Are you looking for a new moms group but don’t want to be sucked into online social media drama? Searching for genuine support and real life mom friends? Discover seven alternative options that can help you navigate motherhood and find your tribe.
Not all new moms groups are equal.
I’ve made some incredible friends and worked my way through some pretty rough moments as a new parent by joining the right support groups.
At the same time, I’ve been shamed, ridiculed, and made to feel like a failure. Mostly by the mommy police, lurking behind their computer screens in those Facebook mom groups.
When desperate for guidance, I fell down the rabbit hole of online critics and mom shamers.
I’ve been told to let my child cry it out, to co-sleep, that cosleeping is dangerous, that I’m causing my child trauma by night weaning, that my car seat should be in the middle seat, it should be behind the passenger seat, to only use a carseat on the plane, to rent carseats at our destination, that I’m wearing my baby wrong, my laundry detergent is wrong, my son’s shoes don’t fit, his pediatrician is no good…
I’m exhausted and need a glass of wine…don’t tell my facebook mom group.
We wonder why mothers feel like they can’t win. Why they feel isolated.
New moms groups are at our fingertips online. They should be so useful, but instead they end up making us feel like sh*t.
So, I want let you know where I found actual support so you can too! There are legitimate new moms groups and organizations out there, ready and willing to provide what new moms need. Ready to make some mom friends?
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So, Should You Join a New Moms Group on Social Media or Skip It?
I’m not saying that all online parenting forums are bad. But armchair critics love to prey on inexperienced and vulnerable new moms.
There are some pretty unhelpful, self-serving, and down right vile new moms groups on Facebook. THERE, I SAID IT.
Most of the time, they won’t serve you.
Especially ones with the word natural. … or holistic, crunchy, granola etc. You get it.
Okay, so before you think I do horrible things like vaccinate my kids and feed them chicken nuggets, let me explain.
Also, I’m kidding. My kids have their shots…but we’ll get to that.
I always joke that I’m half granola mom, half wine mom. Sure, I love to kick back with my glass of wine, but I also make my own baby food, breastfeed, babywear, and practice mindfulness with my kids. You know, balance.
Joining a Facebook group for new, holistically minded moms sounded like it would be a great resource.
On my second day as an online group member, someone inquired about a local pediatrician who was okay with spacing out vaccines. Mistakenly, I suggested our pediatrician because we gave only the TDAP shot at one visit.
I kid you not, I was slammed for “believing that shots actually protects against whooping cough.” Slews of Young Living reps came forward with their own essential oil remedies, should anyone’s child come down with pertussis.
And, you guessed it, the crunchiest of crunchy moms cited Web MD as their source. Ohhh the librarian in me…
Anyway, definitely don’t discuss vaccines on a Facebook mommy group.
Facebook, however, can be a great starting point for connection. Many of the resources listed below have social media pages for their local chapters.
There’s nothing wrong with joining a social media page to see what a group is all about. It’s also an accessible source should you need quick advice or guidance.
They’re not the be all, end all, though.
Positive and supportive new moms groups are out there, online and in person. Read on for my favorite new moms groups and parent resources that you might not have considered.
7 Uplifting Options if You’re Looking To Join a New Moms Group
Visit Your Local Library
As a librarian who ran children’s groups and family programs for nine years, I can promise you that your library is an untapped mommy resource.
Obviously your public library is a haven of information. Behavior manuals, potty training guides, baby food recipe books…
But did you know that your library also has the social interaction you’ve been looking for as a new mom?
For years, I ran storytimes and play groups while watching shy, new moms slowly start to open up and become friendly. When you see the same faces in toddler time every week, you naturally start making friends.
Parents that have met in my baby groups are still meeting weekly for playdates well into elementary school. Their friendships and their childrens’ are real.
I personally made my first friend in Texas at my public library. We get together at least twice a week with our two kids.
Join a Local Nursing Group
If it weren’t for my nursing group, our breastfeeding journey would have ended before we made it home from the hospital.
For years, I went back to the advice I was given in that group from a bunch of struggling, vulnerable women and one seriously awesome nurse / lactation consultant.
There’s two reasons that I love nursing groups.
