Skip to main content

Local chapter of national organization gives moms a network of holistic connectivity

10/09/2013 02:34PM, Published by ACL, Categories: In Print, News




By Richard L. Gaw

Staff Writer

 

When Catherine Kegley of New Garden Township was pregnant with her son Henry four years ago, she was interested in pursuing natural childbirth and breastfeeding her son the way that her mother did with her as an infant in Charlottesville, Va. The problem was, there weren't a lot of other mothers she knew in the area who had chosen -- or were about to choose -- that same path. At the time, her husband's best friend from college was the national  volunteer coordinator of the organization known as the Holistic Moms Network -- a community with 10,000 members nationwide -- and told her that there was a local chapter about to begin in the Kennett Square area.

Image title

"I attended out of curiosity, but because Henry was a newborn, I wasn't able to attend a lot of meetings, and by the time he was a few months old and I was able to get out of the house more, the chapter had dissolved," Kegley said. Soon after, still seeking a community of like-minded parents, she decided to start the Southern Chester County chapter of the network. Over the past three years, parents have joined to share and learn in monthly meetings.

With more than 150 chapters in nearly every state in the nation, the Holistic Moms Network connects people, creates supportive communities, and helps parents learn about holistic and green living. The network is dedicated to facilitating grassroots community-building, offering parents the opportunity to create local chapters where they can connect and find friendship and resources necessary for successful parenting. Members have discovered natural remedies for their child's asthma and fever, found the courage to have a vaginal birth after a cesarean, become educated about vaccination choice, and learned homemade, non-toxic recipes for household items like cleaners.

Although the Southern Chester County chapter may take its cue from the national organization, 

Image title

its long list of past speakers has enabled Kegley and the group's dozen members to fashion their own definition. Within the last three years, the local chapter has offered workshops on organic gardening, an introduction to Reiki, beekeeping at home, meditation, yoga, power affirmations, food allergies, free trade coffee, homeopathy, medicinal herbs, children's sleep patterns, space organization, dentistry for children, as well as sponsored numerous nature walks.  This year, the Southern Chester County chapter was a community partner with the New Garden Growers' Market and provided an information desk at several of the markets.

"We try to balance the curriculum between nature and environment, personal and spiritual growth, as well as health and parenting," Kegley said. "Right now, for instance, we're working on having a workshop that will invite a teenager who several years ago at the age of 9 became a vegetarian in a family of meat-eaters. We also want to have a panel discussion on school choices in the area, and have talks about fostering our own personal creativity."

Colleen Rasmussen, the mother of two small children who lives with her family just outside of Coatesville, said she stumbled across the Holistic Moms Network by reading an article about the actress Mayim Bialick, who was a former celebrity spokesperson for the network.

Image title

"I was looking to do better for my kids, such as looking for ways to treat their health without running to Tylenol and Advil," she said. "I felt like an alien around some of my neighbors and family.  When I would tell them, 'No thank you, my son doesn't need that lollipop because it contains red dye,' I was looked on like I was some kind of monster, when in fact, he does have a sensitivity.

"I didn't want to be afraid if they had fevers," Rasmussen said. "I wanted to learn more about nutrition, so even though I didn't type the term 'holistic' into my web search, the whole paradigm of what I was searching for was lit up when I found the Holistic Moms Network."

One particular workshop she attended, "Is Your Dentist Protecting Your Health," taught Rasmussen about the dangers of too much fluoride, as well as safe levels of mercury and its effect on the oral health of her children. Kegley attended a workshop on homeopathy taught by Dr. Peter Prociuk, and now, it's a regular part of her parenting.

"I went into that meeting knowing practically nothing about homeopathy, and now I have a whole library of homeopathic medicines in my cabinet at home," she said.

The demographics of the local network vary from meeting to meeting, but up to this point they have essentially drawn mothers of children ranging from infancy to preschool age, although Kegley says that with their new weekday evening time slot for meetings, they are hoping to draw more parents of older children. Yearly memberships for individuals and families begin at $45, which not only provides invitations to all chapter workshops and events, but also membership in a highly active national online member community, a digital subscription to a quarterly holistic parenting magazine, and special offers from national sponsors.  Moms, dads, future parents, grandparents and caregivers of children of all ages are encouraged to attend a meeting at no charge to see if membership is right for them.

