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 NEW MOMS
BANANAS Support Groups | Offered periodically on the “parent workshops” calendar, moms will get to share their feelings, ask questions, and build friendships with one another. Facilitated by Alexis Azzam, MFT. Check schedule to find the next group >
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>
Then Comes Baby | This sweet spot for moms in the Grand Lake area of Oakland offers a full schedule of classes from prenatal to Potty Training as well as support and connection groups. See the website >
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. Learn more >
JCC Group “Nitzanim” | This weekly facilitated group will go for 6 or 8 weeks. All parents, adoptive, LQBTQ, single, and their babies 0-12 months are welcome. For more information or to register.
New baby support groups | Whether baby is first or second or third baby in your family, these support groups facilitated by Natashia Fuksman associated with Golden Oak Midwives. See schedule to find next group >
Bay Area Babywearers | Group with monthly meet ups. 1) in Berkeley – 3rd Saturday ~ 11am-1pm for kids of all baby-wearing ages at Totland. 2) in Oakland times vary. Website for this group >
ACTIVITY-BASED GROUPS FOR NEW PARENTS
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.
Baby Bootcamp | These classes coach postpartum women through a fun outdoor workout with their jogging strollers. The current schedule has classes at Lake Temescal and near Lake Merritt.
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 0-4. 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 round-up of East Bay storytimes to see if there's one you want to try.
Toddler classes | So many cool places offer play classes for parent/babies for pre-crawlers on up in so many subject areas. Get inspired on our Class guide for preschoolers, toddlers, and babies.
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.