Our Mission and History
To bring community to families and their babies.
We envision a society where the transition to parenthood is supported and communities come together toensure all infants thrive.
Good Beginnings was founded in 1991 by three mothers in Northfield, VT who recognized a growing need for support for new parents due to the combined effects of shorter postpartum hospital stays and a diminished role for extended family and other traditional sources of support.
Since that time, our volunteer Postpartum Angels have provided families throughout Washington County, as well as in neighboring regions of Orange, Lamoille, and Chittenden Counties, with respite, companionship, and connections to community, as well as help accessing resources for breastfeeding and parenting support, postpartum depression, and basic needs. Last year, we served a total of 297 visits by 103 unique families from 28 towns through our Postpartum Angel Family Support program. All Good Beginnings services are free and open to all families with infants.
Our current network of 65+ volunteers are supported by three dedicated, part-time staff members, an active volunteer Board of Directors, and our long-standing partnerships with community agencies. Good Beginnings attracts volunteers with diverse backgrounds, ranging from retired educators, social workers, and health professionals, to doulas and therapists, to parents who have participated in our program and want to give back. All volunteers attend a 2-hour orientation and regular refresher trainings on topics relevant to supporting parents through the challenging transitions of the immediate postpartum period, such as breastfeeding, early attachment, shaken baby syndrome, soothing an infant, birth healing, etc. Our volunteers are also trained to recognize the signs and symptoms of postpartum mood disorders and can connect families early with the proper support and resources.
Our grassroots model connects families with community supports; our mission and programs are inspired and implemented by the communities we serve.
“As a new mom who received a home visit from Good Beginnings I can personally attest to how helpful and comforting it was. I am so appreciative of the community-building that happens within this program.”
-Annie Green, Family Support & Education, FCWC
“I was nervous that when I had my second baby I wouldn’t have the time or energy to attend to the needs of my older child. I was lucky to have a Good Beginnings Postpartum Angel who came weekly and played with my older daughter during our visits. We all looked forward to it! It really eased the transition for our family and helped me to bond more deeply with my new baby. Thank you Good Beginnings”
– GBCV Participant