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A Life Changing Choice

I had such a great experience with PEPS, and was so impressed with their model for support that I went on to lead four groups.

Janelle's Family

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Volunteers are an extraordinary part of PEPS - mothers & fathers deeply rooted in the PEPS community and passionate about supporting new parents.


PEPS groups bring new parents together to connect, share, learn and build critical support networks during the earliest days of parenting your new baby.

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- Janelle D, a 1993 and 1997 PEPS mom and Volunteer Group Leader

When I was pregnant with my first daughter, I was a social work intern at Childrens' Hospital. My long-term goal was to be a hospital-based social worker serving clients with life-threatening diseases, and their families.

During my pregnancy, over and over, I heard social workers say "if you have a client with a baby, refer them to PEPS."

So, when my daughter was born, I referred myself to PEPS! I had such a great experience with PEPS, and was so impressed with their model for support that I went on to lead four groups before my younger daughter was born.

When Izzy was born, I led and participated in her PEPS Group.

These PEPS experiences changed my career path - rather than returning to work with terminally ill clients and hospice care, instead, I have been working with birthing families since my kids were born. I am a labor doula, lactation consultant, a childbirth educator, and frequent guest speaker at PEPS Groups.

The transition to parenthood is such a challenging moment in a family's life.

There are all the joys that couples may have imagined would come, there are also huge challenges: from trying to calm a crying baby in the middle of the night to wondering if you're a horrible parent any time you feel you've failed at any of the myriad day-to-day tasks of parenting.

I really believe in the PEPS model for supporting parents through this journey: the strength-based perspective that assumes all parents are committed to doing their best, the compassionate view that all families need support (not just the "at risk" families), the belief in the power of peer support and in the shared wisdom of other people who are walking on the journey with you, the predictable structure of PEPS groups (in the midst of the chaos of early parenting, it is so helpful to know that every Tuesday at 10, you get to see the same group of people and share your highs and lows!), the sharing time, and the songs! (My teen daughters are great singers, great at math, and great at memorizing lines for the shows they act in - I credit most of those skills to all the times we sang those PEPS songs over and over when they were babes!!)

Although my groups no longer meet, we have run into folks we knew from PEPS many times over the years: at co-op preschool, at Brownie troop meetings, on soccer teams, at summer camps, and at middle school orientation. It's great to have that sense of connection to so many other parents in area.

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