When she was a little girl, Kegley often played with her brothers in the backyard at the family 

Image title

home in Virginia, looking for four-leaf clovers and playing in a nearby stream, and when she wasn't there, she went with her father to the nearby farm where he grew up, or on nature hikes. Because both of her parents were scientists, Kegley learned that not only was nature fun, but that its future depended on whether its delicate balance with humans could help it prosper. Now a parent to both Henry and his 18-month-old sister Ruthie, Kegley is intent on passing along to them what her parents gave her, and joins with others in the local chapter who are looking to do the same.

"We are a very welcoming, non-judgmental group, and our members reflect a wide variety of beliefs and parenting practices," Kegley said. "We have some who breastfeed and some who don't, some who cloth diaper and some who don't, some of whom have extensive vegetable gardens and some who have never put their hands in the dirt.

"Despite our different ways of raising our children, however, I think what we have in common is a desire to be mindful parents, whether that be for our family's health, being environmentally aware, or by the way we discipline and raise our children," she said. "There are varying degrees of satisfaction and dissatisfaction that draws members to join, but very often, they come because they feel very alone in what they want for their families, and the network gives them validation for believing in what they feel."

To know more about the organization, visit www.holisticmoms.org. To become a part of the Southern Chester County chapter, e-mail hmn.sccpa@gmail.com

Image title





Upcoming Holistic Moms Network Workshops

 

Intro to Homeopathy

Oct. 16, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Dr. Peter Prociuk, a licensed physician, will explain how parents can use homeopathy to help families heal from illnesses and stay well.

 

The Sustainable Home Landscape

Nov. 20, from 7 to 9 p.m.

The chapter will invite local landscape architect  Margot Taylor to discuss the idea of developing home landscapes that use resources wisely and support one's well-being.

 

Eco Friendly Wrapping

Dec. 18, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Join the network chapter for a holiday and group discussion about eco-conscious ways to present holiday gifts, and how to involve kids in the process.

 

All events will be held at the Soulful Cricket, 140 Thompson Rd., Kennett Square. Meetings are free and open to the public. To register, e-mail hmn.sccpa@gmail.com.


Like what you're reading? Subscribe to Chester County's free newsletter to catch every headline



kennett square holistic moms network holistic


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Debtors Anonymous

    05/09/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    In D.A., our purpose is threefold: to stop incurring unsecured debt, to share our experience wit...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Tail Waggin' Tutors

    05/10/2016
    04:30PM — 05:30PM

    Practice reading to a certified therapy dog. This relaxed animal friendly atmosphere allows stud...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Pilates Class: Get in Shape for Summer!

    05/11/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Sign up for FREE Pilates Class, back by popular demand! It's a 6 week session- attend them all or...


  • Pajama Storytime

    05/11/2016
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Wednesdays at 6:30 PM - Join us for an evening of stories, songs, crafts, and fun to end your day...


  • Pro-Act's Family Education Program

    05/11/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    When someone is addicted to drugs & alcohol, the diease affects the entire family. Each month PR...


  • The Garden After Dark

    05/11/2016
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    From Perseus and Hercules to Pegasus and Leo, the spring sky abounds with mesmerizing constellati...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Growing Native Orchids

    05/12/2016
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    Whether you are a rank beginner or a master gardener, hardy native orchids can grow and thrive in...


  • Meditation

    05/12/2016
    05:30PM — 06:30PM

    Increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of well-being can be achieved t...


  • Meditation

    05/12/2016
    05:30PM — 06:30PM

    Increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of well-being can be achieved t...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    05/12/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • Scattered throughout the nearby Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area are the remains of on...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • National Public Gardens Day

    05/06/2016
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Celebrate America's public gardens with a complimentary visit to Mt. Cuba Center! Relax in our ga...


  • National Public Gardens Day

    05/06/2016
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Celebrate America's public gardens with a complimentary visit to Mt. Cuba Center! Relax in our ga...


  • Join the fun at a Quarter Auction by Friends for Rescue & Pet Care in Newark on Friday May 6, 201...


  • Charlie Zahm is back presenting an evening of Civil War era music and history---this time it's Th...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Wildflower Walk

    05/07/2016
    09:00AM — 11:00AM

    With Janet Ebert, Botanist Saturday, May 7th from 9:00AM-11:00AM Location: Bucktoe Creek Preser...


  • Aston E-Waste & Data Destruction Event

    05/07/2016
    09:00AM — 01:00PM

    ELECTRONIC ITEMS ACCEPTED— Almost anything with a plug! Hard drive & cell phone destruction $10...


  • Church Yard Sale

    05/07/2016
    09:00AM — 02:00PM

    As part of the East Goshen Township Community Day program, there will be a yard sale at UCCEG, 1...


