How to Create a Support Network as a New Mum
For new mums, a strong support network is essential. While friends and family are great, it's important to find other mums who understand the challenges of adapting to motherhood. Making friends with other new parents allows you to adjust to this huge life change and helps you to find a sense of belonging.
With that being said, it can often feel difficult to find friends when you have just had a baby. You may not know anyone in your area or it could take time for you and your partner to adjust to the new addition in your life. That's why we've put together a guide to building friendships with other mothers so that you can find a supportive community to see you through the highs and lows of motherhood.
If your bundle of joy has not yet arrived, antenatal classes are a great opportunity to meet other mums-to-be. You'll not only make some friends for life, but you'll also have people to turn to when you're feeling anxious about labour or the early days of parenting.
Pregnancy or Postpartum Yoga
In a similar vein, attending pregnancy yoga classes is a good way to meet other mums-to-be, and get a dose of relaxation while you're at it. There are also plenty of low-intensity classes out there to help your body recover from childbirth.
Yoga is a very popular activity for pregnant and postpartum women, so you should be able to find a class nearby. Checking your local community or fitness centre is a good place to start.
Once your baby arrives, postnatal groups can be a great way to connect with other mothers. These groups are often organised by local hospitals or parenting organisations, and provide a supportive environment for new mothers as they adjust to life with a newborn. On top of this, postnatal groups are a great place to find advice and support for everything from breastfeeding and weaning to nappy changing and separation anxiety.
Mother and Baby Groups
Another great way to connect with other mums is via mother and baby groups. Not only is it beneficial for babies to spend time around other infants and children, it's a great opportunity for new mums to connect and socialise. Mother and baby groups are often the easiest way to find other mums, as they're typically organised by local playgroups or councils.
We're all used to hearing about the evils of social media, but it can also be very beneficial when it comes to meeting people and making new friends. There are a number of social media groups and pages that cater to parents, so it's easy to find one that suits your interests.
You could also start your own group, which would allow you to connect with other mums in your area.
There are also plenty of forums for new mothers where you can ask questions and express your feelings anonymously, without the fear of being judged. Sometimes, an online community can be almost as helpful as an in-person one!
Friends of Friends
Even if none of your current friends are in the new parenthood stage of life, they probably have friends of their own who are. Why not ask them for help? You could even suggest a playdate so that you can get to know other mums. Plus, already having a friend in common will give you something to talk about!
Your local library more than likely has plenty of activities available for children and babies, such as singalong and story time sessions. Even if you just venture to the kids' section for an afternoon, you're more than likely to encounter other new parents there who will be more than happy to chat.
Tips for Making New Friends
Attending a new group or class can often feel like the first day of school all over again, especially when you've just had a baby and may not feel fully “yourself” again yet. Here are our top tips for getting over your shyness and making new connections:
Remember Everyone Has Been in Your Position
Everyone at a group or class was the newest attendee once, so remember that you're all in the same boat. There's no need to feel self-conscious or shy, because the chances are that everyone else is just as nervous as you are.
If there's one new mum in particular that you'd like to get to know better, don't be afraid to suggest coffee or a walk after the group ends. The chances are, she'll be delighted that you asked!
Create an Online Group
Setting up a WhatsApp or Facebook group for new mums is a great way to keep in touch and share advice. Plus, it's a great way to keep the friendship going after the group has ended if you really hit it off with one of your new friends.
Suggest a Baby-Free Afternoon (or Evening)
Sooner or later, every new mum needs a few hours away. Spending time with a new mum friend away from your babies is a great chance to get to know each other better and enjoy some much-needed downtime. Whether it's going for a walk whilst a partner or relative takes care of your baby or even out for a dinner date, spending some child-free time together is a great way to strengthen a new friendship.
Finding a support network as a new mum can be daunting, but it's so worth it in the end. Many new parents struggle with feeling isolated and overwhelmed, but having a supportive community around you helps enormously. With the right people by your side, you'll be able to get through the challenges that motherhood throws your way.
Here at Unique Baby Store, we’re always here to help you. Check out our blog for more posts about preparing for and coping with your new arrival, and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.