Navigating through new parenthood - household help &support group

Hi everyone,

I am new to this network and we just recently moved to South Berkeley. We have a newborn (7 week old) and no family as support. We tried to manage everything on our own so far but I have to admit that I am struggling in various areas and especially I am running on fumes. That‘s the reason why I would like to find inspiration on how to get any type of support. I thought, one aspect could be getting help with doing household chores and cleaning. Can someone recommend anyone? And since we never hired anyone for this or any other service before, what is the typical pay range and what else do I need to consider? How often do I need to have them come? Is twice a month ok?

I really appreciate any insight.

Secondly, does anyone know any virtual or in person women’s/mother‘s support group in (South) Berkeley or close to South Berkeley easy to access with public transportation?

Thanks so much and wish you all a lovely week

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I don't have any advice on household help, but re: mother's support -- I cannot recommend Jen Kiatta and the Middle Road Hub highly enough (! Membership is available to clients who have worked on her 1:1 (which I did for both nursing & sleep). It has been a wonderful resource for me to connect and discuss all aspects of the early years of motherhood. My child is 14 months old and I still so appreciate the community. Hang in there!

Hire all the help you can afford!  A housecleaner every 2 weeks is great (and easier to schedule than twice a month) (140/visit for 1300 sq ft).  I'm not sure about someone to come help with regular things like loading the dishwasher, but it's all I wanted when I had a newborn and I hope you actually do it.  You can also think about a night doula, day doula, or just a babysitter to come hold your baby while you sleep.  Or you could probably hire one to clean the kitchen while you hold the baby.  Urbansitter and are both great places to look

This mom's support group saved me: I recommend it so highly.  

And remember that it'll only get easier from here.  You're nearly through the insanity of the acute newborn phase.  

Hello Alexis. First of all, you are not alone. Those first few months are utterly exhausting and are challenging. I found comfort and support in a new mothers group that is hosted on a cohort basis through East Bay Lactation Associates in Emeryville. I’m not sure how easy it is to get there with public transportation, but you might want to look at to their groups. I did not secure anyone to help me with the house, but I kind of let those things go as I only had so much energy to give. Being able to focus on addressing the new Mom challenges was more important for me at that time. Thus, I would highly recommend securing a therapist that focuses on Postnatal care. I saw Amanda Marks, LMFT, who was based in Berkeley,  amandamartinlmft [at] I believe she may have moved offices, but you could reach out to see if she might suit your needs.

Hello! Congratulations on your baby. I’m sorry you don’t have family support around- it can be so helpful. I joined a support group my second time around and was so glad I did.

she is based in emeryville. 

good luck! 

Hi Alexis,

I totally relate, as I am currently home with our 4 week old son. It is very overwhelming.  I highly recommend checking out Brilliant Births in Berkeley:  They have a postpartum support group that meets on Tuesdays at 11am.  I have not attended yet (leaving the house for more than a walk around the neighborhood right now feels a bit too much) but plan to eventually. They also have a referral network for postpartum doulas which might be helpful to you. We currently have a night doula, and I just hired a doula to come during the day a few times a week now that my husband is going back to work. The night doula has been a lifesaver, as it allows both of us to get some actual sleep at least a few nights a week. The day doula will help me with childcare as well as light housework.  Please message me if you want more information about my experience or to otherwise connect.  I can also give you the number for our cleaning person. We have used him and his team for 6 years, and he was referred to me by a friend who has used him longer.   Hang in there!!  

Hi! I have a 6 month old and have had the benefit of a lot of family support, really feel for you trying to go it alone. It’s not for the faint of heart!

For a mom’s support group with some structure, there is This is offered through the place where I took childbirth class. I have not done the support group myself, but have heard wonderful things about the facilitator. There’s a cost but it provides some reliability. My experience with less formal (but free!) mom’s groups is that they are wonderful for community but people’s lives often get in the way of actually meeting. Another idea if you are somewhat outgoing is to just hang out at a local playground and look for parents out with blankets or strollers—in my experience people are really welcoming if you just walk up for a chat!

