When I joined Support Group For Mothers back in 2004, I had one simple goal: to make a friend with the same-age baby. I knew I was about to meet ten women with babies close in age to mine, and I thought, “If I truly like just one of them, this will be money well spent.” The support of fellow postpartum women turned out to be invaluable, but I was just thinking it would be nice to have someone to hang out with while I was on maternity leave.
I liked ALL of them, and a some of us still get together. There’s nothing that warms my heart more than running into another eight-year old when I have mine in tow and reminding the kids that they were in the same “Moms Group”.
Looking for an opening to connect with other new mothers? Here are some resources, divided between support groups and activity groups:
Support Groups For Mothers | Facilitated weekly meetings put new moms on a path to a support group and a baby-friendly social life in these non-hospital affiliated groups. Learn more>
Alta Bates new parents groups | For brand-new moms recovering from childbirth. Here’s the schedule for drop-in breastfeeding support at Alta Bates (first session is free). And here are details for new parent support groups at Alta Bates.
Kaiser new parents support groups | Groups are facilitated by a lactation consultant or licensed therapist. Here are days and times for Hayward and Union City. Here are the days and times for Oakland.
La Leche League meetings | Dedicated to supporting breastfeeding, you’ll find locations and details on their interactive map, which includes groups for Alameda and Oakland/Berkeley.
Birthways | This Berkeley organization offers prenatal classes, but also new mom’s support groups that meet for a 6-week series.
Bay Area Babywearers | Group with monthly meet ups in the East Bay for kids of all baby-wearing ages
Mindful Moms | Runs 5-week sessions in Oakland for moms – at any stage of motherhood – who want to practice meditation techniques. This is for moms who can attend without children in tow. Details are here>
Mom and baby yoga classes | Drop-in to any postpartum yoga class and find a supportive environment to spend time with your baby among other moms. If you’re shy, you might find it hard to meet women this way, but keep showing up and the same faces will become familiar. We love Yogalayam’s postnatal yoga class in Berkeley, near the Oakland border.
East Bay Moms | This organization is subscription based and hosts hikes every Friday plus more activities throughout the month. Learn more>
Baby Bootcamp | These classes coach postpartum women through a fun outdoor workout with their jogging strollers. The current schedule is 9:30 am Monday through Friday at Lake Temescal; Saturdays at 9:30 am at Joaquin Miller Park.
Epworth Playgroups | Missed the boat when your baby was an infant? For toddlers, these groups have sessions and meet in the playroom of a church in North Berkeley. There is no religious component to the playgroups. Find out how to join >
Lotus Bloom | A child and family resource center in Oakland with playgroups for kids 0-5. Learn more >
MeetUp.com allows you to look for an existing group near you or start your own. Hoping to find fellowship among mothers of color, working moms, lesbian moms, triathlete moms, or moms with babies who have special needs? Meet Up is a great tool for that. Learn more>
Library storytimes | For babies over 6 months, there are baby-friendly circle time activities at nearly every East Bay library. Check our East Bay activities calendar to see if there’s one you want to try.
Berkeley Rose School | This Waldorf school offers infant play classes for babies and Parent/Toddler classes for walkers through age 3. Get details.
tum-e-time | 4-week sessions offer new parents tips on infant massage, baby songs, and tips on how to spend time together. See dates, times, and locations.