May 15, 2021
By Gloria Lee
During the first few months of your baby’s life, joining a support group, whether in person or online, can be quite beneficial. Support from other women can be vital to succeed as a new mom or as a mother of multiple children during the early days with a newborn.
Support from Other Moms
Peer support, in which individuals with similar experiences connect, has been shown to be extremely beneficial and essential in sustaining breastfeeding and navigating the transition to motherhood for new families. (Dennis, Hodnett, Gallop, & Chalmers, 2002). Breastfeeding goals can be met with positive encouragement and reassurance from other mothers, especially if we don’t have enough family support at home. There are also moments when we are unsure of what our newborns require or what their cries are attempting to communicate. Sharing experiences amongst women undergoing similar life events can assist individuals in coming to terms with their own experiences that will, in turn, enable them to support others (McConville, 1989). You’ve fed, changed, and swaddled your baby, but he’s still grumpy. Getting support from other moms might help you deal with your frustrations.
Joining a group while your child is a baby could also have long-lasting social benefits. “Increasingly, new mothers no longer have access to extensive social systems and a growing body of research has shown that social support is necessary in promoting maternal confidence and optimizing parenting skills” (O’Connor, 2001). One of the most valuable aspects of support groups is the opportunity to meet new moms and form new friendships. It can be a lifesaver to get yourself and your baby out of the house and socialize with other moms. Your babies will be around the same age when you join a support group, and you may be able to raise them together. A new mom support group can have a long-term impact on your life in a variety of ways. When a local group isn’t available, organizations can help new moms with many of the same issues. We strongly encourage you to connect out to other parents in your community, whether in person or online, to form a supportive community around you and your baby. Your child will be used to being in a group and participating in activities in a community by the time he or she is ready for school and the transition will hopefully be simple. As parents, you’ll benefit from social support and connections with other parents. (Coles, 2017)
Kruske, S., Schmied, V., Sutton, I., & O’Hare, J. (2004). Mothers’ Experiences of Facilitated Peer Support Groups and Individual Child Health Nursing Support: A Comparative Evaluation. Journal of Perinatal Education, 13(3), 31–38. https://doi.org/10.1624/105812404×1752
Coles, B. (2017, November 29). The hidden benefits of joining a mothers’ group | Live Better. Medibank Live Better. https://www.medibank.com.au/livebetter/families/new-parents/the-hidden-benefits-of-mothers-groups/