Has Vermont deceived me?? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 18 Old 04-14-2013, 10:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hello,

 

My husband and I may be relocating to the Burlington area and at first I was quite excited because of it's rather liberal reputation.  However, when I started to dig into the facts, I started to think I was misled.  For instance - I can't find any attachment parenting groups in the area  :(  Also, I thought there would be more homebirths.  Lastly, I was shocked to see the circumcision rates in vermont are so HIGH.  Given that a large percentage of the population lives in the Burlington area, that would mean that the most of the boys born in Burlington are not left intact (please, if I am wrong I would love to know).  Can anyone give me some hope.  Right now, it seems like Burlington is a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing.

 

Thanks,

 

Katie

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#2 of 18 Old 04-14-2013, 10:55 AM
 
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Where do you live now?  We live just east of Burlington.  We have lived here for 6 years (moved from So. Cal).  I think you'll find that Vermont is very different between rural and Burlington/Chittenden county areas.  Much of Vermont is more conservative in the rural areas and really not a whole lot different from the midwest.  In Burlington however you're going to find that crunchy community you're looking for.  You will see lots of babywearing and breastfeeding out in public in Burlington.  It's extremely family friendly and there are tons of AP type groups--but they can be hard to find.  Honestly, there just aren't a lot of people in Vermont, and as my kids are older now I'm not sure where I'd look for AP groups.  I don't think there are a lot of Vermonters on mothering--I'm not here that much.  But when you move, join a kids yoga class or go to the Burlington City Arts for preschool arts classes and you'll meet a lot of other like minded families.  There are also a couple of awesome preschools that draw the crunchy crowd--my kids both went to Heartworks and that's where we made a lot of friends.  Burlington is much more open too.  Some of the outlying communities are a little more closed--people who have been here for generations aren't always thrilled to have outsiders--but I don't think you'll experience that in Burlington itself.  Welcome to Vermont!e 

 

I think the lower rates of homebirth might be due to really bad insurance coverage/few homebirth providers. Also the few hospitals here do tend to have low c-section rates and lower intervention rates than some other places--FAHC offers a pretty low intervention birth.  Midwives are licensed but there just aren't a whole lot of midwives here.

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#3 of 18 Old 04-14-2013, 10:57 AM
 
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Hi-

   Geez from what I know of Burlington VT it's very crunchy.  Even with those stats you found I would not be worried.  My DH and I live in Mass and he recently had to spend a few days in Burlington; after what he told me about it (restaurants, nightlife, general vibe) we are going to go there for mini-getaway this summer.  Sounds like someplace I'd really like to live.

 

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#4 of 18 Old 04-14-2013, 12:45 PM
 
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I am a crunchy vermont mama who lives about 15 mins from burlington. I have an intact son and this choice was supported by the ob office. Maitri healthcare. They were also supportive of no meds birth and breastfeeding. I did not birth at home but plan to next time around. I am attachment parenting focused too. Our pediatrician is less so but i'm shopping around. Good luck in your move!
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#5 of 18 Old 04-14-2013, 03:37 PM
 
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Don't worry.  Vermont in general is a pretty crunchy place, and Burlington is especially crunchy.  I live about an hour from Burlington and there are plenty of crunchy people in my area.

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#6 of 18 Old 04-14-2013, 08:08 PM
 
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Hi there!

 

We live a couple hours from Burlington, in North Clarendon. For the most part, there is a ton of support for attachment parenting in Vermont. Everyone has their own views no matter where you go, but it is okay. Burlington is a pretty decent place in it self, you'll be sure to find something. Hang in there, it's not that bad!


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#7 of 18 Old 04-15-2013, 11:14 AM
 
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I always thought Montpelier crunchier than Burlington.

There are crunchy towns throughout.
But overall, Vermont is kinda reserved...not conservative (wont take much to find them though!) but just reserved.
And while private insurance doesn't do too well with the home birth the state health insurance covers home births. When I asked them why (curiosity) the woman said in a kinda snooty tone (like I'm stupid), "obviously, it's cheaper so it's a better option when trying to keep the budget down." Seriously, I thought she was gonna stick a a duh at the end.