  • Develop a personal photographic style and bring your technical and artistic skills to a new level...


  • Famous Chicken BBBQ

    05/07/2016
    01:30PM — 04:30PM

    CHICKEN BBQ, Saturday, May 7, 1:30-4:30 p.m., LANDENBERG CHURCH at 205 Landenberg Road, Landenbe...


  • Banding Together for Dravet

    05/07/2016
    07:00PM — 09:15PM

    Join us at the first ever Banding Together for Dravet on Saturday, May 7, 2016. Proceeds benef...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • 2016 Kacie's Cause MOTHER'S DAY WALK

    05/08/2016
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    We hope you will join us for the Third Annual Mother's Day Walk. This is a FAMILY EVENT (rain or ...


  • 2016 Kacie's Cause MOTHER'S DAY WALK

    05/08/2016
    09:00AM — 12:00PM

    We hope you will join us for the Third Annual Mother's Day Walk. This is a FAMILY EVENT (rain or ...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Debtors Anonymous

    05/09/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    In D.A., our purpose is threefold: to stop incurring unsecured debt, to share our experience wit...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Tail Waggin' Tutors

    05/10/2016
    04:30PM — 05:30PM

    Practice reading to a certified therapy dog. This relaxed animal friendly atmosphere allows stud...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Pilates Class: Get in Shape for Summer!

    05/11/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Sign up for FREE Pilates Class, back by popular demand! It's a 6 week session- attend them all or...


  • Pajama Storytime

    05/11/2016
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Wednesdays at 6:30 PM - Join us for an evening of stories, songs, crafts, and fun to end your day...


  • Pro-Act's Family Education Program

    05/11/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    When someone is addicted to drugs & alcohol, the diease affects the entire family. Each month PR...


  • The Garden After Dark

    05/11/2016
    07:30PM — 09:30PM

    From Perseus and Hercules to Pegasus and Leo, the spring sky abounds with mesmerizing constellati...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Growing Native Orchids

    05/12/2016
    10:00AM — 01:00PM

    Whether you are a rank beginner or a master gardener, hardy native orchids can grow and thrive in...


  • Meditation

    05/12/2016
    05:30PM — 06:30PM

    Increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of well-being can be achieved t...


  • Meditation

    05/12/2016
    05:30PM — 06:30PM

    Increased concentration, decreased anxiety, and a general feeling of well-being can be achieved t...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    05/12/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • Scattered throughout the nearby Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area are the remains of on...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Spring Art-In

    05/13/2016
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Join us for a day of art and let your creativity bloom while you draw, paint, or photograph Mt. C...


  • Spring Art-In

    05/13/2016
    10:00AM — 04:00PM

    Join us for a day of art and let your creativity bloom while you draw, paint, or photograph Mt. C...


  • DFVA Greenville Summer Art Show

    05/13/2016
    10:00AM — 07:00PM

    An impressive group of outstanding professional artists from the Brandywine Valley area will exhi...


  • Color In Your Bedroom

    05/13/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    Come and discover how to balance your physical health and intimate relationships with the color a...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • WHITE CANE DAY

    05/14/2016
    09:00AM — 02:00PM

    LIONS ON THE LOOSE IN OXFORD THE OXFORD LIONS CLUB MEMBERS WILL BE ON 3RD STREET, REDNERS MA...


  • Elemental Ayurvedic Readings

    05/14/2016
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    The 2 hour consultation with Sarah Tomlinson directs your awareness to your personal strengths an...


  • Stateline Loop Run for Conservation

    05/14/2016
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Join The Land Conservancy for Southern Chester County (TLC) on Saturday, May 14th for the annual ...


  • Sustainable Landscape Techniques

    05/14/2016
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    Make your landscape more ecologically sound by implementing a variety of sustainable gardening an...


  • DFVA Greenville Summer Art Show

    05/14/2016
    10:00AM — 07:00PM

    An impressive group of outstanding professional artists from the Brandywine Valley area will exhi...


  • The Copeland Legacy: Conserving Native Plants

    05/14/2016
    10:30AM — 12:30PM

    Join us for Community Read, a multi-institutional program designed to inspire reading, conversati...


  • Color For Stress Reduction

    05/14/2016
    03:00PM — 06:00PM

    In this unique three-hour workshop you will discover how the activity of Coloring Yantras brings ...


  • Celebrate the power of four paws with CPL! This canine chic celebration is filled with opportunit...


