For dads specifically
- Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Greenberg and Hayden. This is a great, no BS handbook-style book that offers straightforward advice for fathers during the first year after birth. A lot of guys like it because it is more like a manual and can be used as a quick reference book.
Groups Supporting Dads and Partners in the Portland Area
- New Fathers’ Meetup - This is a group I started in 2010. It is a free group for fathers of children under 3 years old to connect with one another and talk about their experiences being new dads. It is currently held online on the first Sunday of the month from 12:30-2:00. RSVP on meetup to get the Zoom link.
- Impact Northwest Dads’ Group – An informal group for dads and their kids. Hang out, swap stories, eat pizza and play. FREE. Every Tuesday, 6-7:30 pm. They also go on monthly group outings. Brentwood-Darlington Community Center, 7211 SE 62nd Ave.; 503-988-6127 x243; impactnw.org. This is a male led play group of dads getting together to hang out, swap stories, eat pizza and play with their kids. They have a Facebook page called the Portland Dads' Play Group.
- Rainbow Babies - A free group for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender parents that meets with their 0-3 year old children Tuesday mornings from 9:30-11:00 am at the Qcenter. In the Spring and Summer when the weather is good they meet in local parks. It is for parents and kids to come together to play and socialize. They also have a facebook page here.
- Portland Gay Dads -A meetup group on meetup.com for dads who want to get together with or without kids.
- Portland Dads Group -Another dads group on Meetup.com. They have meetings both during weekdays and weekends, both during the day and night. One of the most active dads groups in town,with outings to kids story time, indoor parks, Hopworks, etc.
For moms specifically
new mothers experiencing baby blues and postpartum depression.
Prescribers of medication specializing in postpartum depression
specializes in working with women suffering from postpartum depression.
Therapists specializing in postpartum depression in women
- Mari Alexander is a therapist and practicing medical provider, who has
more than 15 years of experience working with pregnant and new families
- Kathryn Bereman-Skelly, MA, LPC specializes in working with mothers during and after the birth of their children suffering from depression. She also runs small therapeutic support groups for mothers suffering from postpartum depression.
General support for mothers
- Moms with Infants Support Group This is a wonderful and very active FREE support group run by Kathryn Bereman-Skelly. It is a great way for moms to connect and share their stories and experiences.
- Mommy and Me This is a great site/organization to help connect moms. They have tips on developing play groups.
Resources for soon to be parents
- Birth Prep for Partners with Shana Celnicker-Chong at the Bhaktishop in SE Portland. This is a 4 hour Saturday afternoon workshop for couples. It is designed to help you and your partner prepare yourselves for the life-changing event of labor and birth. She educates you about the process of labor stage-by-stage, practicing positions, breath work, and pain coping practices to give you tools needed for any challenges you may face. This workshop is for pregnant women in their last trimester and their partners. I HIGHLY recommend this class, especially for those of you who are giving birth at home/birth center or wish to learn some techniques at pain management without medication.
- The Birth Book by Dr Sears - This is a classic that covers all the baics. I highly recommend this book to anyone.
- Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin, the mother of the US midwifery movement. I generally only recommend this to people using a midwife and giving birth at home or at a birthing center.
- Fathers at Birth by Rose St. John - This is a wonderful book filled with anecdotes, advice and insight for fathers specifically targeted to the time leading up to and during the birth.
Activities for parents with their children
- PDX Kids Calendar - This is a great website of kid friendly activities in Portland arranged by date. Mostly geared towards toddlers and up, such as kids music, balloon animals, etc. Lots of free and low cost activities.
- Portland Community Centers – Community centers throughout Portland provide wonderful activities for you and your child. Community centers with indoor pools exist in the East, Northeast, Southeast, and West. Their affordable and interactive activities include:
parent-toddler swim lessons,
parent-child preschool swim times,
toddler indoor park, and
preschool age art activities.
- Music Together - This is a weekly activity that you can do with your child age 6 months to 5 years. You sing kid songs and meet other parents with kids the same age. You sign up for an ongoing class that meets once a week. $125 for 10 weeks.
