Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Birth Roots

4,869 pageviews

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Family Planning, Health, Public Health, Reproductive Rights, Unknown

Mission: Birth Roots removes the obstacles to perinatal health by providing a continuity of community support, education and resources, before, during and after the birth of a child. Birth Roots' unique and innovative programs reduce perinatal isolation and provide access to a support network thus helping to alleviate two of the most preventable causes of postpartum depression.

Target demographics: newly pregnant, almost due, new parents in Southern Maine

Direct beneficiaries per year: 500-5000 families

Geographic areas served: Southern Maine

Programs: Prenatal classes & groups, Postnatal classes & groups, Birth Roots Perinatal Resource Guide

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Mary Katherine O'Brien F.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Birth Roots by a friend. I was a first-time mom and really needed a place to meet other moms. Having a group of women going through the same things was amazing. I did not feel as lost. A few weekends ago we got together as a group and it was so much fun watching out 1-year-olds run around.

1 Katie Farrell M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was the first one to have a baby in my group of friends. I wanted to make connections with local moms who were also just beginning this wonderful (and also slightly terrifying) journey. As a working mom I had a hard time meeting other moms and babies. I signed up for a combined class for babies 3-6 months old at Birth Roots and it was something I am still thankful for over 5 years later. Birth Roots covers every topic imagineable in a safe and comfortable space with genuinely kind people. 5 years ago my oldest son & I met an amazing group of kids and their moms. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to watch the kids grow. The mothers and I have shared many journeys--through infancy, toddlerhood, second babies, and most recently sending our oldest off to kindergarten. I am forever grateful for Birth Roots for being part of my journey and for lifelong friendships.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

After having my first baby, I was searching for support through all the early motherhood trials and tribulations. In BIrth Roots, I found a sense of community, support, and camaraderie that I wasn't sure existed. I sat through hours of Eat, Sleep, Nurse support groups, cried on other people's shoulders when my baby wasn't sleeping, and donated clothes to their baby booty sales. Most importantly - I found a group of women with whom I'm still close friends - almost five years later. We text each other daily, we see each other regularly, and our children know each other like siblings. I feel so lucky to have found my flock with Birth Roots.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Coming from out of state to Portland, Maine was daunting. I quickly found Birth Roots and felt a sense of community. Their events are always spot on, meeting kids where they are at developmentally and creating a friendly social platform for parents/caregivers, even for a newcomer such as myself. I am so grateful to Birth Roots for being there for parents !

1 Eliza C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Birth Roots is so wonderful it feels too good to be true. It's a warm, welcoming, supportive, sympathetic and informative community and space for new (and established) parents. I was SO grateful for the prenatal classes, which answered so many questions and helped to take the fear out of labor and childbirth, and also for the Blossoming Newborns series which provided a friendly and structured space to chat with other new mamas about the challenges and joys of being a new parent. It's been so good to share stories and listen and know that other folks are going through the same things as me! Everyone at Birth Roots has been incredibly thoughtful and careful about providing a supportive, positive environment where folks share experiences without feeling judged, or feeling that there is a right and wrong way to parent. I really appreciate the work that Birth Roots does to support new parents and new families! I'm in a few Facebook groups with other new mamas from all around the country, and I've seen that very few of them have anything as supportive as Birth Roots to help them through the whirlwind of being a new parent, and it's a lot harder to navigate alone. It seems like Birth Roots is a really special and unique organization!

2 Sarah A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Birthroots' classes and groups (Birthing From Within with Leah, Blossoming Newborns with Jen and Eat, Sleep Nurse walk-in) have provided me with the support, resources, confidence and community that I needed to have the birth experience I was hoping for, the common sense education that every new mother needs, and the friendships that were an unexpected blessing and bonus.

Thank you Birhtroots!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I took several prenatal claseses at Birthroots, as well as postnatal mothering classes. The Birthing from Within class prepared me for a successful natural childbirthing evperience. The mothering classes have introduced me to tens of wonderful new moms. i now have a large community of mom-friends, which is really important to me being a new stay-at-home mom.

2 Bethany B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I discovered Birth Roots looking for a hypnobirthing class. I went to one of their frequent open houses and fell in love with the organization. Their goal seems to be to help every family learn their own way to happiness and health with support, love, and ACCURATE information. We learned so much in their class, but also met other families and created a great social group for ourselves and our baby. We are so happy we found birth roots!!

2 Miranda C.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had heard great things about Birth Roots long before I was pregnant, so as soon as I found out we were expecting I signed up for every class that was available, from Welcoming Pregnancy to Blossoming Newborns. The support received and knowledge learned is priceless, as are the bonds that are formed with other families. Emily and Leah are amazing facilitators.

