We love providing resources for families in our community! If there's something you're looking for that you haven't found yet, please reach out to us. This blog post has a list of things we might be able to help with that you maybe haven't even thought of yet!
Adoptive Family Support
Adoptive Families includes information and personal stories about the many facets of adoption, from answering tricky questions from relatives to adjusting to have your new baby at home, to issues regarding racial identity within transracial families.
The Center for Parent Information and Resources has a page addressing issues specific to foster/adoptive families. It is fairly general but includes some links to additional resources that may be helpful, including issues around disability and finding support groups.
See Infant Feeding section below for resources concerning breastfeeding an adopted child.
Art Therapy for Expecting Parents
Baby Bumps and Brushes offers an opportunity for parents to explore their feelings around pregnancy and their unique journey to parenthood.
School of Babywearing put together a handy flyer about the T.I.C.K.S. Rule for Safe Babywearing. Always run through this checklist when putting baby in the sling or carrier!
Babywearing International is a great place to start if you're new to babywearing. It includes some basic education around the benefits of babywearing and how-to advice, as well as a great tool for finding the best baby carrier for you and your family. The world of babywearing can be dizzyingly huge - this site really helps to break things down a bit for people who are just starting out.
All About Babywearing has a bit wider lens than Babywearing International. As you'll find more in-depth information about specific types of carriers here, we recommend using this site as a resource once you have an idea of what kind of baby carrier you'd like to try. They also have cloth diapering information.
Motherboard Birth is our go-to resource for creating a birth plan. Read our interview with Motherboard CEO Amy Haderer to find out more about why we love this platform.
Having a Cesarean-in-Awareness is a beautiful article written by one of our mentors, Virginia Bobro. It discusses what to expect in the operating room during a cesarean birth, and how parents can find ways to bring love, intention, and connection to their births by cesarean.
How to Have the Best Cesarean is an article written by Sarah Buckley, MD, an internationally-renowned expert on the hormones of birth. This article talks about the differences between what parents’ and babies’ bodies physically “expect” from the birth process, how cesarean birth differs, and ways to bridge the “hormonal gap” to jump start the recovery and bonding processes.
Motherboard Birth has educational resources to help parents understand their options during a cesarean birth, and even create a cesarean birth plan (whether it’s plan A or plan B, it can be a great idea to have on hand just in case). Read our interview with Motherboard CEO Amy Haderer to find out more about why we love this platform.
If you know in advance you’ll be having a c-section, this article about family centered cesarean births might be helpful for you.
Evidence Based Birth published an article on the evidence for skin-to-skin after a cesarean birth. It talks about how the current widespread practice of routine separation after a cesarean birth stacks up against the evidence.
The International Cesarean Awareness Network is a fabulous resource for parents who birth by cesarean. Whether you're planning for or recovering from a cesarean, hoping for a VBAC, or overcoming an emotionally difficult birth, you'll find education and support here. Be sure to check out their white papers and FAQs.
See VBAC section below for resources concerning vaginal birth after cesarean.
Practicing Parents features a post called The Basics of Child Development that is a great read for anyone who wants to learn about how child development works and what parents and caregivers can do to encourage warmth and learning from an early age.
The Child Development Network features a selection of "expert articles" that cover basic child development stages as well as special issues like ADHD and mental health. This site is worth exploring if you have specific questions about certain topics.
Marlee & Megan offer occasional childcare services through Spilt Milk Nannies Orange County. This service is a great fit for parents who have sporadic childcare needs, who are comfortable using several different babysitters, and who are able to plan ahead a bit (this is not an on-call service). We have a wonderful team of nannies ready to help your family!
If you're looking for a nanny to care for your child(ren) in your home, we recommend Kady Weatherby at Pacific Elite Nannies, a full-service nanny placement agency in Orange County. Kady walks parents through the process of hiring a nanny one step at a time, helping them understand the ins and outs of working with a great nanny.