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#8 of 18 Old 04-22-2013, 05:06 AM
 
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I currently live in Essex Junction and had lived in Burlington for the past two years, prior to that I lived up in the NorthEast Kingdom. I find this area to be very crunchy. The kids school has a wonderful outdoor classroom,gardens, and is very community orientated. I am currently having a homebirth with Baby #4 and there are lots of AP groups, babywearing groups, cloth diapering groups etc. I really enjoy living here !


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#9 of 18 Old 04-27-2013, 04:17 AM
 
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I do think Vermonters tend to be less into organized parenting groups than in lots of other places with a lot of "crunchy" type people. I think one of the great things about VT is that people tend to be less judgmental than I've encountered in other places, and more likely to interact & be friends with others who are have different beliefs, parenting styles, etc. There are plenty of AP, cloth diapering, home birthing mamas around here, though. www.kidsvt.com might be a good resource for you to help you find activities where you can meet other parents.  Just remember to be open-minded! Vermont is small, if you are looking for a big group of people who have all the same beliefs/ parenting philosophers as you, you that might be hard to find, if you are looking for a good, kind people who love their kids, of course there are plenty of those around here!

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#10 of 18 Old 04-29-2013, 11:49 AM
 
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I don't have kids yet, but I grew up in small town VT and moved back (to Montpelier) at the age of 34 after 16 years living out of state, so thought I would share some impressions as an insider/outsider hybrid.

First, from my experience in the year I've been back in the state, it seems as though internet isn't the main way that groups/events are organized/announced around here, so I suspect that there may be more going on around parenting groups than you would find in a web search. (Though I think some of the previous posters are also correct that people may not be as group-oriented/subdivided by type here.)

I also agree with some of the above comments that "rural" and "urban" Vermont are fairly different. And there are parts of the state where rural="commune, musical festival and Shakespeare in a barn" and parts where rural=deeply conservative. I am now living in Montpelier, a city of 8,000 that I would consider very crunchy (having lived in Austin, TX, Cambridge, MA and Northampton, MA among other places during my time away). The town of 5,000 just 10 miles away where I grew up is absolutely not crunchy in any way. Given that, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to hear that Montpelier and Burlington had circ rates under 50% and the numbers were close to 100% in some other areas of the state.

My only input on the homebirth issue is that I’ve heard insurance can be an issue, but that there are also at least a couple of hospitals (Copley and Gifford) that have excellent midwife-centered birthing centers (opinions may vary, of course), and that may make people who’d choose a homebirth in other circumstances go ahead and do a hospital birth. (Sadly, midwife statutes in VT risk me out of homebirth automatically because of my Type 2 diabetes, so I won't have the choice.)

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#11 of 18 Old 05-23-2013, 01:08 PM
 
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I was also shocked at Vermont's high circumcision rate! I expected much better.
I am an AP Mom in NEK with an intact son and luckily a great Dr who knows intact care (even if she makes me so mad with her vaccination push!) We're here and there but pretty scattered. I don't find Burlington to be crunchy at all.. Montpelier/Hardwick area is where I've found most of my crunchy friends.

 

I'm picky though. If I am going to hang with a person they have to be anti-circ or be willing to learn more on the subject and I try to feel out on other things like extended breastfeeding ect since my 3.5 yr old still nurses. I just don't want to go liking a person and then have them weirded out if they see my son ask to nurse.


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#12 of 18 Old 06-18-2013, 01:40 PM
 
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I've lived in VT for just over ten years, first in the Brattleboro area, and now in the Burlington area.

 

Burlington is pretty crunchy in a wealthiest-town-in-the-state sort of way. When I moved here I was amazed at my huge range of choices for farmers' markets, organic foods, and local everything --- but I felt pressured to shave my legs and wear shirts other than plaid flannel for the first time since moving to VT. Also I had a hard time hooking into a community here; I found there was a lot of pressure to toe the party line. So for example, I'm very very crunchy-liberal but also pro-vaccine and Christian, and in hanging out with other crunchy liberals in Burlington I often felt as if I wasn't accepted, like I had to be the ALL LIBERAL ALL THE TIME channel and if I wasn't into homeopathy I didn't belong. 

