At Nurturing Hearts Birth Services (shortened down to NHBS to locals), there is a group that meets every other Tuesday evenings that we call the “Nurturing Bellies” group – a support group of sorts, but a social group of expectant and new mothers. It’s a sanctuary, an educational group, a free night out for some, and a place to meet and connect with other expectant mothers who have similar ideas about birth.
I always have so much fun at these meetings – and there is something extra special to me to see the connections that are formed. In so many other practices, a newly expectant mother will go for their monthly (or more often) check ups and go home. Done. That’s it. That’s all. They can go to the practice for their entire pregnancy and not be able to name ONE other person who is seeing that same care provider. They sit in the lobby/waiting room for up to an hour waiting to be called back – sitting in a room with many other ladies, and yet not knowing any of them.
Yet they are on this journey together. They are seeing the same care providers, carrying babies at the same time…and yet will never meet. We crave the connection! How many of us are belly watchers when we are pregnant! All of a sudden we notice every belly out there (including the questionable ones where you think MAYBE she is pregnant but wouldn’t dare ask!?)….heck, I’ve noticed bellies on MEN that made me do a double take and giggle to myself at how on alert I am for bellies.
Nurturing Bellies is an opportunity to gather near other women who are also looking for that connection. We laugh together, share experiences, learn, cry….and friendships are created that last well beyond the birth of their child. Most importantly, it’s FUN! And this journey becomes infinitely less lonely.
Why doesn’t everyone attend these types of meetings? I don’t know – busy schedule, not sure what they can get from it, too shy to join the group for the first time…? I highly encourage EVERY expectant mother (whether seeing me as their care provider or not, whether planning a homebirth, birthing center birth, or hospital birth) to attend at least one meeting – JUST ONE! Meet these ladies….SHARE YOUR STORY! I promise you aren’t alone…someone else has had your fears, triumphs, and tears.
I’m all about benefits/risks. Life is a balance – what are the pros and cons to an action. So what are the possible benefits to coming to Bellies? You gain friends, you learn new information, you become empowered, you find a place you can vent, you are entertained…
What’s the worst that happens? You waste 2 hours of your life you can never get back.
I think it’s worth the risk….don’t you?
***IF YOU HAVE COME TO ‘NURTURING BELLIES’, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCE IN COMMENTS***