OCcarseat.com is a group of Child Passenger Safety Technicians (CPSTs) in Orange County who offer car seat installation sessions. Their goal is to help parents become comfortable installing their seats, removing their seats, and securing their little ones 100% comfortably every single time.
Motherisk is an organization that provides evidence-based information to parents and professionals regarding the safety and effects of medications, alcohol, exercise, herbs, environmental factors, and more on pregnancy and breastfeeding. They also offer helplines you can call to ask questions. This is a great resource for anyone with questions about how specific medications might affect their baby during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding.
The University of Notre Dame’s Mother-Baby Behavioral Sleep Laboratory has a page devoted to safe cosleeping guidelines for families who are considering bedsharing.
The Red Cross has a publication with instructions for pediatric first aid, CPR, and AED you might find helpful, especially if you aren’t certified in those areas (which we highly recommend!).
The American Pregnancy Association provides information regarding chiropractic care during pregnancy.
The Circumsicion Resource Center is an organization dedicated to providing information about the physical procedure of circumcision itself, plus some of the lesser-known (or lesser-acknowledged, as the case may be) results of the procedure.
Psychology Today published a set of articles called Myths about Circumcision You Likely Believe, Part 1 and Part 2 that could be helpful for people trying to sort through this decision.
For those looking for intact (uncircumcised) care, Your Whole Baby offers many helpful resources.
Pannolino Diaper Service is based in Huntington Beach.
Dy-Dee Diaper Service is based in Pasadena.
Essential Oils Safety
Using Essential Oils Safely is our favorite resource to learn about the safety of different essential oils. It’s a website run by a certified aromatherapist who is not affiliated with a particular brand of essential oils. Here is their guide to essential oils safety during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
For Friends & Family
HuffPost Stress-Less Parenting has a post called Visitors After the Baby? 10 Tips for New Parents. This informal article gives some great things to think about when hosting visitors during the sensitive postpartum period. Highly suggested read for new parents!
We like this HuffPost Parents article called The Etiquette of Visiting Parents with Newborns for its practicality. These are great things for friends and family to keep in mind when visiting a family during this wonderful yet sensitive time.
Along the same lines, here is an Offbeat Families post called A doula's advice: the dos and don'ts of visiting friends after they have a baby. The author says, "I'm the kind of person who starts foaming at the mouth when a friend goes into labor. I start counting the potential hours until I get to meet that new baby and hug that new mom," so this post is especially helpful for people with that sort of enthusiasm that could be overwhelming for families adjusting to life with their new little one.
Meal Train is a free online service to help organize meal deliveries to a family in need for any reason, whether they just brought a new baby home or experienced a loss. People who want to sign up have to register on the site, but it's free. For a $10 upgrade, the person organizing the Meal Train has the option to add options for other household chores that would be helpful to the family aside from bringing meals.
Take Them a Meal is similar to Meal Train, but users don't have to register in order to sign up for a meal delivery. This site also has a feature called "Send Them A Meal," allowing participants to pay to have a meal delivered to the family for them.
Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island has a page called Supporting NICU Parents that offers practical ways to show love and support to parents with a baby in the hospital.
The British Homeopathic Association provides information about homeopathic remedies for various symptoms and health issues in pregnancy and birth.
Marlee offers in-home lactation counseling assistance for new parents in Orange County and Long Beach. If you're having challenges with breastfeeding, bottle feeding, or a mix of the two, learn more about the ways Marlee can help. (If clinical assistance is needed, Marlee can refer you to a local IBCLC for your care.)
Kelly Mom is a great resource for approachable, evidence-based information about breastfeeding (including nursing at the breast, pumping, and bottle feeding), pregnancy, and parenting. There are many pages addressing questions about whether certain breastfeeding issues are normal - something that can comfort nursing parents (or help them know when to seek out additional support).
