8 Mom-Run Parenting Services Adapting To The Quarantine
Being a parent has never been a walk in the park, but separated from our normal support systems, it feels like it's never been more challenging. Thankfully, there is help out there — virtually. There are many parent-run small businesses with vital parenting services adapting to the quarantine by offering remote assistance.
With interpersonal contact no longer feasible in most situations due to the dangerous nature of the coronavirus, businesses are forced to adapt to virtual methods so that parents have the help they need, and also so those businesses can stay afloat. And no one understands the dual pressures of parenting and providing quite like other parents. They understand both the immediate need for help in certain areas — like breastfeeding and birth — but also understand that they all need a little bit of grace from time to time. These businesses are acutely aware of the need of both.
These services run the gamut for parenting needs, from breastfeeding issues to postpartum doulas to sleep training. All of them are parent-owned and operated, and open for business right now — even if that business looks and operates a little bit differently during our current quarantine situation. They are adapting.
1. Bellebonie Doula Services
Certified doula and and childbirth educator Deyonna Phillips, founder of Bellebonie Doula Services, is making it work for mothers in her community. "I have been hosting meetings with my clients who are already contracted with me before the shut-down through Zoom, Skype, and FaceTime," she says, and adds that she's completing "comfort measures, updates and check-ins, as well as birth plan and comfort measure meetings. During this time, it has been really scary for women who are pregnant, and for minority women specifically who already feel that they aren't heard sometimes because of the gap between medical professionals and the minority community."
And her work, while remote, is still as important to her as ever. "It is my mission that every woman I come across that needs advocacy and support during pregnancy and postnatal period feels that they can have that. I have been really focusing on the minority community in New Jersey for the past couple of years since being invited to the 2019 New Jersey Budget Address by Governor Phil Murphy himself."
2. Boober and Birth Day Presence
Boober offers lactation support and doula services, and have transitioned to do both virtually. Birth Day Presence offers online classes (like infant CPR) for new and expectant parents. Founder Jada Shapiro tells Romper, "I launched boober in response to the lack of quick and effective action and postpartum support new moms receive in this country. When the pandemic struck, we immediately shifted into virtual support and it has been a vital resource for moms and families at home with literally no other support in their household."
3. Detroit Dreams Sleep Consulting
Lauren and Chelsea of Detroit Dreams Sleep Consulting tell Romper that they are adapting hardcore. "We are currently offering sleep training virtually while the stay-at-home orders are in place. We are also offering virtual classes via Zoom like Baby Care Basics, as well as prenatal and postpartum consultations to help expecting parents prepare for their new arrival. Typically our services are more geared towards customized, in-home support, but like many businesses, we have had to adapt to continue to support families in need of sleep training and education."
4. Arrivals Doula Services
Chelisa Clifton of Arrivals Doula Services — serving Cincinnati, Ohio and Northern Kentucky — didn't stop her services during this wild period. She shifted and changed her plans, as all the best doulas are adept at doing. "The best way I can support my clients during this time is to offer virtual support before, during, and after their birth. I stay in contact with my clients via text and email but have also been doing a lot more talking on the phone." However, she knows that being a birth doula is a very hands-on gig, and that is a challenge, but she's offering 24/7 support to her patients that are 38 weeks or more, and figuring out how to help virtually as best as possible.
As for her classes, she tells Romper, "All of my prenatal classes have moved to a virtual Google Meet/Zoom call. We talk through the process of what to expect as birth approaches, signs that labor is beginning, how the partner can help with comfort measures, and when they might want to head to the hospital or birth center. Another class covers specific techniques to help them progress once labor begins. We also spend some time talking through what to expect once they’re home from birth with their new baby. Many times we make a plan for postpartum so they don’t feel alone and unsupported."
One question: can she be my homeschool doula?
5. Sleep Consultant Mahaley Patel
Sleep consultant and marriage and family therapist Mahaley Patel is still continuing to work, offering virtual services to her clients. Known for her ability to get even the most persnickety night owls to sleep through the dark hours, her skills are more than essential for stressed parents.
6. Virtual Day Care/Preschool
Chriselle Lim and Joan Nguyen tell Romper that they launched bümo Virtual School (BVS) "as a way to fill the needs of parents looking for options aside from traditional day care, especially as the world shelters in place and schools remain closed." They designed a real, in-time, curriculum for kids under 5, taught by real educators who specialize in early childhood education. If the idea of teaching your 4-year-old sight words and problem solving gives you hives the same way it does me, this might be just the thing for you.
7. Birth Matters Childbirth Education
Lisa Taylor, founder of Birth Matters, tells Romper that her classes switched to Zoom in mid-March, and that she's been surprised at how well the transition has been received. "I currently offer live, virtual group and private classes, as well as an online, on-demand comprehensive birth course and have been offering a really big discount on the on-demand course, which can be found on my main site, birthmattersnyc.com." She also has a New York City birth centric podcast called Birth Matters that is full of important information for expectant parents.
"I also started support groups for new and expectant parents alongside a former student of mine who's a therapist and founder of The Root Therapy NYC."
8. Helping Babies Sleep
Dr. Sarah Mitchell, renowned sleep consultant of Helping Babies Sleep, isn't new to virtual sessions. She tells Romper, "I've been doing these for years with parents from all over North America, Europe, and even Australia in the past." She says that the procedure is pretty straightforward. "We have an initial 15-minute call to assess needs, set goals, and make sure our philosophies are aligned. From there we have a 1-hour Zoom call to go over the personalized sleep plan that I create for the parent based on their child's age, parent philosophy, and other variables at play. From there we use Google sheets to work together." It makes sense to me, as an avid spreadsheet obsessor.
"Conversely, if a parent is not looking for high touch personalized coaching, or doesn't have the budget for it, I host an online school, Helping Babies Sleep School, which is online sleep classes for babies 0 to 4 years old."
We are shining a spotlight on some of the millions of small businesses now challenged by COVID-19. This is part of an ongoing commitment our parent company, Bustle Digital Group, is making to support small businesses throughout the entire month of May. Tell us about your favorite small business on social media using #SmallBusinessSalutes.