 

I find other parts of the state much crunchier in a lower-key, less judgmental sort of way; Brattleboro (for example) gives you one only option for a farmer's market and only one option for a natural foods store, but it's much less appearance oriented and much more community oriented. No one told me I was a bad hippie for being a Christian. I didn't have to shave my legs. I met folks at the local bookstore and got invited to their house for folk music jam sessions. When I had a chimney fire in my wood-heated cabin with no running water or electricity my neighbors didn't blink an eye and just loaned me their chimney brush. 

 

Anyway, I'm trying to conceive in the Burlington area and had no trouble finding a home birth midwife when I was ready to schedule a pre-conception visit. Most insurances cover home birth (mine doesn't, but my midwife offers folks in my boat a discount). I haven't found it hard to find a sympathetic provider. 

 

As far as the circ rate, we have a large number of Muslim refugees --- we have one of the highest refugee populations in New England overall, I think --- and I wonder whether that skews the circ rate up. Also, as noted, rural areas are often much more conservative, and Fletcher Allen hospital has a HUGE watershed, collecting births from miles around. That'd also skew the circ rate up (if circ rate is going to be used as a measure for being a liberal town, which I think is a pretty poor metric, even though I wouldn't circ my kid either). In the end that sort of diversity is, I think, part of what makes Burlington a BETTER place to live . . . 

 

. . . but maybe I'm just being a bad hippie again. ;-)

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#13 of 18 Old 07-16-2013, 04:49 AM
 
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I am surprised to see so many Vermonters on here! :) I thought I was the only one. I live in southern Vermont and it is pretty low key here, but this area is started to get overrun with tourists(I live a few miles away from Stratton mountain and grew up in Manchester)  I just had a beautiful home birth 6 days ago and everyone I know treated me like I was a crazy person, which surprised me because I read that Vermont actually has the highest home birth rate in the country, I guess I must be in the wrong part of Vermont. I live about an hour away from Brattleboro, which is nice because it has a nice health food store, the ones in Manchester are just small and overpriced. Never looked into the circumcision rate since I have two girls, but that is surprising to me. Things aren't perfect here, but I think that Vermont has a lot more freedoms than some places do. I hope you like it here, it can be a bit rough in the winters, but hang in there, you will find there are a lot of like-minded people in Vermont, I just think a lot of them hide out at home.. at least I do.  :)

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#14 of 18 Old 07-16-2013, 06:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by pepperedmoth View Post

I've lived in VT for just over ten years, first in the Brattleboro area, and now in the Burlington area.

Burlington is pretty crunchy in a wealthiest-town-in-the-state sort of way. When I moved here I was amazed at my huge range of choices for farmers' markets, organic foods, and local everything --- but I felt pressured to shave my legs and wear shirts other than plaid flannel for the first time since moving to VT. Also I had a hard time hooking into a community here; I found there was a lot of pressure to toe the party line. So for example, I'm very very crunchy-liberal but also pro-vaccine and Christian, and in hanging out with other crunchy liberals in Burlington I often felt as if I wasn't accepted, like I had to be the ALL LIBERAL ALL THE TIME channel and if I wasn't into homeopathy I didn't belong. 

I find other parts of the state much crunchier in a lower-key, less judgmental sort of way; Brattleboro (for example) gives you one only option for a farmer's market and only one option for a natural foods store, but it's much less appearance oriented and much more community oriented. No one told me I was a bad hippie for being a Christian. I didn't have to shave my legs. I met folks at the local bookstore and got invited to their house for folk music jam sessions. When I had a chimney fire in my wood-heated cabin with no running water or electricity my neighbors didn't blink an eye and just loaned me their chimney brush. 

Anyway, I'm trying to conceive in the Burlington area and had no trouble finding a home birth midwife when I was ready to schedule a pre-conception visit. Most insurances cover home birth (mine doesn't, but my midwife offers folks in my boat a discount). I haven't found it hard to find a sympathetic provider. 

