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New Parents' Support Groups
I'm looking for a new mom's support group.
I'm looking for a new mom's support group in Berkeley or close by. Has anyone
attended a new mom's support group at Birthways in Berkeley? What was your
experience? Did you foster lasting relationships with the other Moms in the group?
Do you have any other suggestions for groups?
I've attended new moms groups at Bananas, Support Group for Mothers, and Kaiser
Oakland. I really liked the Bananas group and we continued to meet afterwards, but
things sort of fizzled out when everyone went back to work. The Kaiser Oakland group
was pretty good, and people kept in touch afterwards, but it's large and sometimes a
little chaotic (but it's free). I wouldn't recommend Support Group for Mothers -- it
was really expensive, the facilitator was flaky, and we didn't keep in touch
afterwards (the facilitator had said she would help with this and then we never
heard from her again). I suggest checking out the free groups before you pay for
I did Support Group for Mothers: http://www.supportgroupformothers.com/index.php
It's been almost two years and we are still in regular contact with each other
(we started a Google group and that helped). I'm sure that some of it is luck,
but my group is full of wonderful, smart women. We are always asking advice,
sharing tips, and keeping updated on all the kiddos. Good luck!
I'm hoping people can share their experiences with Gina Hassan's Mindful Mothering
Group and Support Group for Mothers, specifically the groups for second time moms.
Would you recommend them for a second time mom, if so, which one and why? If not,
please share your thoughts and opinions.
I'm considering joining one but I'm not sure if I'll have the time, energy or the
interest once the baby is here, though it seems like a nice idea now (I also have a
toddler who will be at preschool part time).
Lastly, if anyone has any recommendations or advice for second time moms with
toddlers, please share!
Cant recommend Gina Hassan's 2nd Time Moms/mindful mothering enough. Well
facilitated and a good combination of sharing, skill-building/mindfulness
experiential stuff, and support. I actually did Support Group for Mothers with my
first child and didn't like the facilitator-- nice lady and all but I didn't find
it all that insightful. Mindfulness practice, by the way, is very accessible --I
wasn't sure if it was my kind of thing before I experienced it. Whatever you
choose, I do think a group for 2nd time moms is great b/c it's quite a different
thing than the first time around... Best wishes! Another Mama
I looked into both of these. Unfortunately neither group had enough people for
''quorum'' to actually start the group so I dont have feedback on the groups
themselves. That said, based on previous experience with her individually and
the communication I did get, I would recommend Gina's group other the Support
Group for Mothers for exactly the reason you mention in your post.
In terms of whether to do it at all, Id say if the opportunity is there, you
should do it. The baby basics are not so bad this time, whats really hard is
managing the two child dynamic when the older sibling is still young. I wish I
had more people to talk to about this. It will be a nice time to connect with
other mamas while your older is in school.
Hope this helps!
New Challenges the Second Time Around
I'm home with baby #2 for her first year and at barely one month in I'm
desperate for some adult interaction! I noticed some posts about new
mom/parents' groups when I was still expecting back in January but can't seem
find quite the right fit now. This is baby #2 for me, born in early February,
and I have an older son in preschool. I'd love to get together with other
parents during the weekdays, maybe once or twice a week, who are also home
newborns. I live in Oakland but am willing to travel throughout the immediate
east bay for walks, coffee dates, shopping, etc. If interested or if you know
a group that might fit my needs, feel free to email me. I'd prefer a free
obviously, but would consider a group with a small fee as well. Thanks in
I wanted to recommend BRIDGES Moms Group http://www.bridgesmomsgroup.com/
This group is facilitated by Emily Shenson who is a Bay Area doula (actually my doula for
both of my children's births). I was in a similar boat as you last year after the birth
of my son and was seeking a group to join. BRIDGES was a great fit and I met other Moms
some first time, some 2nd time and we became very close (I'm still in contact with most
today). This group may be more structured than you were looking for, but I believe it
opens the doors for additional outings and activities, not to mention an immediate group
of babies within the same age-range as your baby. I truly valued my time in this group
and I would sign-up again if I ever have another baby.
And I wish you good luck in your search. Sincerely,
2nd time mom's group
I joined a fantastic mom's group when I had my frist son. I had my second two weeks ago,
and I'd love to join a second time mom's group, but I'm having a hard time finding one.
Does anyone have any suggestions? I have to go back to work in Febuary, so it would need
to start relatively soon.
