Postpartum Angel Family Support
Postpartum Angel Family Support
The postpartum period can be intense for any family. Fortunately, our Good Beginnings Postpartum Angels are trained to help make the first few weeks and months a little easier.
“Often called the ‘fourth trimester’ because of the amazing transition that babies undergo in their first months outside the womb, the postpartum period is an intense and unique phase in the parenting journey. For many families, it can be a time of transition for every household member – baby, parents and caregivers, and older siblings. You may find that these months – with their sleepless nights and lack of daytime schedule — can feel isolating. Stress and isolation put parents at greater risk of postpartum depression, which is the most common complication of pregnancy, and can affect any parent.
This is why we offer our Postpartum Angel Family Support service to any family with a new baby.
Who are Postpartum Angels?
Community volunteers who are trained to bring respite, support, and companionship to parents and caregivers during the tender postpartum period. They are also your caring friends, neighbors, and community members!
What do they do?
They will visit your family weekly, in your home, for up to 3 months after the birth or adoption of a baby. Postpartum Angels can also support newborn families virtually, via weekly phone calls or Zoom check-ins.
Am I eligible?
We serve all families, from first-time birth or adoptive parents, to families welcoming a younger sibling, to caregivers providing foster or kinship care for a newborn. If you are caring for a new baby, you are eligible.
What towns do you serve?
Our volunteers serve families throughout Washington County as well as in the following Orange County communities: Washington, Williamstown, Orange, Brookfield, Chelsea, Randolph, Braintree, and Tunbridge.
How does it work?
After a brief intake process with our Program Director, your Postpartum Angel will contact you to set up an initial visit. Volunteers typically visit once a week for 2 to 3 hours. Ask about a prenatal visit to get to know your volunteer before baby’s arrival! Volunteers are available for up to 3 months, or a maximum of 12 visits, after the birth or adoption of a baby, Some families choose fewer visits; others choose to begin the service after a partner or other support person returns to their usual routine.
What can I expect during my volunteer’s visit?
Each family’s relationship with their volunteer is unique. Volunteers offer an extra set of hands: holding baby, helping with meal preparation or light household chores such as folding laundry. They are a source of adult companionship and a sympathetic ear during a time that can feel lonely for many parents. They can spend some one-on-one time with an older sibling while you bond with baby. Volunteers can also help with common parenting questions, such as how to soothe a colicky infant, and are prepared to help families connect to other resources in the community.
What do virtual “visits” look like?
Ever need a non-judgmental listening ear? A place to speak your mind and process your thoughts about the transition to parenthood? Our ‘Virtual’ volunteers connect with families weekly via phone or Zoom for conversation, companionship, and peer support.
How do I get connected with a Postpartum Angel?
Call us at 595-7953 or complete our online form. A staff member will contact you shortly to learn more about your family so that we can make a good match.
Postpartum Angels Offer:
- Care for your baby so you can rest, bathe, have a meal, exercise, and take care of your needs
- Care for your baby so you can have time to give older siblings the focused attention they need during the transition of becoming the big sister or brother
- An extra pair of helping hands after baby is born to assist with light chores, meal preparation, holding and changing baby
- Some care for older siblings while you connect with your new baby
- Positive adult companionship and a supportive, compassionate ear
- Company on outings, errands, or trips to baby’s pediatrician
- Assistance connecting your family with other vital community resources
“Everyone knows angels take many forms…I was lucky to have many angels during and after the birth of my son. But by three weeks postpartum, all my angels had departed, and all that was left was a newborn baby and an exhausted, unkempt single mom. [That’s when Good Beginnings] brought me my next angel.” — a local mother
IN LOVING ARMS
Infant Cuddling Program
Our newborn cuddling program serves babies boarding at UVM Health Network Central Vermont Medical Center campus due to health concerns. Early cuddling is vital for a baby’s healthy emotional development, and may help them recover faster from illness. Under direct supervision by CVMC nursing staff, our specially-trained volunteers cuddle and comfort infants who must board at the hospital due to health complications.
The ILA program serves:
- Parents & babies in recovery or treatment
- Families with premature infants
- Parents & babies with minimal visitation or support
- Parents & babies recovering from cesarean birth
Frequent cuddling contributes to healthy growth and development and can lead to a shorter hospital stay. To enroll in ILA, contact Good Beginnings or speak with your child’s nurse at the UVM-CVMC birthing center.
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT FOR FAMILIES
WITH LIMITED RESOURCES
Income-eligible families who are matched with a Postpartum Angel may also qualify for the following services:
- The Good Beginnings FREE CARRIER PROGRAM
Helps families access high-quality infant carriers.
- The Good Beginnings EMERGENCY FUND
Provides short-term financial assistance with basic needs such as rent or fuel bills, diapers, or other essential baby supplies.
For more information talk with your Postpartum Angel, or contact us today!