  • Concordia Voices Presents: New Heaven

    05/14/2016
    07:30PM — 09:00PM

    Concordia Choral Arts’ 2015-2016 Performance Year, titled THE NEW WORLD continues with our spring...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Tail Waggin' Tutors

    05/15/2016
    01:00PM — 02:00PM

    Practice reading to a certified therapy dog. This relaxed animal friendly atmosphere allows stud...


  • Taste Kennett Food Tours

    05/15/2016
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    Taste Kennett Food Tours, creators of memorable, unique and fun food experiences, offer three-hou...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Don't miss this opportunity to visit and photograph four magnificent mid-Atlantic gardens at the ...


  • Photographing Gardens of the Brandywine Valley

    05/16/2016
    06:00AM — 04:30PM

    Don't miss this opportunity to visit and photograph four magnificent mid-Atlantic gardens at the ...


  • Debtors Anonymous

    05/16/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    In D.A., our purpose is threefold: to stop incurring unsecured debt, to share our experience wit...


  • Pilates Class: Get in Shape for Summer!

    05/16/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Sign up for FREE Pilates Class, back by popular demand! It's a 6 week session- attend them all or...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Carnival at St. Peter Parish in West Brandywine

    05/18/2016
    03:00PM — 10:00PM

    St. Peter Parish in West Brandywine, PA (Chester County) Wed. May 18-Sat. May 21. Event runs 5-1...


  • Pajama Storytime

    05/18/2016
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Wednesdays at 6:30 PM - Join us for an evening of stories, songs, crafts, and fun to end your day...


  • Pro-Act's Family Education Program

    05/18/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    When someone is addicted to drugs & alcohol, the diease affects the entire family. Each month PR...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • The Allure of Native Azaleas

    05/19/2016
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Are you fascinated by native azaleas but aren't sure how to grow them? Steven Kristoph examines s...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    05/19/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Treehouse Workshop

    05/21/2016
    08:00AM

    Learn how to build a treehouse in the safest and most tree friendly way. Instructors include carp...


  • Grains of the World Dinner

    05/21/2016
    06:00PM — 08:00PM

    Newlin Grist Mill director Tony Shahan will host a special dining event featuring grains from acr...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Taste Kennett Food Tours

    05/22/2016
    01:00PM — 04:00PM

    Taste Kennett Food Tours, creators of memorable, unique and fun food experiences, offer three-hou...


  • Quarter Auction

    05/22/2016
    01:00PM — 05:00PM

    Quarter Auction. There will also be Special Raffle Baskets and a 50/50. Visit www.curecancertoday...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Debtors Anonymous

    05/23/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    In D.A., our purpose is threefold: to stop incurring unsecured debt, to share our experience wit...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Tail Waggin' Tutors

    05/24/2016
    04:30PM — 05:30PM

    Practice reading to a certified therapy dog. This relaxed animal friendly atmosphere allows stud...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Leaf Imprinted Ceramic Vessel

    05/25/2016
    12:00PM — 04:00PM

    Create a nature-inspired vessel (vase or bowl) using foliage from our native trees as the design ...


  • Yoga

    05/25/2016
    05:00PM — 06:00PM

    Increase your range of motion, core body strength, and flexibility through the practice of yoga i...


  • Yoga

    05/25/2016
    05:00PM — 06:00PM

    Increase your range of motion, core body strength, and flexibility through the practice of yoga i...


  • Pajama Storytime

    05/25/2016
    06:30PM — 07:30PM

    Wednesdays at 6:30 PM - Join us for an evening of stories, songs, crafts, and fun to end your day...


  • Pro-Act's Family Education Program

    05/25/2016
    07:00PM — 09:00PM

    When someone is addicted to drugs & alcohol, the diease affects the entire family. Each month PR...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Native Shrubs for Home Gardens

    05/26/2016
    10:00AM — 12:00PM

    Birds, insects, and a host of other fauna rely on the natural resources supplied by our native sh...


  • False Indigo - True Beauty

    05/26/2016
    01:00PM — 03:00PM

    False indigo (Baptisia spp.) is a great plant for the sunny border and has a broad range of flowe...


  • Clutterers Anonymous

    05/26/2016
    06:00PM — 07:00PM

    Clutterers Anonymous℠ (CLA℠) is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strengt...


  • The Galer Estate family invites you to join our Wine Club, a community of members who enjoy fine ...


  • Fitness Walks

    05/27/2016
    08:30AM — 09:30AM

    Enjoy the natural beauty of Mt. Cuba Center's gardens, forests, and meadows this spring and exper...


Chester County High School Sports