I recently did a second-time moms group with Support Group for Mothers, and it was a
big disappointment. I felt the facilitator was ineffective and unreliable (not to
mention that she changed the start date for the group and didn't let us know until the
day it was supposed to start, and she was pretty bad about responding to emails in a
timely manner, if she even responded at all). That was the only second-time moms group
I could find. I hope you have better luck than I did. Anon
I can't remember the original posting but Gina Hassan does ''mindful mothering''
groups and she does a 2nd time moms group. I haven't been a 2nd time mom yet
but had a great experience in her mindful mothering group.
Wondering if there are Mommy and Me or New Parents groups in Emeryville or Berkeley? I have
a lovely new baby not quite six months old. My husband and I have decided that I will stay at
home for a couple of years to devote time to raising our baby and possibly return to work when
it is time for preschool. I am interested in learning about community gatherings and resources
for new parents and their babies. Thank you!
Happy New Mom in Emeryville
I used to go to the mother's group in Alta Bates hospital. They have 2 mom and
baby sessions- one for babies under 6 months and one for babies over 6 month.
Its not very expensive ($10 per session). It was a great way to make friends and
get to know more about the community. Here is the link
Mom's group for a first time Mom
I'm looking for a recommendation for a Mom's group for a first time Mom.
Hi! I'm looking for a moms group to join:)
My baby is 9wks old and we would love to meet other moms & babies. We are
located in the Lake Merritt area. If there is an existing group or some people
are interested in forming a group, please contact me:)Thanks for your Suggestions
I joined Bridges new moms' group led by Emily Shenson (also my doula!) and
cannot imagine becoming a new mom without this amazing group. We meet weekly
at Emily's home and she facilitates the group. She knows how to create a safe
and fun place for incredible women to gather, share and grow. Having a laid-
back and experienced facilitator allows us to open up more and bond in a way
that is truly unique. Emily's also an invaluable source of support and
resources for new parents. Here's a link to more information:
Tulip Grove offers a wonderful mom's group for new moms. Kim
You might want to look into MOMS Club of Oakland. Most of our activities are
weekdays so it is great for stay-at-home moms (or those who work part-time).
Email email@example.com for more information.
If your baby is younger than about 5 months, I'd recommend Support Group for
One baby in our group was 10 days old at the first meeting, and mine was
5 months; 2 months old was about average.
It's a fantastic support group for new moms. There is a fee, but for me it was
totally worth it to really connect with other moms, and the facilitation
with that. Our group is still in frequent contact and we often plan group
I whole-heartedly recommend Bridges Moms Group, www.bridgesmomsgroup.com.
This is a fantastic group facilitated by Emily Shenson a doula who works in
the Bay Area (who I also highly recommend). This is a great group because it
provides a safe, nonjudgmental environment for moms to discuss concerns,
fears, strengths as well as learn and grow with other women. It is a place
where you establish long-lasting, valuable friendships, that will continue to
grow as your babies do. If you have questions you can visit the website
posted above, or call Emily at (510) 224-7255. Marie
If you are looking to join an amazing moms group, you should check out
BRIDGES. The website is http://www.bridgesmomsgroup.com/ The group is run by
Emily Shenson. Emily has been a birth and postpartum doula for 13 years and
she knows her stuff! She is mentioned by other people in reference to her
doula work on other parts of this site. We originally hired Emily to be our
postpartum doula but it turned out we didn't need help at night because we got
lucky with a super easy newborn. When we met Emily, I told her I was looking
for a good moms group where I wasn't going to feel like everyone was just
comparing their babies and just being sort of competetive in general
(something I've heard from other moms about these sorts of groups). Emily
mentioned that she ran her own group and that it was the opposite of what I
described. I am SOOOOO glad I listened. BRIDGES has been the best thing I have
done since becoming a mom (10 weeks ago). It might just be one of the best
things I have ever been a part of. This group is uplifting and empowering.
Emily always says, I hoped it would be the best part of your week, but I never
realized it would be the best part of my week too''. She is so right. I think
everyone in our group right now would agree that we all look so forward to our
meetings every week. The group lasts for 8 sessions and every single one is
just as special and moving as the last. It is blatantly obvious that Emily has
put a tremendous amount of thought and work into creating a safe, warm,
inviting,and uplifting environment for new moms in this group. The group is
very small, she limits it to 8 people and she holds it in her home in
Lafayette (also another one in the city), so it is intimate and you can really
get to know the other women deeply. I am currently in two other moms groups
and there is absolutely no comparison when it comes to BRIDGES. They feel just
shallow and somewhat sloppy, and the facilitators haven't promoted any sort of
relationship building beyond introductions. And it's not just that Emily has
put a lot of thought/work into making each meeting special, it's also just her
spirit. She is able to make women appreciate each other and promote
friendships in people who maybe would have never thought they would have had a
connection. If you are looking for a moms group where you will likely build
lifelong bonds and feel like you are a part of something really special in
this precious new chapter of your life, check out the BRIDGES website and give
Emily a call. It's been one of the best experiences of my life!
