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MAIA: LGBTQ Families

Register for a MAIA PEPS group at: www.maiamidwifery.com

View 2016 MAIA PEPS Group Schedule

MAIA PEPS serves LGBTQ families 1

If you have any questions, please email us at info@maiamidwifery.com.

 


 

The PEPS Network™ logo

Many LGBTQ choose to be in a PEPS Newborn Group in their neighborhood with other parents with babies around the same age as their own. To do that, just register for a PEPS Newborn Group here.

MAIA PEPS Groups for LGBTQ Families

MAIA Midwifery & Fertility Services is a member of the PEPS Network™. MAIA offers support groups for LGBTQ parents which are based on the model for parent peer-support groups used by PEPS. The 12 week long MAIA PEPS program is offered multiple times per year.

MAIA PEPS Groups meet once a week for 12 weeks and are led by a trained facilitator. These groups include time for parents (of babies under 1 year of age) to share their challenges and joys, learn about babies' development and learn songs and activities to do with their babies, and to have a facilitated discussion on a parenting topic chosen by the group. Participants will support each other and learn about helpful resources and local services. MAIA PEPS Groups generally include 6-8 families and meet in participants’ homes or in selected locations.

MAIA PEPS groups are based on PEPS groups, which have been bringing Seattle area parents together for 30 years. Here are some common questions that parents sometimes have about this kind of peer-support groups model:

What if I can't host a group in my home?

We do encourage all parents to take their turn hosting. It doesn't matter how big or small, fancy or simple your home is.

If, for whatever reason, you aren't able to host in your own home, you may choose to host in a public place, such as a library meeting room or community center, or you may choose to offer to help in some other way, such as organizing a group outing, or providing snacks for meetings at other members' houses.

Is this group a good fit for me? Is it limited to certain types of families?

All parents who identify as LGBTQ are welcome. Groups reflect the wide diversity of the Seattle LGBTQ community, with a range of gender identity and expression, age, race, religion, income, education, and so on. Groups include adoptive parents, birth parents, parents through surrogacy, single parents, poly families, both first-time and experienced parents, and more. All are connected by the common experience of parenting new babies as LGBTQ people.

How does this Group compare to other groups and classes?

In Seattle and the greater Puget Sound area, we are blessed with a wide variety of postpartum support groups, and early learning opportunities. It can be hard to sort through all your options to find the support that meets your needs, although there are few activities focused specifically for LGBTQ parents. MAIA PEPS groups are provided with the same queer-centered, gender inclusive approach as all of MAIA services.

  • New Baby classes at hospitals are typically taught by a nurse or parenting educator, and have a planned curriculum, focusing on health care and baby care for infants under 4 months of age.
  • Listening Mothers Groups are led by professional therapists, and focus on the emotional changes that mothers experience and the development of the mother/baby relationship.
  • MOMS, MOPS, La Leche League, Attachment Parenting, and a variety of church-based groups also exist. These often serve a wide range of parents, whose children may be any-where from birth to age 4.

There are also parent-baby classes in specific activities such as gymnastics, swimming, music, and yoga. Many participants have participated in multiple types of classes and programs, and they report that they found value in each type of program. Parents who have participated in a variety of groups report that the things they liked best about their PEPS-based group were:

  • Community - seeing the same group of parents each week for several weeks, which allowed them to build strong, supportive relationships. Seeing the same babies week after week helped them to better understand their own babies’ developmental phases.
  • Mutual support - sharing experiences and learning from other parents who were at the same stage in their early parenting journey as they were, as well as learning from the leader, who is an experienced parent.
  • Predictability – PEPS-based Groups follow the same routine every week: sharing highs and lows, baby-focused activities, break time, and discussion. This familiar routine is comforting for new parents who may feel like very few things are predictable when there are new babies in the house!
  • Variety - Some other programs focus only on baby care, or only on singing songs, or only on emotional development. At a PEPS-based group like MAIA PEPS, you get it all! Many Groups also plan informal outings together, such as walks around the lake, playdates, or en-rolling in other classes as a group.

MAIA PEPS serves LGBTQ families 2MAIA PEPS serves LGBTQ families 3I hear that PEPS Groups often meet for years. What about the MAIA PEPS Group?

Your volunteer leader will facilitate the group for 12 weeks. Parents are then encouraged to continue meeting on their own for as long as they wish—many groups continue to meet for years, supporting each other through preschool, first days of kindergarten, even through the challenges of adolescence!

We can't guarantee how long your Group may choose to stay together. However, we will give you tools to help you get started, and offer on-going support for groups, with guest speakers who can attend your group, a parenting lecture series, and more. Beyond that, it's up to you and your fellow group members to make it the experience you want it to be!

Is MAIA PEPS a parent education program?

You will learn a great deal about babies and parenting by attending MAIA PEPS. However, a majority of the learning comes from sharing information with other parents, observing other parents and their babies, and participating in facilitated discussions that guide you in exploring your own values and priorities for your family.

Every MAIA PEPS Group is filled with experts - you, the parents! You're all learning new things about parenting every day, and your group's leader(s) can help guide you on this journey. MAIA PEPS provides a curriculum for group leaders, which offers an overview of each parenting topic, a summary of vital research information and current trends in parenting advice, and resources for more information. Your leader may also offer additional handouts, or email articles related to the week's topic. Your leader's role is not to be an authoritative educator, lecturing you in the "one right way to parent." Instead, they will facilitate the sharing of information amongst group members. Groups also may choose to have guest speakers at a few of their sessions, who have unique knowledge about certain topics to share.

More questions? Ready to register?

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