It’s no secret. Life as a new mom can be lonely. And that loneliness is terrible for new moms and can impact their postpartum experience.
It really helps in the early days to find at least one or two moms you connect with that “get it.” Its great if you have family or friends who also have young children. But it’s even better if you their child is close in age to your child, you have a similar feeding goal, you live in close proximity, you share a religious background or even a cultural background. Sometimes having someone “like you,”- in which ever way empowers you- in your corner can make a huge difference.
Especially when it comes to your feeding goals. Whether you choose to breastfeed, formula feed, pump and bottle feed or your own unique combo, support is critical to your success.
But life as a new mom is lonely. Especially in the first days and weeks when your life is mostly baby care, feeding, mom care and resting at home and the occasional appointment or outing.
And if you’ve chosen to breastfeed, it can definitely get boring (yes. i said it. pumping too). Especially in the newborn stage when nursing sessions can last anywhere from 15 to 45 minutes (or longer! I’m looking at you clusterfeeding).
Day to day challenges may arise that may have you questioning your choices, no matter how strong your will. Having a friend/cheerleader in your corner who really gets what you’re going will help you keep your goals in the focus. They can also affirm things that are normal or not and also suggest solutions, tools or resources you maybe hadn’t thought of. They can also keep you flexible in your expectations and help bring light and laughter when things start to get rough.
Once you feel up for it, getting out of the house and into your community is a great way to build your mom skills and find that breastfeeding bestie you need to get you through the toughest times.
Your local library or bookstore may have a storytime or playgroup for young children. In Prince George’s County, MD, the public library system hosts story time based on your child’s age. This can be a great place to meet moms of babies the same age as your baby and to get some much needed adult socialization.
Local Lactation Resources
Check with your local birth center and lactation resources for classes, support groups and events in your community.
In Maryland, Special Beginnings Womens and Birth Center is a great start. In addition to on staff Lactation Consultants, they also have a breastfeeding boutique, teach a Breastfeeding Basics Class and host a Mamas Group for new moms on the first Friday of each month.
Lactation Consultants and Counselors
Some private lactation consultants host their own support groups for the breastfeeding moms they are working with. Crowned and Cradled hosts a monthly support group in the Bowie, MD area.
Events during awareness weeks like World Breastfeeding Week and Black Breastfeeding Week are a great place to find like-minded parents when it comes to your feeding goals. You can also practice feeding your baby in public with the support of other moms who know how it feels right by your side.
So I encourage you to get out in your community and connect with the new moms you are meeting. I know it’s hard making friends as an adult but I also know that you are going to be a mom and through that process you will find so much strength.