The birth of a child becomes a significant event for every family. The usual way of life of all its member’s changes with the advent of the baby and especially the mother. Postpartum depression affects up to 20% of women in labor, according to WHO statistics. This is a dangerous condition for the health of a woman and a baby.
New mothers face other challenges after having children. It is difficult for inexperienced women in labor to care for a child. Many women are afraid to miss a dangerous childhood illness and mental retardation of the child. Moms in such cases find help in communities of the same women.
Support groups are created to support mothers on maternity leave. Women can talk openly about their fears, problems, and failures. A community of like-minded people gives a woman moral support. With the help of groups, mothers can cope with post-traumatic stress and increase self-esteem.
How Important are Mom Support Groups?
Expectant mothers can carefully prepare for childbirth: study literature and attending courses for pregnant women. Such efforts do not guarantee that a woman will not face unexpected difficulties after childbirth. There are frequent cases when a mother needs help and support after the second or third birth.
Thematic support groups for young mothers cannot be called friendly gatherings. Often they are organized by a curator. He leads meetings from a position of “equals” with other members of the organization. The facilitator regulates communication and ensures that the participant is not subjected to psychological pressure from other members.
Support group members see themselves from the outside. They notice typical problems that most moms face. Women understand that they are not alone with their failures and fears. Communicating in communities is often more effective than working with a psychologist.
Overcome the burnout syndrome in a young mother – Women complain about the monotony after the birth of a child. Every day is like the previous one. Mom does not have weekends or holidays on maternity leave. This leads to a state of devastation and moral decline. She gets ideas from the support group on how to diversify her maternity leave.
Prevent the consequences of postpartum depression – Often the symptoms of postpartum depression are confused with ordinary fatigue. A woman can compare her feelings and emotions by listening to stories about the experiences of other mothers. Meetings help you understand yourself and find the strength to turn to a specialist.
Raise self-esteem – Many women blame themselves for imperfection. They manage to understand at meetings that mothers cannot be perfect. Women have the right to fatigue, bad mood, and personal desires. Groups help to change the attitude toward one’s imperfection, forgive oneself for mistakes, to accept the help of loved ones.
Fight anxiety – One of the main fears of young mothers is the fear for the health of the child. Sometimes anxiety gets in the way of living a full life. More experienced moms in help groups share their secrets to overcoming similar phobias.
Build relationships with a partner – Roles in the family change after the birth of a child. Household chores fall on the woman and she ceases to contribute the former income to the joint budget. Young mothers often face financial difficulties and difficulties in communicating with a partner. Group therapy helps to find the source of the problem and ways to overcome it.
Find the necessary specialists – It can be difficult for women in labor to establish breastfeeding, and to find a good pediatrician, or masseur for the baby. Women at meetings share contacts of trusted doctors, rehabilitation centers, development centers, etc.
Where to Find Mom Support Groups?
Information about support groups for new mothers is available in the public domain thanks to the Internet. Social networks organize online communities. Many groups work in a closed format, that is, the personal information of the participants is protected from distribution.
Psychological support groups for mothers operate based in private clinics. Meetings for women are organized by qualified psychologists. Offline group therapy has a limited number of participants (5-10 people). The community follows the rules. The main rules are respected for the feelings of other members of the group and confidentiality.
What is Shared and Discussed at Mom groups?
Women discuss issues of infant health and physical and mental development of children in support groups for mothers. Experienced mothers share tips and life hacks to simplify life, improve sleep, and recipes for a children’s menu.
Communities discuss the mental health of mothers, the state of anxiety, and the possibility of realization on maternity leave. Many moms find the strength to turn a hobby into a business. Women receive useful recommendations for advertising products and expanding their customer base.
There are no taboo topics in closed communities. Young mothers find a place where they can share their innermost fears and intimate questions. Women understand that they will not be judged for not being ideal, fatigued, postpartum depression. This incites to bring up topics that are not customary to talk about aloud.
The most common discussions in support groups are:
- establishing an intimate life after childbirth
- change in libido, new sensations in sexual life
- bringing the body into shape after the birth of children
- women’s diseases and ways to deal with them
- development of children with individual needs
- ways of self-realization on maternity leave
- pros and cons of early childhood development
- criteria for choosing a nanny
Online vs In-Person Mom Support Groups?
Support meetings for moms are held offline and online. Each method of organizing meetings has its pros and cons. Women can choose a more convenient meeting format. Meetings in the traditional mode in small groups give mom an excuse to leave the house. Meetings become an outlet from the routine.
The negative factor is the need to leave the baby with a nanny. Additional travel time to and from the meeting point will be required. It is not always possible to attend group support if the child is often sick. Missing meetings negatively affect the emotional state of the mother.
Conducting events online allows you to attend the session despite the circumstances at home. This format of work is suitable for mothers who are not able to leave their children with grandmothers or a nanny. A woman saves time on fees and travel. The disadvantage of online groups is the lack of live contact with other participants.
What do Moms Say after attending Support Groups?
Support groups for mothers help women find answers to their concerns and debunk popular myths about child development. Many women are hesitant to sign up for group therapy.
Event organizers insist that keeping a problem quiet is not the same as solving it. Recently, women have decided to discuss the topics of mental health, the difficulties of motherhood, and pressure from society. Support groups provide an opportunity to speak out about sore issues without the risk of shaming.
Young mothers respond positively to participating in support groups. They felt relief after the first communication with other women.
Be heard – Talking about sore among strangers is easier than with relatives. Curators ask the “right” questions so that a person can see the problem from the other side. Members of the group do not condemn other mothers but provide them with moral support.
Overcome self-doubt and doubt regarding childcare – A lot of advice from relatives about feeding, bathing, and complementary foods is pouring on a young mother. Excess information prevents you from making the right decisions. Communication with a support group helps to understand the uniqueness of each child and care for him.
Find support – Understanding, and empathy for participants with mental problems and mothers of children with individual needs. Members of the group help to understand that a woman is not left alone with her problem.
Feel a surge of strength, vivacity, awakening interest in life – Communication in a friendly atmosphere in a circle of people with similar problems helps to get rid of fatigue. Sessions give a boost of energy for new achievements.
Groups for young mothers help a woman adapt to a new status and period in life. A community of like-minded people guarantees support and understanding of other people’s problems. Experienced curators ask leading questions. Women understand the causes of the difficulties of motherhood because of this. Participants are guaranteed non-disclosure of personal information.