meet. Birthing and Parent Education workshops will continue as normally scheduled. Private classes and consultations, and Dial-a-Doula support continues to be available by appointment. Like many micro-businesses specializing in in-person services, we have been severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This has included a loss of revenue forcing us to move out of our beautiful studio for a minimum of 6 months, and inability to meet our overhead costs and teacher pay.

As our shared communities learn to live, over the long term, in a pandemic and Open Circle looks at what is possible regarding reopening for in-person classes, it is vital that our offerings remain safe for both families and practitioners. The current reopening recommendations from the Department of Health do not provide enough assurances of adequate safety for our pregnant, postpartum and newborn clients, or a financially sustainable practice model for the center.

As such, after our initial move in March to a robust online schedule of classes at a “pay as you’re able” basis, it has become clear that keeping the business open will require a larger change in our structure. As the director of the center, I am working to envision a new model for offering the many pregnancy and parenting supports families have come to know us for over the past 17 years.

We will continue to post updates here over the coming months, sharing supports when we are able, as well as ways you can get involved to help continue the center’s work. We hope to be able to see you in the fall, either online or in person, and until then wish you and your family health and continued connection to community and loved ones.

Kaeli Sutton
Open Circle Director

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 works 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.

Open Circle for the 4th Trimester

CURRENTLY BEING OFFERED REMOTELY:To sign up and receive more information, please email info@agroterrabirth.com

The first three months after the birth of a baby (often referred to as the 4th trimester) 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 on ZOOM weekly on Wednesdays, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. Best suited for parents with babies ages 3 weeks-6 months.

Weekly ZOOM calls
Wednesdays 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Email info@agroterrabirth.com to enroll.

10:00 am – 12:00 pm

$20 ($5-$15 IBP)

Open Circle for Mindful Parenting

PLEASE CHECK BACK or contact info@agroterrabirth.com for more information.

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 monthly.

TBD, weekly
Please contact info@agroterrabirth.com to sign up for mailing list

TBD, weekly

$20 ($5-$15 IBP)

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 Cronin, 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.

First Saturday of every month, with the exception of holiday weekends

4:00 to 5:30 pm


RSVP/more info

The Open Circle Fathering Group


The Open Circle Fathering Group* aims to create a shared space for fathers-to-be, new fathers, and fathers with younger children.  This group is designed as a safe, brave, and comfortable space to talk about joys, hopes and frustrations, share the numerous obstacles and challenges we experience, and brainstorm/share practical solutions. Becoming a parent forces us to come face-to-face with intense inner experiences — joy, love and humor, but also perhaps anger, anxiety, jealousy, shame, grief and more.  Often, our identities, priorities, independence and relationships with our partners change at a disorienting speed during pregnancy and after the baby arrives. This group will offer a space to air it all out, so that we can ride the waves of fathering with more skill and find renewed energy and meaning in our ever-changing roles and identities.

Facilitated by Sheldon Malcolm and Avi David.

*Open to anyone identifying as a father or father-figure

NOTE: babies/children (up to age 3) are welcome to attend under their parent’s care and supervision.

Contact and Group info can be found here.


Future support groups will include:

  • Parents of Ill or Special Needs Children groups
  • Pregnancy Loss groups
  • Fertility Support groups

Please check back for more information.