Support Group for MothersCommunity Subscriber
Joining a moms group through Support Group for Mothers (http://www.supportgroupformothers.com/) was the best thing I did as a new mom! Jennifer Subasic-Marks is an incredible facilitator -- she provides just the right mix of emotional support and gentle advice. Jennifer has seen and heard it all and she knows right down to the micro stage what you and your baby are going through. She is also good at steering discussions that can spiral downward (like about sleep, or lack thereof) in a productive direction. I had trouble breastfeeding and she was so supportive about that in a non-judgmental way. I knew Jennifer from classes and drop in support groups at Alta Bates but the experience of having six dedicated group sessions, plus additional social activities, was more helpful and has resulted in long-lasting friendships for us and our kids. Two years later, we still get together every month, and I have no doubt we will see each other for years to come!
Archived Q&A and Reviews
I did Support Group for Mothers: http://www.supportgroupformothers.com/index.php It's been almost two years and we are still in regular contact with each other (we started a Google group and that helped). I'm sure that some of it is luck, but my group is full of wonderful, smart women. We are always asking advice, sharing tips, and keeping updated on all the kiddos. Good luck!
I've attended new moms groups at Bananas, Support Group for Mothers, and Kaiser Oakland. I really liked the Bananas group and we continued to meet afterwards, but things sort of fizzled out when everyone went back to work. The Kaiser Oakland group was pretty good, and people kept in touch afterwards, but it's large and sometimes a little chaotic (but it's free). I wouldn't recommend Support Group for Mothers -- it was really expensive, and we didn't keep in touch afterwards (the facilitator had said she would help with this and then we never heard from her again). I suggest checking out the free groups before you pay for one. anonymous
I recently did a second-time moms group with Support Group for Mothers, and it was a big disappointment. I felt the facilitator was ineffective and unreliable (not to mention that she changed the start date for the group and didn't let us know until the day it was supposed to start, and she was pretty bad about responding to emails in a timely manner, if she even responded at all). That was the only second-time moms group I could find. I hope you have better luck than I did. Anon
If your baby is younger than about 5 months, I'd recommend Support Group for Mothers: http://www.supportgroupformothers.com/index.php One baby in our group was 10 days old at the first meeting, and mine was almost 5 months; 2 months old was about average. It's a fantastic support group for new moms. There is a fee, but for me it was totally worth it to really connect with other moms, and the facilitation helped with that. Our group is still in frequent contact and we often plan group outings. Congratulations!
Congratulations on the anticipated arrival of your baby girl! My daughter was born in May of 2005 and when she was five weeks old, I joined a new mom's group through ''Support Group for Mothers''--an East Bay tradition of facilitated groups for local moms. Three years later...we are still meeting (this is not uncommon, as the SGFM groups have a strong tradition of longevity, which I love). To be completely transparent, I now facilitate these first-time groups for moms and their newborns in Oakland for Support Group for Mothers, and can share with you, that joining a support group is a wonderful thing to do...for your whole family. You can learn more about how the groups work here: http://www.supportgroupformothers.com/.
I'll just give you some quick info. There are groups forming in May, June and July very close to you in Albany - right by San Pablo & Solano Avenues. Groups are put together based on baby's birthdate and where you live, which makes for amazing connection. The women who facilitate the groups near you (Jennifer, Molly and Miracle) are incredible - all mothers with lots of professional and personal newborn care experience--you can read about them here: http://www.supportgroupformothers.com/group_facilitators.htm
I just ended a group yesterday, and all of the moms shared how much they have valued our group, sharing ideas and experiences, and getting out in the world together with their babies. I have no doubt they will continue to help each other out and have fun parenting with new support. If you have questions or want to talk with Jennifer or B about the groups, call 868-2617 or send an email via the website. Good luck to you during this last month of pregnancy - such a time of anticipation and growth as you await meeting your daughter. Best wishes for a wonderful birth, Elisa (mom and group facilitator)
[Editor Note: Sadly, Sherry Reinhardt passed away in 2007, but a group of facilitators purchased the business and it has been in continuous operation since its founding.]
Re: New mom with old baggage to sort through
I realize that you are perhaps looking for a one-on-one situation, but thought I'd also recommend that you find a local Mother's Group mediated by a therapist. The groups are usually arranged by the birthday of the babies. I attended one in Albany run by Sherry Reinhardt . It was great because: 1. It was a huge relief to hear that other first time moms were experiencing the same struggles that I was... and that our babies (and husbands) had similar habits. 2. Sherry has a very encouraging, relaxing aura. 3. Five years later, I'm still very close to several of the moms I met from the group and my child has been friends with the other kids since he was a newborn. So, try Neighborhood Moms or Bananas for a recommendation near your home.
There are so many fine therapists in this area and I am sure others will post here. I will note a few of the many reliable people who I think might be of help. I would also like to encourage you to join a Support Group for Mothers. I think individual and couple therapy is absolutely helpful during this powerful life transition, but it is also so helpful to hear that others are experiencing similar journeys. We talk about infant care, but the larger transformational issues such as identity, being the kind of parent we want to be and the enormous challenges to the couple relationship are always discussed. Groups also help fight the isolation that so many new parents feel and support friendships for the parents as well as the babies. Most groups continue for years after I launch them and become playgroups for the children as well as support -discussion groups. Please call me for any additional referrals . 524-0821 or email me at sherryr at there.net Warmly, Sherry Reinhardt, RN,MPH,MOM Support Services for Parents