As far as the circ rate, we have a large number of Muslim refugees --- we have one of the highest refugee populations in New England overall, I think --- and I wonder whether that skews the circ rate up. Also, as noted, rural areas are often much more conservative, and Fletcher Allen hospital has a HUGE watershed, collecting births from miles around. That'd also skew the circ rate up (if circ rate is going to be used as a measure for being a liberal town, which I think is a pretty poor metric, even though I wouldn't circ my kid either). In the end that sort of diversity is, I think, part of what makes Burlington a BETTER place to live . . . 

. . . but maybe I'm just being a bad hippie again. ;-)

This is SO my experience with Burlington. I distinctly remember one of the cute little super-hippy vagrant Phish-following Church Street boys totally ditch me when he found out I was in SCHOOL. Studying permaculture and Latin American politics, LOL. Not hippy enough, apparently. Anyway, I would love to move back to VT, but I know Burlington wouldn't be my first choice this time. Burlington is for the young smile.gif
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#15 of 18 Old 07-23-2013, 09:26 AM
 
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No, it hasn't deceived you. I've lived all over the state, with the exception of the southern part of the state, it's about as crunchy as it gets. :) I think you're probably not seeing so much because it's not as organized (especially on the internet), like some others said. There are pockets of conservative ideas but even in those areas there's usually a nice crunchy scene and most conservative people just want to hunt and live off the land types. That might be were circumcision rates are coming from, but I can't say. 

 

You'll see people EVERYWHERE wearing their babies, using gentle discipline or free range kids. It's cool. As far as insurance covering home births, most home birthers I know got it covered. Insurance also covers ND's. If you find an ND/midwife - (there's one in Salisbury, for example), then homebirth is easily covered. Otherwise you may have to jump through a few hoops, but I don't know anyone who did succeed at least in part. I toured all of the hospitals in central VT during my last pregnancy and they all had great vibes and were pretty well versed in natural birth. Copley hospital in Morrisville (up north) has a great reputation for providing natural births. I choose Gifford (Birthing Center) but transferred to Fletcher Allen where I had a great, supportive team who were happy to support my natural choices. 

 

I hear Vermont can be tricky for unschoolers...I'm not there yet. 

 

I totally forgot what else was in your list of concerns...sorry. But, I think you have nothing to worry about. 

 

Maria 


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#16 of 18 Old 07-23-2013, 09:27 AM
 
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PS - every child with a penis I know in Vermont is intact. I know that's not very statistical but that's my experience. My two sons included. 


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#17 of 18 Old 07-28-2013, 03:37 AM
 
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PS - every child with a penis I know in Vermont is intact. I know that's not very statistical but that's my experience. My two sons included. 
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#18 of 18 Old 07-28-2013, 03:38 AM
 
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Originally Posted by katiejjones1980 View Post

Hello,

My husband and I may be relocating to the Burlington area and at first I was quite excited because of it's rather liberal reputation.  However, when I started to dig into the facts, I started to think I was misled.  For instance - I can't find any attachment parenting groups in the area  greensad.gif  Also, I thought there would be more homebirths.  Lastly, I was shocked to see the circumcision rates in vermont are so HIGH.  Given that a large percentage of the population lives in the Burlington area, that would mean that the most of the boys born in Burlington are not left intact (please, if I am wrong I would love to know).  Can anyone give me some hope.  Right now, it seems like Burlington is a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Thanks,

Katie
Quote:
Originally Posted by katiejjones1980 View Post

Hello,

My husband and I may be relocating to the Burlington area and at first I was quite excited because of it's rather liberal reputation.  However, when I started to dig into the facts, I started to think I was misled.  For instance - I can't find any attachment parenting groups in the area  greensad.gif  Also, I thought there would be more homebirths.  Lastly, I was shocked to see the circumcision rates in vermont are so HIGH.  Given that a large percentage of the population lives in the Burlington area, that would mean that the most of the boys born in Burlington are not left intact (please, if I am wrong I would love to know).  Can anyone give me some hope.  Right now, it seems like Burlington is a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Thanks,

Katie
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