A Caris Connection Group is a safe, accepting and empowering community of women who help each other thrive during and after an unexpected pregnancy. It’s a place to be yourself, ask questions and talk things through with other women who are in a similar stage of life.
Conversations. Community. Confidence.
Women tell us that one of the greatest challenges they face with an unexpected pregnancy is that friends and family often can’t relate to what they are going through. This can leave them feeling isolated or alone.
But in a Connection group, you can find a place to be heard and to listen to others. It’s a time in your day when no one is giving advice or lots of information on what you should do. Instead it’s a place where women come together to share their stories and to be heard with no judgment.
“They were all really nice, really welcoming. They all introduced themselves. But they were not pushy. They knew the right questions to ask and not ask.”
“I walked into a room with a bunch of women. It was awkward at first. The leaders introduced me. We did our highs and lows…like something good and something hard that had happened that day or that week. And I realized that I actually did like it. I felt like I could talk about anything with these people that I barely knew.”
“I was expecting it [the group] to be bad but this was good. I had been talking with friends and they did not really understand…but these women, it felt like they really understood.”
Each session is 10 weeks long, meets once a week, and is led by a trained Caris facilitator. She guides the conversation, so the group is a safe place for you to hear the stories of other women and to share your own experiences. Through each session, women learn and grow together, build friendships and develop a whole new system of support—the group is a place to connect and to belong.
Here is how women describe the groups in their own words:
- “It keeps me grounded”
- “It’s a safe place to talk”
- “I feel comfortable here”
- “I can express myself without judgment”
- “They understand me and I love coming here”
“Even though I only see them once a week—not as much as my friends from school that I see so much more—I still feel so much more attached to these women. We are living through the same thing.”
“I felt like wow, these people were actually here to help, to share what worked and what did not. They shared how parents reacted. They were all so supportive of one another. I could tell that they genuinely cared about one another…like I was among friends talking, not strangers in similar situations. It gave me hope.”
“The environment made me want to be open. It made me want to share my story with others so that it would help them. I feel that going through unplanned pregnancies allows people to get close in a short amount of time.”
“It [the group] kind of feels like being on a soft ball team. When you are on a team everyone is cheering for you. You have the same interests. This is kind of the same way. Like you are on a team, a bunch of people who are there for you, supporting you.”
“I was surprised at the openness—that I was so open. I thought that I’d keep everything bundled. It was surprising how safe it felt, like nobody would judge or criticize me. That felt good, because I’ve had that [judgement] through my whole pregnancy.”
During each Connection Group meeting, the conversation will focus on what pregnancy and parenting mean for you—right now, and for your future. Women tell us over and over again that nothing is quite so powerful as hearing how other people are pursuing their dreams—even through challenging situations, or when life isn’t turning out as planned.
“At first I felt like my life was crashing…but I saw other girls going through a similar thing. I knew that I was not alone. They were getting through their issues so I knew that I could get through mine.”
“It was a sense of belonging. I belong to something. These women talked about their struggles but also how they overcame them and are working on their goals in life. It gave me encouragement, it gave me hope. I could do it too.”
“For the first time ever, I know who I am and I’m happy with who I am. We are all doing so well. It is nice to see that and be surrounded by that. That is why I come every week. It becomes so good to feel like I belong.”
“Going to the group shows a lot about our character. I know that I’m not the only one who has been criticized [for being pregnant]…but as a group, we are strong. We are working, in school, caring for babies. The group is allowing me to be strong.”
Quick facts about Connection Group:
- You can try out one group with no strings attached.
- Everyone in the group is either pregnant or parenting
- Snacks and childcare are provided at every group
Watch this short video to hear what women have to say about coming to a Connection Group.
“I was welcomed graciously into the Caris group by a girlfriend of mine who had been going for quite a while. I was skeptical at first because I was new, but these girls made me feel completely welcome. I have never received as much support and positive attitudes—they are the strongest girls I have ever met in my entire life! They honestly have changed me in so many ways. Words cannot express how grateful I am that Caris is here today. It’s changed my life.”