Corazon Ballantine, owner of new Oak Park wellness studio, Mama Tribe, knows it takes a village to raise a child — or as she might put it, a tribe.
Growing up in a Puerto Rican family, Ballantine said she remembers stories her mother told her of women in her family who gave their support when she was born.
Ballantine, originally from New Jersey, said in a statement released Monday that when she first became a mother, she struggled to find a supportive community. Having moved quite a bit as an adult, she understands that many women today move away from their original "tribe." That's one of the reasons Mama Tribe exists, to "encourage wellness and provide community," she said.
Ballantine is the mother of two, a 2-year-old son and an 8-month-old daughter. After moving to the area with her husband and son before her daughter was born, the Mama Tribe owner said Oak Park seemed like a place where the wellness studio would thrive.
The process of bringing Mama Tribe to fruition started about six months ago, Ballantine said, a couple of months after her daughter was born.
"Going into my second pregnancy," Ballantine wrote on the Mama Tribe website, "I took the time to focus on my overall wellness, not just for myself, but for my growing baby and toddler."
The local wellness studio offers classes such as the Bradley Method® Childbirth, 12 weeks at $325 per couple, and HypnoBirthing®, 5 weeks at $300 per couple, as well as breastfeeding support groups, health coaching, massage, and "mama groups." Mama Tribe also offers yoga classes for expecting moms, as well as combined yoga classes for moms and kids.
Ballantine, who is trained in the Bradley Method and has experienced two "empowering" natural home births, said that, in addition to managing the studio, she will also teach a birthing class starting in the coming weeks.
The grand opening for Mama Tribe is this Saturday, Jan. 10, from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The studio will provide free drinks and food, host two yoga classes, one for moms and children and another just for kids, and conduct a raffle featuring prizes such as gift cards to Babies 'R' Us and Anthropologie.
Answer Book 2018
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