Parents who are choosing a natural lifestyle often need more support than mainstream parents, mostly because they are part of a movement that is less common—although that is certainly changing. Of course, no matter what your lifestyle choice, there may be a need for groups to offer support. I’ve tried to compile a list of my favorite groups and resources.
Raising Natural Kids: This is one of my favorite sites for parents who are trying to take a natural approach to raising their children. It’s really a blog with well-thought out and researched information that helps parents make more informed decisions. What I like best about this site, however, is the Facebook page. The Raising Natural Kids Facebook page provides a forum for parents to ask questions of other parents. I’ve seen questions that range from advice for treating an illness, to breastfeeding advice. It’s one of those groups that encourages open communication, and the moderators discourage members from passing judgement on one another for past choices (ie. Bottle-feeding or vaccinating a child).
National Vaccine Information Center: What I like about this group, is that it supports all parents—both those who choose to vaccinate and those who choose not to. It’s an organization designed to support parents who make their own decision. The group works to pass legislation allowing parents a legal route to opt out of mandatory vaccination—instead of just medical and religious reasons. In addition, National Vaccine Information Center offers support to victims of vaccine injury.
La Leche League: I think most people are aware of La Leche League and what they do, but for those who aren’t aware, La Leche League is a valuable resource and group for breastfeeding mothers. You can visit their website to find a group close to you. What’s nice about La Leche League is that you can attend their meetings, which allows you to meet (in-person) other like-minded moms. And, as you would expect, La Leche League meetings are baby-friendly. If you aren’t sure about attending a meeting but need some help with breastfeeding, you can also contact this group, and they are always willing to help.
Gluten Intolerance Group: As you learn more and more about living a natural lifestyle, you’ll learn that a lot of health problems stem from gluten sensitivity. Eliminating gluten from your diet, and your child’s diet can do a world of good. I’ve heard of people curing migraines by cutting gluten, as well as curing behavioral disorders in their children. The Gluten Intolerance Group has groups throughout the country where people can find support from one another. While the group continues to grow, there are opportunities to start up local chapters, and I would encourage people to do just that. This group offers a ton of resources on living gluten-free—everything from recipe and restaurant databases to medical professionals.
These are just a few of the groups that I think are worthwhile in helping parents either transition to a more natural lifestyle, or to simply support them in the journey. Any way you look at it, it’s always nice to have “friends” who share your belief system when it comes to raising your family. When you’re making changes to how you do things, I think it can be even more important. It’s so easy to become discouraged, but with a firm support team, it becomes a much easier task. You’ll feel less alone, when you find there are many other families making the same transition, and facing the same struggles. Some are further along in making their transition and can offer you valuable advice. And, through these groups you will soon find that you’re able to offer some great advice to others who may be a few steps behind you in making changes. I think that’s what makes all of these communities so wonderful.