When Bastian was born I thought everything from sleeping to eating would be pretty simple to figure out…boy was I wrong. My best advice to any new mom would be – find a support group. Methodist Women's Hosptial offers a free breastfeeding support group twice a week. It provides education and reassurance to new moms with babies ages newborn to 12 months.
The first time I went to Baby and Me, Bastian was only 10 days old. The support group was recommended to me by a lactation consultant that I spoke with at the hospital because of my difficulties breastfeeding. The whole premise of the support group is to see how much breast milk they are drinking, by weighing your baby before and after you breastfeed, and ask a lactation consultant any questions you may have. I remember being nervous, not only to take him there but to be anywhere by my self. I felt disheveled and scatter-brained walking into the room…probably because I hadn't had much sleep the last 10 days. All the moms were sitting in a big circle on the floor with their precious babies laying out in front of them. Some of the older babies were on their tummies perked up and smiling, while others were screaming and ready to eat. I took a spot in the corner where no one would notice me fumbling trying to breastfeed in public. Bastian was screaming, of course haha, I was sweating, but I got him weighed and fed by the end of the class. Sitting there in my "holy cow I don't know what I am doing" state and looking around at the mom's with older babies, i though man, they really got it together! I remember thinking, if I can just make it to "that" stage, where they are "good" then I will be golden! If I would have only known that EVERY stage has it's challenges haha.
The lactation consultants were always so helpful, and I felt as though I could ask any question and no one would judge me. As Bastian got older and breastfeeding became more comfortable, I began to questions about sleep, naps, bedtime routines, going back to work, storing milk, pumping, emotions, solid food, poop (because every mom somehow becomes obsessed with their child's poop) behavior, traveling with baby, activities, toys, car seats and anything and everything a mom could and would ever have a question about. All the moms could chime in and talk about what worked or didn't work for them. Being a first-time mom, I had questions about everything! Baby and Me began to feel like a community. I always felt at ease being around other moms going through the same thing as me. I wasn't the only one!
Now after over 9 months of attending the group, friendships and our babies have grown. Now Bastian and his little friends crawl all around the room, play, steal each others toys and sometimes give kisses. When I see new moms with their newborns come to class, probably feeling the same way I did, it makes me smile. Their babies are so new and tiny and I can't imagine Bastian ever being that small! I love to hear their questions and feel like I can add some comfort to their situation. There is nothing pretentious about any of the moms giving advice. No one feels like their way is the best, because once you are a mom you realize, you have to do what works for you and your baby. Having more experiences shared makes for a more relatable group.
Sure, I could look-up questions I have, but there is nothing like hearing it out of another mom's mouth. They have been there, done that and they survived. Bastian will soon "graduate" from Baby and Me (tear). Some of the moms with babies similar in age have decided to continue our comradery with a group we call "Toddler and Me". Because seriously, as a new mom, you get by with a little help from other moms.