This guest post was written by BRC supporter, support group attendee and amazing mama, Jennifer Shotto.
- TO GET OUT OF THE HOUSE. As a new mom, it can sometimes feel completely overwhelming to get up, nurse the baby, eat breakfast, change the baby, shower, nurse the baby, pack the diaper bag, dress the baby, brave the weather, and then drive somewhere. (I’m tired already!) But I found it really helpful to have an activity to go to, even if it was just one day a week. At least for a few hours I didn’t have to stare at the laundry and dishes giving me dirty looks!
- NO JUDGMENTS. Everyone at support group is going to be friendly and supportive! They are not likely to notice whether you make it there on time (once you have one or more kids, I’m convinced that the concept of being on time goes right out the window) or what you’re wearing (yay for wearing maternity jeans post-baby and switching my t-shirt wardrobe to all-black for a while – to hide milk stains, of course!).
- FREE THE BREASTS! It can be so freeing to breastfeed (somewhere other than your home) with absolutely zero concern for covering up. Some moms do cover up at support group because it makes them feel more comfortable or it helps their baby focus on nursing, but many do not, and it’s very liberating.
- TO RECEIVE AND GIVE ADVICE. Support group will be filled with moms who just gave birth and others who are months into motherhood (or more if it’s not their first baby!). You’ll be able to give and receive advice and support from other moms who a) have a baby older than yours and can offer tips on what is coming next for you, b) are at the same place as you and can commiserate with you, or c) have a baby younger than yours and so can benefit from your wisdom!
- TO DISCOVER HELPFUL PRODUCTS YOU NEVER KNEW EXISTED. Just a few I discovered : Haakaa pump, Milkies milk savers, Milk Snob nursing/carseat cover, Latched Mama nursing clothes.
- TO TALK ABOUT ANYTHING. Yes, much of the discussion is breastfeeding-related – but lots of other topics are relevant too! Women talk about developmental milestones, how to handle social media, post-partum body questions, how to politely keep strangers from touching your newborn, managing visitors, and anything else you can think of!
- TO MAKE “MOM” FRIENDS. You (and your little one) will likely make neighborhood friends you’ll keep for years! We still get together often with the group of moms I met at the BRC.
- FREE WEIGHT CHECKS. There is always a scale at support group, so if you want to do a weighted feed or just a regular weight check of your baby, it’s easy to put your mind at ease and track your little one’s progress.
- AN IBCLC FACILITATOR. This is absolutely critical! One of the IBCLCs facilitates support group each week, and it can be such a relief to hear their thoughts and advice. Although support group can never take the place of a one-on-one consultation, it can help you pinpoint any next steps you may want to take if you have concerns or questions.
- YOU WILL BE MORE LIKELY TO BREASTFEED LONGER! No really, it’s true! Studies show that attending a support group leads to longer and more successful breastfeeding relationships.
We hope to see YOU at one of our Support Groups soon! Check out our Events Calendar for dates, times and locations!