La Leche League International is an organization dedicated to helping parents breastfeed through peer-to-peer support groups and education. We find their website a bit difficult to navigate, but if you know what you're looking for it can be a good resource. Their greatest strength is their local La Lache League groups - local La Leche League meetings are held in:
Guidelines for breastmilk handling and storage are available online from these sources:
Inducing Lactation and Relactation
Breastfeeding without Birthing is a companion website for the book of the same name, written by Amy Schnell, MS, IBCLC. She is passionate about debunking myths associated with relactation and induced lactation.
The International Breastfeeding Centre has an article on Dr. Jack Newman’s protocol for inducing lactation, including medication information.
The Australian Breastfeeding Association's page on relactation and adoptive breastfeeding gives a good overview of the reasons and process for induced lactation for adoptive or non-gestational parents, or parents who have had to stop breastfeeding temporarily.
Breastfeeding USA has a page called Breastfeeding Your Adopted Baby created specifically for adoptive parents.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a paper on relactation, available for download. It's geared more toward health professionals but could be useful for parents looking for detailed information.
Inducing Lactation - Surrogacy, Co-Nursing, Adoptive, or Breastfeeding/Chest Feeding is a supportive Facebook group for those who are considering or going through the process of inducing lactation.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has a publication about safe at-home infant formula preparation.
Baby Formula Expert is a website run by Bridget Young, Ph.D., who has a doctorate in nutrition and is also a certified lactation counselor (CLC). This is a great resource for helping to figure out what kind of formula to choose for your baby, as well as answers to commonly asked questions.
NICU Families and Babies with Special Needs
Nicolette is a technology company designing products and programs to help families with medically complicated babies make informed decisions, understand what’s going on with their little ones, and communicate with their care providers. Learn more about the story behind this company here.
Hand to Hold is a wonderful resource offering information and peer-to-peer counseling from seasoned parents of preemies and special needs babies. They also have a Facebook group called Life After NICU.
BabyFirst has a page called Parents' Corner that gives information and support to parents of NICU babies.
There is a Meet-Up group in Orange County called OC Special Needs Activities for parents and families of special needs children and adults.
LGBTQIA+ and Non-Traditional Families
Orange County and Long Beach both have centers serving the LGBTQIA+ community:
We love this list of 25 LGBT parenting blogs.
The Longest Shortest Time has a heartwarming series of episodes about family called The Accidental Gay Parents that tells the story of a young couple who adopted their niece and nephew. Later on they welcomed a biological baby of their own into their family. They share more of their story on their website, and Trystan also shared about his experience as a pregnant man at a storytelling event hosted by The Moth.
It’s Conceivable is a website devoted to the sometimes-winding road to queer parenthood.
The National LGBT Health Education Center published a resource called Pathways to Parenthood that outlines family-making options for members of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Maggie Nelson’s memoir The Argonauts includes the story of her pregnancy and issues surrounding queer family-making.
There is a Facebook group called Aunts and Uncles Raising Nieces and Nephews that can be helpful for people caring for young family members who aren’t their own biological children.
S. Bear Bergman’s essay collection Blood, Marriage, Wine & Glitter explores preconceived notions of family.
The Longest Shortest Time is a podcast featuring stories from real families about the struggles of parenthood and child rearing with an empathetic, grounded, judgment-free perspective.
Attachment Parenting International offers parenting advice geared toward connection and bonding between parents and children. They focus primarily on infants and young children, but provide resources for older children as well.
Mama Natural is a blog and Youtube series featuring natural lifestyle products and tips for pregnancy, birth, and the whole family. We especially enjoy the "In Real Life" feature - an honest look at life with young children.
Positive Parenting has a Facebook page that shares tips and information about gentle parenting strategies for toddlers and beyond.
Parenting for Social Change is a blog devoted to the idea that the close connected relationships between parents and children have the capacity to change lives.
Positive Parents is a blog promoting strategies to help parents form and maintain positive, peaceful relationships with their children.
Pelvic Floor Health
The Longest Shortest Time podcast has a couple episodes dealing with the issue of pelvic floor dysfunction that are super helpful if you're starting to learn about this issue: Healing after Childbirth and Ask a Pelvic Floor PT Anything.
