They say it takes a village to raise a child, but it can be a little hard to go out and find those helpful villagers when you’re a new parent. New moms and dads of Portland need not fear: we uncovered eleven essential services ready to support new parents and make their lives just a wee bit easier. Check out this list to see where Portland’s most helpful services are located (and in some cases, it’s just on the other end of the phone).
photo: Marianne Walters
1. For Earth-Friendliness: Tidee Didee Diaper Service
Portland is known for green living, and many parents don’t want to give that up when Junior comes along. If washing cloth diapers seems too overwhelming a task in the early days at home, sign up for a diaper service that will do the dirty work for you. $18.50/week is typical for a newborn stash but the folks at Tidee Didee will happily talk you through a plan that will work best for your family. We bet you won’t be able to resist that cute cloth-diapered bum.
6011 SE 92nd Ave.
2. For Breastfeeding Support: Nursing Mother’s Counsel of Oregon
Nursing moms are fortunate to live in a breastfeeding-friendly region which includes lactation support of all kinds. Perhaps the most convenient is the kind you don’t have to leave home for. The Nursing Mother’s Counsel hotline trains volunteers to field your questions about breastfeeding, whether related to latch, pumping and safe storage, pain and discomfort or simply to confirm that you’re doing things right. It’s also acceptable to call for emotional support from someone who understands. Many of the volunteers work in the field of lactation consulting, and the rest are currently or have previously breastfed their own nurslings.
3. For Your Waterbaby: Swimbabes
As soon as you’re ready to put baby in the water, Swimbabes can help you do it safely and securely. The SynchroBabies classes are recommended for babies as early as 8 weeks old, while Swim Survival Safety classes are offered for infants and toddlers of any age to start building confidence and safety skills in the water. The 90-degree pool ensures everyone’s comfort and the instructors are all qualified and experienced in the specific needs of their youngest students.
10552 SE 52nd Ave., Milwaukie
My Delivery by Andrew Hitchcock via Flickr
4. For Front-Door Delivery: Instacart
You made it out of the house once today and that feels like enough, but there’s nothing in the fridge for dinner! Before you call the pizza guy (again), check to see if one of your local grocers will deliver some fresh goods to your door. With options like Whole Foods, Natural Grocers, Green Zebra and Costco delivering in just one hour, there is bound to be something to feed your soul. (Insider’s tip: Most of the available retailers have baby items and pet food, so you might be able to check some other essentials off your list while you’re ordering dinner!)
Locations in Portland, Beaverton, Hillsboro, Lake Oswego, Tualatin and West Linn
5. For Finding Your Tribe: Local New Moms’ Groups
Whether you’re a first-timer or a seasoned veteran, parenthood is no joke. Keeping like-minded people around will help you laugh over the little things, like that Cheerio you just found in your hair. No one should have to hold down the fort alone, so find your support crew in other parents through your local hospital, moms’ club or hiking group. We’ve rounded up some options for you so you can find the best fit.
Times and locations vary
Online: See our list of parent groups here
photo: Stark Photography
6. For Postpartum Fitness: Fit4Mom
After spending a few weeks (or months) snuggling a new baby, some moms find that they are ready to get moving again. Fit4Mom has multiple options for fitness with baby in tow or for moms on their own. Stroller Strides and Stroller Barre classes offer fitness for mom and fun for baby, with songs, bubbles and interactive play built right into the workout. Body Back classes are offered in structured sessions that moms can attend without the kids, with nutrition coaching and fitness assessments built in for an ultimate results-based program. The bonus to Fit4Mom is the community-based aspect, so participants can benefit from connecting with others through playdates and moms’ nights out in addition to great workouts. Visit their website and plug in your zip code to find the location nearest to you.
Locations in Portland, Tigard, Tualatin, Beaverton, Lake Oswego and West Linn
7. For New-Parent Support: Miracle of Nurture
While the journey is different for all new parents, one thing is universally agreed upon: a new baby will provide ups and downs with each new day. The professionals at Miracle of Nurture know this and are ready to support you with breastfeeding, preparing to return to work or simply navigating each day with a little one at home. Drop in to their support group on Mondays and bring your baby and your questions. Check out the details here, as they request that first-timers give them a call letting them know you’ll be there, and a $5 donation is suggested.
Mondays, 11-1 p.m.
5239 SE Woodstock Blvd.
8. For Fresh, Seasonal Goods: Pumpkin Ridge Gardens
Portland is bursting with fresh produce at farmer’s markets throughout the area year-round. But wouldn’t it be nice to have it delivered to your doorstep while you get your parenting legs under you? Pumpkin Ridge Gardens are located 22 miles outside of Portland and they’ll bring the farm to you with a year-long subscription. Your seasonal treats will be accompanied by recipes for inspiration and you’ll have the whole family eating clean without missing a beat after baby.
31067 NW Pumpkin Ridge Dr.
photo: rachael may photography
9. For the First Photos: rachael may photography
To preserve the memory of your little one’s appearance in those first days, why not invite a pro to come and photograph your new family at home? We recommend Rachael, a mom of four who is no stranger to working around a newborn’s needs. Her style of lifestyle photography means that she’ll capture your family in your most natural environment, such as sitting together on Mom and Dad’s bed, rocking baby in the nursing chair, or even changing a diaper. Invite her over, love on your baby, and she’ll do the rest.
10. For Workouts with Childcare: Starcycle
On the bright purple wall as you walk in the door you’ll see the words “Turn I wish into I will.” Starcycle is among the growing number of fitness studios that offer childcare while you work out. These cycling classes are packed with powerful exercises to work the entire body, not just the legs (this isn’t your mama’s spin class!). The lights go down, the music goes up and you’ll have 45 minutes with a rock star instructor that are bound to get you in touch with your inner powerhouse. Meanwhile, the littles are happily playing just outside the door with caring professionals who know where to find you if needed.
Locations in Cedar Mill, Lake Oswego and Vancouver
11. For the Rough Days: Baby Blues Connection
Hey, Motherhood isn’t all sunshine and roses for everyone, and that’s ok. If you find that the mood swings are hitting pretty hard, you’re not alone and there are people out there who are ready to help. Baby Blues Connection has email and phone support available 24/7 so you don’t have to change out of your pajamas or pack the diaper bag to get the help you need. Not sure if what you’re feeling is normal? Give them a call. It’s what they’re there for.
What essential service would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below!
— Marianne Walters