Here is a growing of resources for growing Boston-area families, herbalism, and more.
Healthy, Affordable, Local Food
This Map of the “urban commons” in Somerville/Cambridge with public food sources. Mulberries and more!
Find a farmer’s market in your neighborhood.
The Neighborhood Farm in Needham has been known to have pay-what-you-can boxes available for their fresh produce at farmers markets.
The Daily Table are not-for-profit grocery stores in Dorchester and Roxbury which serve fresh produce and ready-made healthy food.
Lily Nichols is a pregnancy and postpartum focused nutritionist who has a TON of information about nutrient density, and specifically supportive information for folks with gestational diabetes. She is deeply knowledgeable about diet and autoimmune disease, as well as how to make breastmilk even more nutrient dense by including more nutritive foods into parents’ diets. In terms of nutrient density, her dietary recommendations far exceed the conventional recommendations.
Fertility and Conception
Fertility Friday is an amazing resource with TONS of free information about body literacy and the fertility awareness method. She has interviews with many fertility professionals around the topics of endometriosis, PCOS, thyroid disorders, autoimmunity, diet and lifestyle.
Susanna Mauzy at Nightingale Midwifery offers a full-spectrum of home birth midwifery care. She also offers fertility counseling and at-home insemination support. Susanna also runs the local International Cesarian Awareness Network groups in Arlington, MA.
Birthing Beyond the Binary is king yaa’s reproductive justice focused offerings for the birth work community. They have workshops for providers on decolonize reproductive support topics. Birth for Every Body also has an excellent resource list for queer families and their care providers.
Maia Midwifery is the practice of west-coast midwife, Kristin Kali. They offer individualized fertility counseling online, and conception support in person in Seattle. This practice is built around supporting the needs of the LGBTQ community, parents conceiving over age 35, and single parents. Maia shares tons of offerings for queer family building, from fertility consultations to support groups. Their book, Queer Conception, is a must.
Doulas and Birth Support
Luana Morales at Hands of Gaia offers reiki, ritual and ceremonial healing, birth or bereavement doula support, and death midwifery services to folks in the Boston area. She also offers postpartum support, including placenta encapsulation/preparations, herbal steams and postpartum doula services.
Jo of Aila Birth Village offers everything from bereavement and NICU support to postpartum and back-to-work planning. She’s a birth doula in Boston who works with families all over the city.
Venette Maurice is a central-MA based birth and postpartum doula who also serves families in Boston.
Teresa Vittorioso-Fortin is a birth doula who offers childbirth classes through her practice, Entera Doula. She frequents Mount Auburn Hospital and is also fluent in Spanish. Teresa also offers placenta encapsulation and postpartum care.
Mikaela Bloomberg of Sprout Birthwork offers sliding scale birth support, postpartum doula services and placenta encapsulation.
She-Tara Smith at The Birth Co offers birth and postpartum doula services, as well as childbirth education, infant sleep consultations and more. She’s also a lactation educator and works with families all over Boston.
Emily Newberg at Baby Bean offers prenatal, birth and postpartum support in the greater-Boston area. She also specifically offers consultations around gear and home prep, as well as individual classes and workshops on infant care, sibling preparation and birth preparation.
Neighborhood Birth Center is a group working to create an out-of-hospital birth option for families in Dorchester and beyond. It’s not easy work, but their amazing team of advisors and advocates are working hard to make it happen. Support them!!
One part stories, one part cultural/spiritual exploration, Masculine Birth Ritual is working to expand representations of masculine-of-center people making, birthing and caring for humans. (It’s a podcast.)
Birth Stories in Color is a podcast that highlights the experiences of people of color in pregnancy, birth and postpartum. A space that specifically celebrates, mourns with and supports people of color and their transformation through birth.
Spinning Babies is a resource for fetal positioning and how it can affect labor. Tips for daily exercises/movements for getting baby engaged in the pelvis, as well as supportive labor positions can be found online. Specifically, I always send people this one: “Overdue? Is Baby Engaged Yet?”
The Miles Circuit is another series of simple movements to gently move baby into optimal positions for labor and delivery.
Doula Match is a search engine for folks looking for birth or postpartum doula support. You can compare profiles, availability, skillsets and experience all on one site.
Cesarean Birth and VBAC
VBAC Facts is an evidence-based resource for information about the safety, options and factors involved in having a vaginal birth after a cesarean.
Julie Brill at Well Pregnancy teaches a class specifically for parents who are having a planned cesarean birth. It is based on Peggy Huddleston’s program, “Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster.” It is free for folks who are going to Emerson Hospital.
ICAN is the International Cesarean Awareness Network. ICAN is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve maternal-child health by preventing unnecessary cesarians through education, providing support for cesarean recovery, and promoting Vaginal Birth After Cesarean (VBAC). There is also a Boston chapter that has meetings in Arlington, MA.
The Massachusetts Midwives Alliance is a professional trade organization created by and for a dynamic and diverse group of midwives. The MMA was founded to build cooperation among midwives, and to promote midwifery as a means of improving health care for women and their families. Their website has a map of local home birth midwives around Boston.
Birth and Beyond of Jamaica Plain hosts the Mass Midwives Alliance training classes, as well as childbirth education and other events for parents and professionals.