One, we’re all struggling with the same thing. There’s this base line of understanding and support just by being in the room with other women needing the same thing as you.
Two, an actual professional is providing service, usually free of charge.
Where Can You Find a Local Nursing Group?
- Find your local La Leche League chapter here
- Ask your OBGYN or child’s pediatrician – many have lactation consultants on site
- Search local hospitals for events and meetings – you often don’t need to deliver at the hospital to use the service, either
- Call your insurance company to see if they cover personal lactation and for a list of resources
Wear All the Babies in a Babywearing Group
You know how I feel about babywearing. It literally saves my life and gives me the ability to be hands free to cook, clean, and get stuff done for my older son while keeping my baby close.
Babywearing takes getting used to though. Local groups and chapters of international organizations are a great resource if you want to get the hang of ring slings, wraps, and soft structured carriers.
You’ll also meet a ton of other cool, bas-ass, babywearing mamas at in-person meet-ups and online. A quick search will yield results for community based and carrier/manufacturer specific groups.
Surprisingly, you might also find fun meet-ups like babywearing fitness classes.
Where Can You Find a Babywearing Group?
- Ergobaby has a great list of groups by state here
- Babywearing International is a go-to resource with 80+ local divisions
Join a Group Exercise or Yoga Class for New Moms
My favorite place to find a new moms group while doing something I already loved was at a yoga studio!
Most yoga studios and many gyms offer pre-natal, post-natal, and baby and me yoga classes, as well. Yoga is an incredible way to reconnect to your own body before or after giving birth while baby and me classes gently incorporate simple exercise moves you can replicate at home with your baby.
If you’re an avid exerciser, consider finding a mom friendly class and hooking up with your fellow yogis.
Alternatively, exercise classes specifically for moms with their babies exist, too. Brands like Fit4Mom and Baby Boot Camp coordinate and lead group runs, pilates, and total body workouts all while your baby rests in her stroller. Prenatal body workouts and post-partum resets are part of their repertoire, as well.
Where Can You Find Mommy and Me Exercise Classes
- Fit4Mom’s trademarked stroller based workouts, like StrollerStrides and StrollerBarre, along with an eight week post partum reset and prenatal courses can be found by location here
- Baby Boot Camp’s core based workouts (including diastasis repair), running club, nutrition programs, and annual challenge can be found by location here
- Check out local yoga studios, gyms, and even public libraries to find baby friendly fitness classes
If You Have Twins/Multiples, Join Multiples of America
Multiples of America, also called The National Organization of Mothers of Twins Clubs, offers support specifically for parents of twins and multiples.
Navigating parenthood with one new baby is hard enough. I couldn’t imagine being a new mom of twins or triples without a genuine, supportive new moms group.
This non-profit supports parents of multiples across the country with their thriving local chapters. Multiples of America also works with leading researchers involved in multiple-related studies.
Where Can You Join Multiples of America?
- You can search by zip code and find a local club here
Find a Local MOPs International Group
MOPs’ mission is simple: gather and support moms. Though the acronym is short for Mothers of Preschoolers, groups are available for expecting mothers, mothers of infants, preschoolers, and even school aged children.
Recognizing that seven in ten mothers feel isolated, MOPs creates intentional spaces to connect. By uniting church spaces, group leaders, and mothers, MOPs takes care of everything so you can find the support you need.
You simply need to show up.
But if you’re looking to start your own moms groups, MOPs is there to hold your hand through the launch process. They provide training, resources, and coaching to help new group leaders engage mothers and their community.
*There is typically a joining fee $31.95. Some groups may also provide childcare, which can incur additional fees.
Where Can You Find a MOPS International Group Near You?
Become a Member of Your Local Church
Your community church might have more than you realize for families.
Since I’m not the most religious person on the planet, I often overlook the benefits of joining a church. Living in Texas – which is more religiously oriented – has reminded me of the many services local churches can offer.
For one, a church is set up to be a community of support. In addition to attending worship services, your church leaders want you to get involved and make friends.
Many churches will provide free childcare during church service or for community meetings, like bible studies or volunteer opportunities.
You may be able to join a new moms group specifically, or find a women’s support group with other mothers.