Hi!  Congratulations on becoming a parent.  It can be both beautiful and difficult all at the same time.  I would highly recommend Support Group for Mothers in Albany CA (not too far).  Jennifer is the facilitator, I felt super supported and met some amazing moms through her group, who I am still in touch with 8 years later.  

Support Group For Mothers – w/ Jennifer Subasic-Marks

Hi, welcome! Alta Bates hospital sponsors a weekly class for new parents:

Hi Alexis,

No particular help with your first question unfortunately BUT there’s a great support group network based on Emeryville (next to Pixar!) that you can sign up for here:

I just started at my friend’s recommendation and it’s great so far!

I’d be happy to offer recommendations and support, I have older kids but your post resonated . Get in touch! You’re doing great!


I had a great experience with my baby and other moms last summer at this post natal yoga class.  Even if you aren't much of a yoga person, some of the time is for talking and sharing which I found so helpful.  Angela is also amazing and a great support for new moms.  The class is Thursday at 12pm at Strawberry Creek park in Berkeley.  You could walk there with a stroller in ~10 minutes.

you are doing amazing job! And way to reach out for help!

First of all, sending you big hugs! Please know you're not crazy and you're not actually alone, even though it feels that way. Reach out anytime <3 

To add to the chorus, I also did Jennifer's support group and loved it! 

A few other ideas for support/connection:

-4th trimester support group - open to folks who are not clients of this midwifery practice: 

-Kim Lyons Tum e Time class: a sweet, mellow reminder of the joy of playing with your baby. Not a support group, but a fun way to connect with other new parents. It also helped me get out of my head about "am I supporting my baby's development enough?"

-Bay Area Babywearing has meet-ups:

-Lake Temescal on weekday afternoons is basically ALL people with babies/young kids. Even if you don't chat with anyone (though most people are very open to that), it still feels nice to be around that energy and get those nods of recognition and kinship. 

As far as just practical suggestions go, my partner and I decided to hire a nanny who cares for the baby but also tidies up the house each day and does the dishes. This has made a world of difference! I find that it's better than a weekly housecleaning service because the nanny can deal with those daily messes that accumulate, making you feel like you're spending every waking moment cleaning and tidying. We pay $30/hour for the housecleaning and childcare, and if you consider that childcare is usually $25/hour on it's own, it's a pretty good deal to have the house tidied each day. We save so much time not having to unload and load the dishwasher everyday, plus the nanny cleans way better than I ever would. 

Additionally I have some pre-made food delivered once a week so there is always something to eat, even if I can't get around to shopping or cooking. It also saves on cleanup and dishes! I have used Vita Kitchen (expensive but great quality), Planted Table (not as expensive but only vegan), and Three Stone Hearth. All offer delivery and all are zero-waste. Not the cheapest options out there but if you consider time saved shopping and preparing, plus the cost of ingredients, and delivery with no tip needed, then all of these food services are pretty decently priced.

If you're into yoga (or even if you're not!) I would highly recommend the postpartum class at yogalayam, which I LOVED when my baby was little: Probably close enough for you to walk. In addition to yoga for you, there is baby massage, singing to the babies, and then the best part is that they have baby-holders who will actually watch your baby while you do some yoga without having to worry about being interrupted! They were closed for a long time during the pandemic but it looks like they are finally open again. The Green Yogi also has postpartum classes at their Telegraph location - the person teaching them wasn't doing it when I had a newborn but I have taken other classes with her and she's great.

I also echo the recommendation for someone to do more regular light cleaning if you can find it, but I've found that it's harder to find than something like a biweekly full cleaning. I have found people to do work like that on Nextdoor but have had mixed experiences with it, it's harder to find someone to come for just an hour or two at a time compared with regular cleaners who stay longer and do it full time.