Support groups provide new moms much-needed help

Support groups provide new moms much-needed help

How many hours does he sleep at night? Is she having trouble feeding? Do you ever feel overwhelmed?

The questions just keep coming. Support groups, like the one at Kohl’s Children’s Museum in Glenview, Ill., bring new parents together for some great conversation about their new arrival.

The support group is called Baby and Me Time and is a partnership between the museum and Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill.

Sitting on the floor, surrounded by their adorable babies, these first-time moms, and sometimes dads, all share a common bond. They have just entered parenthood and need some reliable advice.

“It’s so nice to have the experience of other mothers; another perspective,” says Kirsten Cecchin of Buffalo Grove, Ill. Five-month old Crystal is Kirsten’s first child. “I don’t currently have a lot of friends with children right now. It just helps to talk to other moms.”

“We share milestones,” says Sarah Coleman, of Des Plaines, Ill. “Abigail is only seven weeks old, so these moms really are helping me know what I should expect in the months ahead. My life right now revolves around eating, sleeping and pooping. I need to talk to adults. I really look forward to group each week.”

Kristen St. John from Park Ridge, Ill., agrees. She says sometimes she feels secluded as a new mother and getting out of the house with 5-month old Brody really helps.

The babies also appear to enjoy the outing. Five-month old Brody is trying very hard to get 5-month old Crystal to notice him. In the meantime, the moms are sharing their struggles with breastfeeding and nap time.

Nicole Wong of Mount Prospect, Ill., would love some advice on how to get 2-month old Isaac to sleep an extra few hours at overnight. Listening intently is Kathleen Woodward of Buffalo Grove. The answer will help with 6-week-old Marcus. The other mothers chime in with suggestions.

The group is moderated by a nurse, who barely gets a word in edgewise. “And that’s exactly the way I like it,” says Cheryl Oakdale, registered nurse and coordinator of childbirth classes at Lutheran General Hospital. “There’s nothing formal, no agenda, here. I help with introductions and give some professional advice, as needed. But it is always the moms who are running the show.”

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  1. Lynn Hutley

    I think every new mom needs an outlet like this. And don’t shy away from approaching experienced moms either. They have lived through it and often have great suggestions that your overtired brain can’t come up with.

  2. Pretty sure I would have been lost without my “mommy” friends. Experienced and 1st timers, each one brought valuable insight. It’s always a good feeling to know that you are not alone!

  3. Lisa Parro

    While message boards and the online community also provide great support, it doesn’t beat talking through problems face to face at support groups like this.

About the Author

Evonne Woloshyn
Evonne Woloshyn

Evonne Woloshyn, health enews contributor, is director of public affairs at Advocate Children's Hospital. Evonne began her career as an anchor and reporter in broadcast news. Over the past 20 years, she has worked in health care marketing in both Ohio and Illinois. Evonne loves to travel, spend time with family and is an avid Pittsburgh Steelers fan!