You’ve probably heard it once or twice before: “It takes a village to raise a child.” Perhaps a more appropriate phrase should be: “It takes a tribe to support a mother.” So what happens when you DON’T have a village or a tribe? Sadly, it’s far too common for many mamas to experience a lack of support very early on in their motherhood journey.
Sometimes, their partners don’t understand the extent to which pregnancy and birth have on a woman’s body and mental status. Other times it’s because you may not have family or friends around. Regardless, the important thing to remember is that YOU, mama, are NOT alone. And yes, there are ways you can build your tribe of support by hiring these individuals to fit your needs! Here are some of the best ways you can build your tribe of support.
8 People to Hire for Your Tribe
1. Find a good chiropractor.
If you find yourself dealing with a painful back, hip, or joints with minimal ways to get comfortable, you could benefit from chiropractic care during pregnancy! Of course, you should always check with your medical provider first. But finding a chiropractor who specializes in pregnancy adjustments can have many benefits! I used a chiropractor throughout my 2nd pregnancy due to having horrendous pelvic pains and SI joint pains. Although the adjustments didn’t completely take my pain away, they definitely made it more bearable for me to move around more functionally without being in chronic pain 24/7.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, additional benefits of chiropractic care could include “maintaining a healthier pregnancy, controlling symptoms of nausea, reducing the time of labor and delivery, relieving back, neck or joint pain, preventing a potential cesarean delivery, and more . . .”
If you think you’d like to work with a chiropractor during your pregnancy, be sure to seek out those who are specialized or familiar with common pregnancy techniques, such as being Webster Certified. You can also search the ICPA (International Chiropractic Pediatric Association) directly for a qualified chiropractor.
2. Hire a housekeeper.
Being pregnant, no matter how many kids you’ve had, takes a toll on our bodies. Some pregnancies are easier than others, and some are flat out TOUGH the entire way through. That’s exactly why taking the time to relax and limit stressors however you can is critical during these times. And I mean, let’s be real, how many of us pregnant mamas want to sit here slaving away over a pile of dishes, loads of laundry, and the never-ending dusty floor? Not me!
So if you have the option to hire yourself a housekeeper, do it. Even if it’s just part-time or once a week, once every other week, or once a month, every little bit helps! I’ll be honest with you, though, with both pregnancies, our finances didn’t permit us to hire a housekeeper. However, I can only imagine how much smoother it would have been having that extra support person to help keep our home clean between my toddler and two giant (messy) dogs!
3. Invest in a meal delivery service.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t like cooking. Pregnant or not, it’s just never been something I’ve enjoyed! So this is why when I became pregnant, I knew I’d want to find a way to consume healthy meals without slaving away in the kitchen for hours. And what was the solution? MEAL DELIVERY!
Now, there are quite a few meal delivery options out there. My personal favorite is Hello Fresh. You get EVERYTHING you need to quickly whip up a delicious, healthy meal delivered to your door at whatever frequency you choose.
If you have dietary restrictions or are a vegetarian, my choice would be to go with Purple Carrot. Purple carrot works the same way as Hello Fresh, except they specialize in plant-based meals.
Lastly, if you don’t want to cook anything at all, using a service like:
It could be helpful for you. All you have to do is find out which one serves your local neighborhood, place an order at your favorite restaurant, or takeout and then wait for your meal to arrive. It doesn’t get much easier than that! The best part is ALL of these services tend to be pretty inexpensive and typically run sales/specials often too!
4. Keep your pets cared for by a pet sitter.
If you’re pregnant and have pets, it can be A LOT of work trying to do it all. Not to mention the guilt that sets in when you’re too tired to play fetch or take your dog on their usual long walk. The solution? Hire a pet caretaker to help you out as needed!
There’s a lot of options out there these days for finding someone to help care for your pets ranging from dog walking, administering medications, feeding them, and more! One of the best ways to find a pet caretaker (from my experience) is by searching on Rover.com. Rover is well known for helping you find a pet caretaker that best fits your needs in addition to ensuring their workers have a basic background check and offering 24/7 support — a must for pregnant mamas!
5. Set your appointment with a lactation consultant.
A lactation consultant, in my opinion, is a MUST for your support team. Whether or not you’re planning to breastfeed your baby, establishing yourself with a lactation consultant before your baby is born can be so helpful. Truthfully, it’s something I wish I had done the first time around to help me avoid all the issues I ran into.
This is because lactation consultants have EXTENSIVE training to help you learn about breastfeeding, latching baby, how breast milk is established, how to store breast milk, how to identify any obvious problems, help you bottle-feed and select the best bottle for baby, and much much more!
Usually, your insurance will allow you to see a lactation consultant, which makes the entire process easier. But if you don’t have that kind of coverage, you may need to seek outside help to find one. If you need help finding a lactation consultant, you can look at La Leche League. They’re an international organization providing support and resources for breastfeeding mothers!
6. Consider hiring a postpartum doula.
First, what is a postpartum doula? They are a support person trained to help and provide information regarding newborn care, birth recovery, and essentially being the go-to support person for mom (or family) after birth. Most postpartum doulas offer support services that extend from a couple of days to a few weeks after birth.
More recently (in light of the COVID pandemic), many postpartum doulas have also switched to offering virtual support. This would look more like providing emotional and educational support vs. actual hands-on support. Need help finding a certified postpartum doula? You can find one here!
7. Hire a nanny or babysitter for older kids.
Using a babysitter can come in really handy when you’re expecting or just had a new baby, especially when you have other children in the house. Your babysitter can help with basic things such as:
- Preparing or feeding your child his/her meals
- Taking them out for play
- Picking them up/drop them off at school
- Watching your child while you take a short day out for yourself (self-care time, mama!)
So whether you’re pregnant and can’t keep up with your other children or have a new baby, utilizing the help of a babysitter can be an excellent way to grow your support tribe!
8. Get the contact information for a perinatal therapist.
You want to be prepared in case you experience perinatal mood disorders. Some women do not, but many women struggle with mood swings and heightened emotions after the birth of their child. Having the contact information for a perinatal therapist may come in very handy.
When I had my first son, I began experiencing an intense wave of emotions towards the third trimester. Assuming they were just my ‘crazy pregnancy hormones, I never thought much of it. Then after my son was born, those emotions heightened even more, eventually turning into postpartum anxiety/depression. Unfortunately, I had overlooked them and had a tough time figuring out what was wrong with me and how/if I needed help.
This is why I always encourage expecting moms to have a perinatal therapist in their corner throughout pregnancy and postpartum. Of course, this doesn’t mean you need to be going to therapy by any means. But you should at least do some research to find someone you resonate with and look into insurance options ahead of time. Then keep a list of these therapists nearby in the event you need to contact them for support. It will save you SO much time and stress having it all mapped out ahead of time vs. desperately seeking help not knowing where to start.
To find a qualified perinatal therapist for your support tribe, I’d suggest searching for one using the resources below:
- Postpartum Health Alliance
- Postpartum Support International
- Preventing Postpartum Depression (an online course created by Abby Burd, a licensed perinatal mental health therapist – this course is BEST utilized before having baby)
There you have it. A starter list of support personnel from pregnancy to postpartum worth considering when you hire your tribe. Tell us, which one (if any) did you use throughout your pregnancy/postpartum journey? Which one do you wish you had hired?