1 Laura T.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Birth Roots is amazing. Last April, I gave birth to my beautiful baby girl. On the advice of a friend with two children, we went out as much as possible. But going out with a tiny infant, when you're barely accustomed to even being a parent, can be tiring, especially since I only knew a couple other people with infants. At my prenatal group's 6 week reunion, someone mentioned that they were taking a class at Birth Roots. I practically ran to my computer when I arrived back home, looked up the classes, and signed up for one. Going out...to a place with other babies and mamas! What a relief!

That first class was amazing - it was so wonderful to meet and connect with other moms in the same boat we were in. Sleepless nights, feeding concerns, we discussed it all. It was really great to know I wasn't alone and the things that my lovely daughter was doing, however frustrating they might have seemed, were normal baby things. After that first class, we went on to take several more classes and meet countless other mamas and babies. It was with a heavy heart that I realized we were taking our last class not too long ago! But I now have this amazing group of people that I see and talk to on a regular basis. Recently, we just had a giant birthday party for nearly 30 families. A week doesn't go by where I don't see at least one other mama and baby from out Birth Roots days. The connections we made there are amazing!

Truly a lifesaver!

Suzannah W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Birth Roots provided a safe, warm and supportive space for me and my baby for his first year of life. I relied on them for advice on everything from nursing to baby carriers. In this amazing space, and through their classes, I found a community of moms that I cherish. My little guy and I have been so fortunate to have a group of 20 moms and babies that we see on a regular basis for playing, checking in with questions, or exchanging messages and pictures. We are connected and bonded through sharing the joys and struggles on our journey as mothers. I am and will be forever grateful to Birth Roots.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I first found Birth Roots through my midwives office when I was looking to take a birth class other than the one the hospital offered. I signed up for the Bridge Package, which included "Birthing from Within", a breastfeeding class, and a class about the "Fourth Trimester" (the first three months after your baby's birth) My experience with these prenatal classes was absolutely wonderful- I went into labor feeling confident that no matter the particulars of my birth experience, I would find a way to focus on the joy of bringing my baby into this world. As great as my prenatal classes at Birth Roots were, the real value of this organization for me came after my son was born. I took all three of their postnatal classes, starting with "Buds", when my son was just 2 weeks old. During pregnancy I was so focused on the birth- and for nine months this excitement built and it ended in this spectacularly beautiful event- the highest emotional peak of my life. When I started settling into my new life with this unimaginably amazing little creature there were a whole host of new emotions that came with the haze of sleepless nights, worries about whether my baby was getting enough milk, whether I was doing this or that right, if I'd ever have another moment to myself or to spend with my husband. If I had spent this postpartum period without the company of other new mothers, I wouldn't have known that this was completely normal. I might have felt guilty for thinking about my own needs. Sitting in a circle of my peers, I listened to story after story just like my own. I formed such a tight bond with these women that a year later, I count them among my best friends, and we continue to support each other through the highs and lows of parenting. I can't imagine how much harder this year would have been without Birth Roots to foster these friendships.

1 Prudence J.

Client Served

Rating: 5

A friend introduced me to Birth Roots two weeks after my first son was born. It was exactly what I needed. I was begining to feel isolated, lonely and overwhelmed in my new role as a stay at home mom. Birth Roots connected me with other mothers going through the same experiences and tons of resources. I made wonderful friends in the Blossoming Newborns classes and at the drop in groups. We still meet with our Birth Roots friends every week for playgroup, three years later. Birth Roots has been very beneficial to our family. I am grateful to have been introduced to Birth Roots and appreciative of all of their hard work. Thank you Leah and Emily!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I didn't know what a "flock" was or that I needed one, but I am so grateful for finding Birthroots soon after the birth of my first child! The facilitators make it such a welcoming, inclusive space that my daughter and I looked forward to meeting our new friends there very frequently. I loved hearing about everyone's week, getting new ideas and knowing that I wasn't alone in whatever I was dealing with that day. Now I have several flocks I am proud to be a part of and my daughter is a social butterfly!

2 Leila M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Birth Roots programs not only provided our family with the education we were looking for (prenatal, birth, and beyond) - but we've been connected with TONS of families in our area with kids of similar ages. We have a safe place to go. Somewhere to learn and grow. Highly recommend Birth Roots to any family within driving distance!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I used Birth Roots during my pregnancy for birthing and parenting classes, and after my son was born to "find my flock." They are an amazing resource for the greater Portland area!