- Lil’ Kickers - Lil' Kickers is a non-competitive, introductory soccer and movement skills program for boys and girls ages 18 months - 10 years. Classes are held at Portland Indoor Soccer Center (SE Portland). Parents and kids play organized games together to develop listening skills, balance, ball skills, and foot-eye coordination.
Sleep issues with babies and young children
- The Happiest Baby on the Block: The New Way to Calm Crying and Help Your Newborn Baby Sleep Longer by Karp. This is a good one, especially for babies who cry a lot. It focuses on soothing techniques to help parents their kids stop crying. This is great for newborns.
- Good Night, Sleep Tight: The Sleep Lady's Gentle Guide to Helping Your Child Go to Sleep, Stay Asleep and Wake Up Happy by West and Kenan. This is a good all-around book on sleep issues. It is helpful for parents who are having trouble getting their kid to sleep and don’t like the ideal of the Ferber “cry it out” method. I used this with my own daughter and it made a world of difference.
Reconnecting as a couple after birth
- And Baby Makes Three by Gottman and Gottman. This is a great book based on research about marriages that focuses on reconnecting and maintaining intimacy after the birth of a child.
- Love in the Time of Colic:The New Parents’ Guide to Getting it on Again by Kerner and Raykeil. The title pretty much speaks for itself.
Research based information on what makes a successful marriage.
- Hold me Tight by Sue Johnson is a wonderful book on love and attachment. n
Sex and Intimacy
- She Bop - A Portland based wonderful women owned sex positive store with toys, a wonderful collection of educational books, erotica, and classes on all manner of topics around healthy sexuality. Located in SE and N Portland. www.sheboptheshop.com
- MedAmour.com is a company selling high quality toys and lubricant. Use coupon code SamStevensLMFT for $10 off your order.
- The Aware Baby by Aletha Solter. This is a great book on infant development and connecting with your baby. It has a wonderful piece on why babies cry, what traumatizes babies and what doesn’t, and on loving and nurturing your baby.
- Love and Logic magic for early Childhood: Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years by Fay and Fay. The original Love and Logic series geared specifically towards young children. Lots of parents find this series very helpful.
- The Parent Handbook by Dinkman. This is a straight forward book with techniques that parents can apply working with their own kids. I recommend the 1997 version and not the one published back in the 70s or 80s.
- Parenting From The Inside Out by Dan Siegal. This book focuses on parents own childhood and how it impacts the way we ourselves parent.
- Growing Up Again: Parenting Ourselves, Parenting Our Children by Clark and Dawson. esp. for concrete information on how to nurture children in developmentally appropriate ways. Great focus on structure and nurture, plus what parents need to address within themselves in order to provide healthy structure and nurture interactions/interventions. Recently revised and republished, it provides a broad developmental overview with lots of situational examples. The rationale behind structured expectations and how to construct strategies that are clear and consistent.
- The Explosive Child by Ross Greene to parents of, well, explosive children. When your child really has severe explosive outbursts you really know.
- Get out of my life, but first would you drive me and Cheryl to the mall? by Wolf. Great book for parents of teens. A clear, easy to read book for parents of teenagers.
Grief and Loss
Loss of a child
- Brief Encounters is an outstanding organization for parents whose babies have died before, during, or after birth. They have regular free support groups for parents who have experienced this loss.
- Grief Watch is another organization for families suffering from the loss of an infant.
Crisis and Support Lines
Multnomah County Crisis Line - (503) 988 - 4888
Washington County Crisis Line - (503) 291 - 9111
Portland Women's Crisis Line - (888) 235 - 5333
Adolescent Crisis Intervention and Counseling - (800) 999 - 9999
Child Abuse Hotline - (800) 4-A-CHILD (800 - 422 - 4453)
Sam Stevens, MS, LMFT
Counseling for Adults & Adolescents
Couples, Families, Individuals, New Fathers' Group
Due to COVID many of these groups are not currently running. Please check with group organizers about current COVID practices including online groups.