Sarafina Kennedy, Jessica Patrone and Emily Bowler are midwifery partners supporting families from Greater Boston through Cape Cod through their practice, Birth Matters.
Postpartum, Lactation and Parenting Support
Jen and Crystal of Wonderful Welcome are postpartum doulas who work as a team and offer daytime AND overnight support! Often found at the Diaper Lab in Somerville, they’ve branched into offering in-home customized postpartum care.
Postpartum Support International promotes awareness, prevention and treatment of mental health issues related to childbearing in every country worldwide. They offer a hotline, professional resources and connections, medication support and more.
Rachel Hess is an experienced and LGBTQ-friendly postpartum doula who also hosts parenting groups around Roslindale. She offers workshops for professionals, as well.
Sophie Davis at Alight Birth is a dear friend, birth and postpartum doula, serving areas surrounding Boston. She also offers energy work and meditation workshops.
Jewish Family and Children’s Services Center for Early Relationship Support provides a multitude of free support for young families in the Boston area. You do not have to be Jewish to utilize their services. They have support groups, therapy, and experienced moms who visit new ones to help you get the hang of feeding and caring for your little ones.
One of my doula mentors, Maria Dolorico, started A Mom is Born as a doula business, and has branched out into life coaching, lactation consulting, and holding groups for new parents in downtown Boston. She now focuses on mental health counseling, and is located in Back Bay.
Wilberthe Pilate at Quiet Moon Postpartum Care is an IBCLC who does home visits, postpartum doula care, lactation support and abortion support.
Zip Milk is a search engine for lactation consultants (LCs) in your area by zip code.
LC Home Visits contains a list of Boston-area international board certified lactation consultants (IBCLCs). In Massachusetts, it is required for insurance to cover lactation support.
BFAR is a resource for folks who want to breastfeed but have had breast/chest or nipple surgery in the past. Whether someone has had a diagnostic surgery, implants or a reduction, this website contains information about increasing the best chances for a healthy milk supply.
Milk Junkies is the website of trans dad, Trevor MacDonald. Once famous for being barred from La Leche League meetings, he now leads them locally in Canada and continues to blog about queer parenthood.
A mini study (22 participants) on transmasculine folks, chestfeeding and gender identity.
The Disabled Parenting Project is an online community by and for disabled parents (and prospective parents). They have lists of adaptive parenting equipment (such as raised potty seats and strollers with easy-to-use folding mechanisms) and a blog for parents to share their experiences.
Disability is A Strength is a blog of disabled parents and their families.
Transgender Family Law Facts and Family Law FAQ by Lambda Legal.
The Fatherhood Project is based in Boston.
Rad Dad blog, zine and book focuses on the overlaps of various identities with fatherhood.
A small (10 participants) study on the experience of trans birthing dads, and recommendations they’d make to medical providers. Another on “transgender men and pregnancy.”
Abortion and Loss
The Eastern Massachusetts Abortion Fund provides small grants to folks who need to access abortion care in Eastern Massachusetts in order to make abortion care more affordable.
The Pregnancy Panic Companion is a teen friendly resource for accurate information about pregnancy scares and available options.
Holding Our Space is an interactive community based around supporting those who have lost a pregnancy in any way. Stories of infertility, miscarriage, abortion, adoption, stillbirth and more are all supported and welcomed.
Herbalism, Herbalists and other Holistic Health Folks
Irischa Valentin (De La Tierra Botanicals) is a Boston-based birth doula and herbalist. She also does reiki, energy work, flower essences and community workshops.
Muddy River Herbals is the project of Jenny Hauf and her partner Matt. They grow and wildcraft local, organic herbs for folks in the Boston area, and can be found at the Roslindale and Melrose Farmers Markets. Much of the calendula in my postpartum sitz baths comes from these guys!
Native Plant Trust is in Framingham, MA.
Flora Pacha is an incredible herbalist and friend who offers consultations, workshops, skillshares, knowledge shares, and seedlingships virtually.
Occupied Pocumtuc territory/western Mass queer herbalist Wiley runs Bright Hollow Medicinals, an apothecary and sliding-scale herbal clinic. They also take distance clients over the internet.
Su Cosineau is a local-to-Jamaica Plain herbalist and shiatsu practitioner. She can be found teaching workshops at Herbstalk and the Boston Nature Center.
Herbstalk is a growing community of herbal classes in the Boston area. Based in Somerville, this yearly conference brings together folks from many herbal traditions every June.
Founded by Katja Swift and Ryn Midura, the CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism (formerly in Brookline, now virtual) offers classes, apprenticeships and a clinic for low-income folks who seek herbal care.
Tammi Sweet at the Heartstone Center for Earth Essentials teaches an AMAZING anatomy & physiology class for holistically-minded folks who would otherwise shy away from a science-heavy class. She frequently offers free webinars on a variety of topics from allergies and asthma to the endocannabinoid system.
Queer/Trans run, the Boston Acupuncture Project offers a community acupuncture experience right in my neighborhood of Hyde Park. Super affordable sliding scale treatment rates and regularly-running discounts and community deals make this a fairly accessible option for many folks.