1 Katie B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have written articles and blog posts about the amazingness that is Birth Roots. I am more than happy to write a review here, in hopes that another mom will benefit from my suggestion to get to Birth Roots NOW!
I have an almost 1 year old. I'm 30. I spent 2 decades prior babysitting, nannying, and then becoming an elementary school teacher. I have experience with how to raise children. But being a mom...the sheer physical exhaustion and mental roller coaster made that knowledge useless. I was at square 1 with all of the other new moms. My baby cried a lot, didn't want to be put down, I felt lonely and I live in a rural area--no neighbors to visit easily and an unsafe road for walking.
I saw a Birth Roots publication in my midwive's office and decided to sign up for a postnatal class. It was heaven. Suddenly, with other moms to talk to and a guide from the organization things were easier for a couple hours. Then, as I became friends with the other moms our group expanded. We used the Birth Roots facility until our babies started toddling. Then we were ready to take flight on our own.
That's what Birth Roots *really* does. It gives you this support system, this family (or flock, it's called), and confidence as a new mom. Then, with those roots in place you are able to fly from the nest and be the best parent that you know how.
A couple of weeks ago my flock had a big 1st birthday bash for all of the babies. There were about 30 families there! And all of those babies have such a place in my heart. Such an amazing event.
While I'm speaking of the social aspect mostly, you don't need to only use Birth Roots to build a network. They provide help with breastfeeding, birthing classes, eating and sleeping.
Because of how much I blog, write and share about Birth Roots I constantly have pregnant or new moms asking me about this organization, wondering if this is something they should check out. Without hesitation--yes! you will be a happier mom. And as my own mother used to say, "When mama ain't happy ain't nobody happy."

Client Served

Rating: 5

Last March I gave birth to an amazing little man. He was healthy and happy, we were truly blessed. I felt so prepared for motherhood. I assumed breast feeding would be a natural, wonderful bonding experience for me and my young son. Yikes was I wrong! We struggled a great deal in the first week. An amazing lactation consultant came to my house to assist us and she reccommended Birth Roots to us. After week 2 and cleared for driving I bundled up my little guy and made my way across town in search of anwsers, help, reassurance... something. After that day we did not miss a monday @ Eat, Sleep, Nurse. The program is free and facilitated by very knowledgable woman. The environment was so warm and inviting, we loved snuggling up and listening to others dilemas and sharing our own. We then moved on to taking the Buds class. I met some amazing moms and had found my" Flock". Then came the sprouts class and my flock grew. We would meet and share stories and just enjoy adult conversation. As the babies grew and developed we would watch them interact. It was an amazing 5 months... then back to work I went. It was so hard on me. Thankfully my flocked stayed together and we just celebrated our one year birthdays together as a group. I thank BirthRoots for bringing us together and being there to lend support to so many new mothers. It is such a scary and vulnerable time and I am so greatful I found Birth Roots. I reccomend them to every pregnant woman I meet... or see in the grocery store :)

9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Birth Roots is to the perinatal phase (9 months before and 9 months after birth) what a doula is to the hours of labor and childbirth, an advocate for acknowledging and meeting a birthing woman's non-clinical needs to feel safe and central to her process of becoming a mother, both physically and emotionally. Women who participate in the Birth Roots Community gain increased self-awareness about their transition and are much less likely to feel traumatized by the birth process and are more able to employ skills and resources for preventing postpartum depression.

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

I attended a prenatal class at Birth Roots that was by far the best class I have taken anywhere, ever. I thought I had read every book and was prepared for labor, but the prenatal class took birth preparation to a different level. It was a very powerful educational experience that impacted the participants as individuals, parents and couples. The newborn class was also amazing. I don't know how I would have survived the first three months with my very fussy daughter without the tools, laughter and wisdom that emerged from that group. Birth Roots is an incredible community builder. Our group is still getting together weekly nine months later to support each other as hard working, new moms. These are friendships that were born at Birth Roots and are here to stay.

9

Client Served

Rating: 4

Very important experience after my son was born - went 1x a week (at least) on and off for the first 6 months for classes and just to hang out with other new moms. Helped SO MUCH to normalize the experience, get help learning how to care for my son and myself, and connect with other women going through similar things. Still in touch with other moms/babies one year later!

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

After giving birth to my son, I realized I was not at all prepared to care for an infant. I don't think you can be truly prepared. But fortunately, I stumbled upon Birthroots. The weekly classes I took provided a place to talk, laugh, and learn with other mothers. We commiserated over our sleepless nights and learned that we weren't alone in raising our newborns. I finished taking my classes seven months ago but still meet for weekly playgroups with the friends I met at Birthroots. I feel truly lucky that I found Birthroots when I did.

