Something you hear often when you’re pregnant is how important it is to have a support network. Although, if you are anything like me you might think “I’ve got this, I don’t need support” but honestly, ego aside, I now understand the importance in having a good support network of women who are going through the same things as you. Not just for help and advice but to have other mums to talk to that understand where you are at – through the good and the hard.
One thing I have noticed from joining a new group of mumma friends is that I am the most comfortable I’ve ever felt. I can comfortably breastfeed, Isla can cry and I don’t get anxious, I can stop half way through a walk to change a dirty nappy without feeling like I’m an inconvenience to the person I’m walking with. There’s a noticeable difference in hanging out with friends without babies and hanging out with mumma friends. But that might just be me … who knows. It’s also a lot easier to plan things with a mum group because if you say “I’ll be there at 9” and your bub sleeps in until 9:30 or maybe does a poop explosion on the way out of the house causing you to run back inside to change your clothes and theirs it really doesn’t matter! The mummas will understand, there’s probably 4 others that are also running late because of their bubs and the groups are usually big enough to go on without you being on time! It’s a win!
Besides the benefits I’ve already mentioned who wants to be a new mum and sit at home all day with no one to speak to besides your baby who doesn’t talk back (yet!) and your plants?… again, personally.. not me. It’s also a great opportunity for your baby to interact with and meet other babies. I love that Isla is going to have so many babies to grow up with! I highly encourage you to get out there and meet some new mums and I’m going to tell you how!
2020.. the year everything got cancelled. Including birthing classes for new mums. I always imagined when I fell pregnant that I would attend birthing classes with my husband. I imagined learning and practising birthing exercises on yoga balls and different breathing techniques… like in the movies! Unfortunately Covid 19 had other plans for me and my husband and these classes were not running due to the virus. Not only did I want to be involved in these classes for the educational aspect but I was looking forward to making new mumma friends as I currently didn’t have any friends with babies. Luckily I had one friend that fell pregnant at the same time as I. This was such a blessing as it was so nice to speak to someone about all things pregnancy and babies who was at the exact same point in life as me. However, she lives in QLD… far away from me. So sending messages is how we spoke. Depending on where you live in the world and when you are reading this you may be able to attend a birthing class and if so I would highly recommend to do so. What a great way to meet new friends and learn something useful as well. If you can take your husband along, even better!
New parent groups
Every state and territory is different but in Canberra (Australia) after giving birth at the Women and Children’s Hospital you are entitled to receive ‘home visits’ from midwives. This is when a midwife from the Maternal and Child Health Clinic come to your home to check how you and your baby are going. They give you loads of helpful information including how to join the ‘new parent group’. These groups are run by the nurses and include four sessions over four weeks. I won’t lie. Upon hearing about this group my first thought was that there was no way I wanted to join a parent group and the small introverted part of me thought “how awkward meeting strangers” and also “how can I do that with a baby! What if she cries or I need to feed her!” So I didn’t join. Then at Islas 6 week developmental check up the nurse persuaded me to join and I’m so glad she did.
Again, due to Covid the in-person group was cancelled and the group was to meet online via video call… again.. I thought “ugh no thanks” but I forced myself to rock up and I met the most lovely group of mummas! We ended up creating a group chat on Facebook messenger and after our second online session we decided to catch up and go for a walk. This was the beginning of many friendships and catch ups! Every week we meet at least once if not more. We go for walks, hikes and coffee.
Sometimes I forget that Facebook can actually be useful! There are sooo many Facebook groups you can join for support during pregnancy, including your postpartum journey. I was first added by a friend to a pregnancy support page when I fell pregnant. It was good to read other people’s issues and concerns during pregnancy so I didn’t feel alone. Although sometimes pages like this can also make you worry about unnecessary things. I would take the information with a grain of salt but it can be helpful to meet new friends and get support when needed.
I also joined a few Facebook support groups when I found out I had gestational diabetes. This was a great page to meet others in the same situation and I received a lot of helpful information from other mummas. Some times the women on there ask if anyone wants to be Instagram friends to keep in touch and support each other. I added a few mummas from this page and we are still friends today!
There are plenty more Facebook groups to join such as the month and year your baby is born I.e., “Canberra September Mums 2020”. These groups hold events that mums from all over Canberra with babies the same age can catch up and hang out. If you don’t have one of these in your area then make one yourself!
I also found out through my mums group that there is an exercise group on Facebook for mums and their babies too. This page holds events for mummas where you can not only go to participate in exercise and stay fit with your bub but it’s another opportunity to meet new friends!
There are plenty of other Facebook groups like breastfeeding support groups and even groups for “Breastfeeding babies with allergies”. There is so much support on Facebook and social media you just have to look in the right place.
Extra -curricula activities
Last but not least another great way to meet new mummas is by joining activities such as swimming or baby gym! For babies under 6 months old there are swim centres that hold a mums and bubs swim session. This is basically a chance for mums to socialise in the water with their babies. The babies don’t learn to swim yet but they learn to build their confidence around the water. I also have joined a baby gym called Gymbaroo. This is a developmental gym session held over 10 weeks, once a week for 45 minutes. Just a bonus that it’s also another opportunity to meet other mums and their babies.
It’s never too late to join a support group/ parent group! There are endless opportunities out there no matter where you live. Heck, if you still can’t find support find me on Instagram I’ll be your friend!
Until next time,