Childbirth Connection has a page called Pelvic Floor: Preventing Problems that provides a great overview of the pelvic floor itself in addition to disorders of the pelvic floor and ways to prevent them.
The Interstitial Cystitis Association provides information about pelvic floor physical therapy describing the process of physical therapy to treat pelvic floor disorders. This therapy can be life-changing for people suffering from pelvic floor disorders.
Postpartum Mood Disorders Support
Postpartum Support International provides lots of information about different types of pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders and the kinds of help that are available. They also have a very useful section called PPD Resources for Dads for partners of those suffering from postpartum anxiety, postpartum depression, or other postpartum mental health issues.
Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Women's Mental Health provides information about pregnancy and postpartum mood disorders, as well as information about taking psychiatric medications while breastfeeding.
Postpartum Progress is a maternal mental health blog offering information and support to parents suffering from postpartum mood disorders.
PPD MOMS (Mothers Offering Mothers Support) offers a hotline that provides peer-to-peer counseling for parents in need of immediate support.
The Online PPMD Support Group has forums for people suffering from postpartum mood disorders to communicate with each other, providing understanding, support, and encouragement.
Postpartum mood disorders aren't limited to those who gave birth, or to primary caregivers. Postpartum Men is a website dedicated to supporting fathers and partners who are themselves suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety.
Pregnancy Loss (Miscarriage & Stillbirth)
Please visit our companion website, OC Pregnancy Loss.
Ma Yoga offers a customized online prenatal yoga program. With this subscription, you have access to unlimited videos by qualified teachers who specialize in prenatal yoga.
PrenatalYogaCenter.com offers several free prenatal yoga videos you can use to practice at home.
Yoga Sol has a great list of Dos and Don’ts for Pregnant Students in a Regular Yoga Class that pregnant people can use so they can continue to attend their favorite class using pregnancy-specific modifications.
Rights in Childbirth
The topic of human and legal rights in childbirth has been gaining media attention in recent years, side by side with the #metoo and #timesup movements.
Birth Monopoly is an organization dedicated to exposing institutional abuse in the United States childbirth system and helping families understand and advocate for their rights. This page lists many articles attorney and Birth Monopoly founder Cristen Pascucci has written on the topic of rights in childbirth.
Improving Birth is a maternal health consumer advocacy group focused on making birth safer through more evidence-based, patient-centered, human treatment during the childbearing years. They offer an accountability toolkit to help consumers file a grievance after a difficult childbirth, and volunteer opportunities for involvement in changing birth in the US for the better.
Human Rights in Childbirth is an international organization dedicated to providing clarity on the rights of pregnant and birthing people, gathering stakeholders (including consumers, doctors, midwives, and lawyers) to help those rights become better understood and respected in practice. They have a page dedicated to helping consumers understand their legal and medical rights in childbirth.
Marlee offers a new parent support group in Santa Ana.
We compiled a list of Orange County support groups for new parents in this blog post.
Solace for Mothers provides online support for those who experienced childbirth as traumatic.
Postpartum Progress offers support groups throughout the US and Canada for parents experiencing postpartum depression.
MOMS Club is a support group for at-home parents.
The National At-Home Dad Network offers information, encouragement, and support groups for dads that are primary at-home caregivers - an often-overlooked bunch!
Rainbow Rompers is a support group for Orange County LGBT parents and their children.
There is a Meet-Up group in Orange County called OC Special Needs Activities for parents and families of special needs children and adults.
Kinship Center offers support groups for foster/adoptive parents by county.
MeetUp.com is host to many parenting support groups. We recommend searching by your city with the word "parents" to find groups in your area.
Vaginal Birth after Cesarean (VBAC)
VBAC Facts provides evidence-based information on vaginal birth after cesarean created by a former research manager.
VBAC.com provides evidence-based information to help parents make informed choices about the way they want to give birth.
We provide additional referrals to our clients as needed. If you're searching for a particular kind of resource that you don't see here, contact us.