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

Birth Roots changed my experience when I first became a mother. The support, the understanding, the array of resources helped me feel less alone in the transition of becoming a mother. I needed Birth Roots so much, that I quit my old job and joined Birth Roots board, then started facilitating classes! It is a much needed community resource for our area to support new families with celebrating the joy and beauty of becoming new parents as well as the struggles and challenges it also brings. The directors - Leah and Emily are brilliant!!

8

Board Member

Rating: 5

Birth Roots is an amazing place. What they offer women, children, and families in the community is truly not available anywhere else. Their non-medical model for supporting new parents offers a caring and safe environment for deep learning. Men and women get the information and support they need to feel empowered throughout the perinatal period; facing labor and birth from a place of strength and knowledge, they start their parenting journey off on the right foot.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have no idea how to sum up the wonderful expriences I have had thanks to Birthroots. I found a safe and welcoming place to learn about and prepare for labor and delivery, express the my many feelings experienced during and after pregnancy as well as meet new friends and supports. The prenatal classes I attended contained more than just the birthing basics. I gained confidence in myself and my body. The class also provided an opportunity for my partner and I to envision our labor experience and communicate our expectations and fears. I have since utlized Birthroots through their resource booklet, facebook posts and look foward to attending future events hosted by Birthroots.

7

Client Served

Rating: 5

Birth Roots is an amazing organization, and is likely one of the main reasons why I have managed to avoid postpartum depression. I am a new mom and after a particularly tough labor, delivery and week-long NICU stay, followed by severe feeding problems, I was feeling isolated and was having trouble finding enjoyment in my new role as a parent. We took the Sprouts session of the Blossoming Newborns class at Birth Roots when my daughter was almost three months old, and this almost instantly transformed our experience. We found a wonderful community of babies and mothers with whom we still gather on a weekly basis. We also found a safe, baby-friendly space in which to spend time when we want to get out of the house. Because of Birth Roots, I have gained confidence as a mother, feel more educated about my choices as a parent, and am able to celebrate the joys of parenting more fully. I have found a support network that I can always turn to for guidance, empathy, and companionship. We are now taking the Seedlings class and also participate in the Eat, Sleep, Nurse group for breastfeeding support. Our family is incredibly thankful for Birth Roots, as it has truly helped shape our postpartum experience and connected us with people who are likely to be lifelong friends. Without Birth Roots, I imagine we would be struggling more with developing our confidence as parents and establishing friendships with other new parents.

9

Board Member

Rating: 5

Birth Roots is the most personally helpful, most inspiring organization I've ever seen in action (and I consult with nonprofits, so that's saying a lot). As a pregnant first-time parent who recently moved to the area, my husband and I went into this experience feeling completely alone, and a year later, we feel that BR is responsible for our entire social support network and so much of our confidence as new parents. From our childbirth education (Birthing From Within) to the amazing, unique Blossoming Newborns series (with classes for each postnatal "trimester") to a breastfeeding prep class and drop-in group, Birth Roots' orientation has always been about helping us to become educated, understand our choices, and feel fully empowered as new parents - setting the stage and tone for all of our parenting experiences yet to come. We have also taken advantage of prenatal couples counseling, postpartum doula support, lactation support, and baby sign and singing classes, and we turn to Birth Roots' community resource guide every time we need help finding services or provides. EVERY NEW PARENT NEEDS A BIRTH ROOTS IN THEIR LIVES - IT ISN'T A LUXURY, BUT A NECESSITY. It is not an exaggeration to say that this organization is the reason I as a new mother survived pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period. I could never have known in advance how much new parents - particularly new mothers - need (physically, psychologically, emotionally), nor how this transition would be the defining experience that sets the tone for family dynamics to come. Because BR is so responsible for my sense of success as a new parent, I have joined their Board and recommend them to every pregnant person (even pre-conception families) I meet.

8

Client Served

Rating: 5

I recently heard Birth Roots described as a safe space where a new mom could go with breast milk leaking onto her shirt and feel supported. Before becoming a new mom 7 months ago I wouldn't have appreciated that description, or the importance of having such a space. Birth Roots has been a haven for me these past months. It has connected me with helpful resources, improved my parenting skills, and most importantly helped me find my flock (mothers with babies the same age as mine). Engaging with my flock helps me feel supported, empowered and more confident as a mother. I know I am not alone, even in the middle of the night if I happen to be awake with my baby. I've attended two incredibly helpful "Blossoming Newborns" classes at Birth Roots, a "Baby Booty" yard sale, the Birth Roots open house, and a baby-friendly showing of the movies "Babies", sponsored by Birth Roots. Also, I use the Birth Roots Perinatal Resource Guide. These are just some of the ways Birth Roots helps support me and connect me to a helpful, healthy, family-friendly community. I wish every new parent could have a Birth Roots in his/her town. It has had an enormous, positive impact on me during this tender time of transition.