It takes a village to raise a child, but in a modern world where new parents may live far away from their families and other support systems, it can be hard to find that village. On the other hand, thanks to the power of technology, advice and encouragement are just a click or phone call away. Whether this is your first child or fourth, you don’t have to navigate parenthood alone. We’ve compiled a list of helpful local resources and service providers for expecting and new parents in the Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia area.
Prenatal and Postnatal Massage
Massage is an excellent way to relieve the aches and pains caused by your body’s changes during pregnancy and the early postpartum, reduce stress and anxiety, and pamper yourself during this physically-demanding time. Look for a licensed massage therapist with experience treating pregnant and newly postpartum patients.
Massage Hope in Lansdowne is top-notch and understands your changing body’s needs.
The Pregnancy Massage Center in Herndon focuses solely on, you guessed it – pregnancy massage.
Marya Millard serves Northern VA and DC and offers in-home prenatal and postnatal massage as well as infant massage.
Acupuncture is a drug-free way to address many symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea, sciatica, heartburn, indigestion, insomnia, and more. There are even ways to encourage breech babies to turn, or your cervix to thin and prepare for labor. As with massage, find a licensed acupuncturist experienced in prenatal acupuncture.
Fertile Living (Alexandria)
Kerry Westhauser (DC and Falls Church)
Erica Statman (Fairfax)
Lactation consultants are specially trained and certified experts in breastfeeding. They can help resolve latch problems and supply issues, teach you how to position yourself and your baby comfortably, prepare you for pumping at work, and more. Many lactation consultants offer group classes, individual consultations, and home visits.
Northern Virginia Lactation Consultants (Northern Virginia)
Premier Lactation Services (home visits in parts of Northern Virginia)
The Breastfeeding Lady (Arlington and Alexandria)
Breastfeeding Support Groups
Several area hospitals offer free breastfeeding support groups facilitated by a certified lactation consultant. Check individual websites for schedules and registration requirements. This can be an easy way to practice getting out of the house with a new baby successfully as well as a way to start building a new community for yourself. You’ll be in good company!
If you’re far from home, new to the community, and/or looking to make friends who share this aspect of your life, building your village early on (yes, even during pregnancy) can mean a well-supported, validating, more relaxed experience. Plus, it’s always nice to have someone you can bounce ideas off of, ask questions about practices and gear, and/or laugh and commiserate with over coffee and a stroll.
Mothers of North Arlington (MONA): A local, social support group that has community events, outings, gatherings, interest groups, message boards, and more.
Dulles Moms (Northern VA)
PACE (Northern VA and DC)
Mamistad (Northern VA and DC): Mamistad brings together small groups of local women during pregnancy so they can share their experiences and friendship from pregnancy through parenting.
MOPS (Nationwide with local groups all over Northern VA and DC)
Meetup.com (just search “Moms,” “Dads,” and/or “Parents” + your city)
Beltway Babywearers: Babywearing International has chapters around the country that provide lending libraries for parents to try on different types of baby carriers. Also, many chapters offer scheduled meet-ups and workshops to learn safe babywearing as well as to meet other parents.
PSVA exists to support all family members who may be affected by postpartum anxiety and depression. (Note: The birthing parent is not the only one at risk!) There is a list of therapists and psychiatrists practicing in Northern Virginia and a directory of support groups.
Doulas of Northern Virginia can provide you and your family exceptional support before, during, and after your baby is born.
Our team of experienced birth doulas, postpartum doulas, and placenta encapsulators are ready to serve you during this unique time in your life.