As a parent, there is no greater safety net than your community. Your people remind you that you’re not alone, offering up support and tips like no search engine can. They’ve been there and done that, or may be doing it right along with you. They share your concerns and struggles, celebrate your successes, and are darn good at reminding you that there’s no wrong way to love on your little ones.
Your village could consist of friends going through their parenthood journey on a similar schedule, family, or even fellow members of a local parents’ group. But we’re also lucky to live in an age where parents outside of our normal circle or geographic area can connect and become some of our closest, most trusted allies in the game.
A new online community called Cluster from ByHeart is designed to do just that — connect parents around the issues and topics that are important to them, no matter who or where they are. The baby nutrition company — which is launching its own small batch recipe infant formula this fall — organized this digital community around the feeding ‘moments’ that new parents know all too well.
Here’s what ByHeart co-founder Mia Funt has to say about how and why Cluster came to be: “ByHeart was founded to be a nutrition partner to parents from pregnancy through the toddler years. We purposely launched Cluster between Mother’s and Father’s Day to illustrate our commitment to all parents and their crucial role in a baby’s feeding journey... We deserve [a community] that offers this confidence with resources and support we need, when we need them, so we can come to the best solutions for our baby’s needs — and our own!”
As a been-there-done-that mom of two I was eager to find out what Cluster is all about, and I can honestly say it’s a must-join for parents at any and every stage. Here’s a rundown of what makes it such a great tool.
1. It’s The Only Feeding Support Platform Out There.
I have vivid memories of that lost, defeated feeling that my firstborn’s latching issues gave me as a new mom almost eight years ago. There was a time when every. single. feeding. filled me with dread — the exact opposite of what I expected (and deserved) to feel in those precious, fleeting moments!
One of the best things about Cluster is that it’s the only feeding-focused community out there, acting as the hot spot for linking up with other parents in the same phase to share tips, articles, and advice. It’s a place to learn from and lean on one another, cause we could all use a little more of that. And the platform isn’t just for new parents: ByHeart created Cluster to be a resource for expectant parents as well, educating them on all the feeding things that aren’t often talked about prior to giving birth.
2. It’s A No-Judgment, Come-As-You-Are Space.
Let’s be real: A whole lotta pressure comes with the title of New Parent. I still marvel that we’re expected to read all the books, have all the right products on hand, keep a tiny human alive, and look presentable while doing it. In what world?! It’s just not feasible, and it didn’t take me long to feel OK with doing my best while putting my baby’s wellbeing above all else — including the laundry piling up, the fridge in need of filling, and the shower I was desperately in need of.
Cluster was founded as a judgment-free, advice-rich, and peer-powered community for feeding support. That “judgement-free” part is really important. There’s no such thing as perfect when it comes to parenthood. And when we’re struggling, frustrated, or feeling alone, there’s nothing worse than feeling self-conscious about seeking the help and answers we need.
3. It Hooks You Up With Free Access To Leading Feeding Experts.
Have you ever had to book an appointment with a specialist? If so, hopefully your experience was a lot smoother than mine. I was told there was a five-month waitlist to speak to a local expert in breastfeeding and lactation, and others weren’t available to new patients, period. It felt like my son would be off to the prom before it was finally our turn to get the help we both really needed.
Cluster gets this struggle, and lets you pick the brains of nutrition science experts, award-winning pediatric nutritionists, plus trusted parent and celebrity influencers — through content, ‘office hours,’ classes, and events — all for free.
These gurus include everyone from wellness expert and celebrity health coach Kelly Leveque, to Dr. Jacqueline Douge, pediatrician and founder of inclusive digital media company, What Is Black?, to the pros at lactation consulting company, Goldilacts.
4. LinkedIn Integration Means You Can Be Sure Of Who You’re Talking To.
Why is this so cool? Because it means you can verify you’re getting solid advice from people who are exactly who they say they are, and are well-qualified to help.
I’m gonna sound like my mom here and say something she’s been telling me since the days of dial-up and chat rooms, but you just don’t know who you’re talking to on the other end of the computer, phone, or tablet, as legit as they may sound. There’s no room to take chances when it comes to feeding and caring for your kids, and Cluster’s the only online community to eradicate this valid concern via LinkedIn integration for an added layer of built-in protection.
5. Its Launch Is Benefiting A Very Worthwhile Cause.
Part of the Cluster launch celebration includes a social donation program to benefit the Black Mamas Matter Alliance — a national voice for stakeholders who are advancing maternal health, rights, and justice for Black women. For every person tagged using the #feedingislove hashtag, ByHeart will make a donation, so you can feel good about spreading the word.
As an educational space with leading experts and without judgement, Cluster is the only choice for new and expectant parents seeking support.