5 Reasons To Join A Mums & Bubs Group
If you’ve just had a baby and are wondering if you should join the local mums & bubs group, chances are it could be the best decision you make.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a first time mama or already have children, a new baby is both a blessing and a challenge. So much focus is on having the baby, that quite often a new mother finds she’s lost in the aftermath.
In the past, women became mothers while encircled by her family and community. The saying goes, it takes a village to raise a child. Traditionally and in some existing cultures, this saying holds a lot of truth in it.
However, in today’s busy society this village isn’t as readily available as it once was. Most new mamas aren’t really prepared for this and how it affects their early motherhood journey.
Finding and seeking support during this time can be very challenging. This is where having a support group and building your own village is an important part of your path to motherhood.
How do you join a mums & bubs group?
In Australia, first-time mamas are invited to attend what is known as mothers’ or mums and bubs group in the first few months after their baby is born.
This is usually organised through the local council and includes other mothers who have given birth around the same time.
You don’t have to join this group – you may prefer to find one that better suits your needs.
#1: Support in buckets
In today’s society, families live far apart, are busy, or not available. Friends might already have children and understand, but are ahead of you in their own journey. Many new mamas are isolated from core support people on a daily basis, if their partner returns to work early.
Isolation after the birth of a baby, especially your first baby, is a risk factor for postnatal mood disorders such as depression and anxiety. Up to 80% of new mothers experience what we call ‘the baby blues’ and at least 20% go on to develop postnatal depression/anxiety.
When a new mama has a network of other women going through the same experience, she is supported as she makes the transition into motherhood. She has access to empathetic ears and hearts when she’s feeling challenged and frustrated in this new role. There are willing and loving hands to hold her up when she’s tired, needs a break or simply needs to be told she’s doing a good job.
#2: Improve your wellbeing
While mums & bubs group might seem like a non-essential social outing, it actually improves your wellbeing. Creating and strengthening social bonds with others reduces your stress and provides you with plenty of opportunities to share experiences.
For new mamas who have been used to working full-time, getting used to being at home constantly can be tricky. Having a date in your weekly diary can be a sanity saver – it gives you the motivation to get out of your pjs and do something to fill your cup.
#3: Increase your social circle
Initially meeting total strangers might seem daunting and not your thing. But one of the wonderful things about mums & bubs groups is meeting women from different walks of life. At first, you may feel you have nothing in common with the other mothers in your group. Except you do – you are all navigating your way through the early months of motherhood.
You’re creating bonds with women who get it; they are right there in the thick of early motherhood and become the people you share the ups and downs of parenting with. Your mother’s group provides a wealth of shared experience, where you can swap knowledge and support each other.
Many mamas end up gaining lifelong friends from their mother’s group, especially as you’re meeting other mamas who live in the same area as you. You build a connection that includes playdates, babysitting, group fitness sessions, such as Mums and Bubs Yoga sessions Nurtured Birth offers. Your children are growing up together, creating further bonds which will last well past their babyhood.
#4: Got questions!
Most mums & bubs groups include some form of facilitation, either by a maternal and child health nurse (if run through the council), a midwife or postnatal doula. Sessions usually include early parenting recommendations and advice. This gives you the space to ask questions and talk through concerns you have.
And you couldn’t be in better company – most new mamas are keen to know they’re not the only one who is struggling or feeling overwhelmed. Who else will understand how crazy and worrying and exhilarating motherhood is? There is no such thing as too much information in mums & bubs group and yes, you will share more with these women than you think possible.
#5: Sharing is caring
After your group sessions finish, you can take mums & bubs group to the local cafe, playcentre or each other’s houses. A great mother’s group becomes your community. As your babies grow, your mama group connection will continue to thrive and hold each other up.
You have a safe space to whinge together about partners working late, babies not sleeping, or throwing food everywhere. You’ll cry and laugh about the same things, sometimes over industrial strength coffee, sometimes over a wine at a much deserved night out together.
If you’re about to become a new mama or are looking for a group in your area, click here to find out more about our Nurtured Mothers group sessions. These gatherings run for 5 weeks and aim to hold space for new mamas to develop confidence in their parenting while sharing the journey with other like-minded women.
Author: Sam McCulloch, Wordsmith at Nurtured Birth