Support groups provide new moms much-needed help
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.
“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.”
About the Author
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!