I've loved the Bridges Moms Group I've been a part of for the past
several weeks. Emily Shenson, a birth and postpartum doula, facilitates
the group and, although I know I could have have joined an unfacilitated
group, I've valued the time Emily puts into organizing each session. She
really stresses building a safe space to share and it has been great to
have a place to talk freely about everything from the transition to
motherhood to sleep techniques to intimacy with my partner post-baby I
feel like I'm walking away from the group with a better sense of who I
want to be as a mom ... and with some great fellow moms with whom to
share in the journey. Bridges' website is www.bridgesmomsgroup.com; you
can also reach Emily Shenson at (510) 224-7255. Congratulations on your
new baby, Katie!
A close friend of mine and her husband have just become
parents for their grandchildren. The grandchildren have had
to relocate to Berkeley, start new schools, develop
Does anyone know of a support group for my friend and her
husband? I know there are many grandparents who are raising
their grandchildren and are the primary caretakers.
Habitot Children's Museum has a number of active parent
support groups for non-traditional parents who don't feel
comfortable in standard parent groups (eg multiracial
families, LGBTQ parents, etc.) and is planning to start a
group for grandparents as caregivers. This group would be
aimed at grandparents of preschool aged children, however.
Contact Susana at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
We will have a baby girl in May. And would like to join a new
born parents group in El Sobrante, Albany area. Any
new born parents
Congratulations on the anticipated arrival of your baby girl! My
daughter was born in May of 2005 and when she was five weeks old, I
joined a new mom's group through ''Support Group for Mothers''--an
East Bay tradition of facilitated groups for local moms. Three years
later...we are still meeting (this is not uncommon, as the SGFM groups
have a strong tradition of longevity, which I love). To be completely
transparent, I now facilitate these first-time groups for moms and
their newborns in Oakland for Support Group for Mothers, and can share
with you, that joining a support group is a wonderful thing to
do...for your whole family. You can learn more about how the groups
work here: http://www.supportgroupformothers.com/.
I'll just give you some
quick info. There are groups forming in May, June and July very close
to you in Albany - right by San Pablo & Solano Avenues. Groups are put
together based on baby's birthdate and where you live, which makes for
amazing connection. The women who facilitate the groups near you
(Jennifer, Molly and Miracle) are incredible - all mothers with lots of
professional and personal newborn care experience--you can read about
I just ended a group yesterday, and all of the moms shared how much
they have valued our group, sharing ideas and experiences, and getting
out in the world together with their babies. I have no doubt they will
continue to help each other out and have fun parenting with new
support. If you have questions or want to talk with Jennifer or B
about the groups, call 868-2617 or send an email via the website. Good
luck to you during this last month of pregnancy - such a time of
anticipation and growth as you await meeting your daughter.
Best wishes for a wonderful birth,
Elisa (mom and group facilitator)
I have seen a listing for a mindful mothering or parenting
support group through this network before, but haven't seen
it posted recently. Has anyone participated in it, and if so,
what was your experience and how can I reach the person
We took a mindful childbirth class with a woman named Nancy
Bardacke (which was great) - and I wouldn't be surprised if she
also did mindful parenting classes...
I have attended Yvonne Mansell's group ''Mindfulness and
Mothering'' for the last six months. She does a wonderful job of
providing warmth and wisdom in reflecting on mindfulness and
parenting. I've also enjoyed reading the Kabat-Zinn's
book ''Everyday Blessings'' as part of the group. The group meets
monthly and Yvonne asks for a 3 month commitment. The next
block starts in about a month, so it's a good time to contact
You can reach Yvonne by e-mail: ymansell AT earthlink.net or phone
I have been a part of the mindful parenting (moms) group since last fall and it is
based on readings from Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn's book Everyday Blessings. We
meet once a month on a Saturday from 10 -12. The woman who facilitates the
group is Yvonne Mansell, she can be reached at her email
I have really enjoyed the connection with the other women in the group (there are
generally 5 of us there-including Yvonne). We discuss issues that come up for us in
our parenting and how mindfulness can and does play a part in our learning about
and understanding our children and ourselves. Participating in the group and
reading the book have been very positive experiences for me. Yvonne will be able to
give you more information when you contact her directly.
A great resource regarding parenting issues is Helen Lockwood.
She is a marriage and family therapist doing individual and
family counseling, is also a therapist at a school for special
needs children, where she works with kids and parents; and also
has a parent coaching practice. I have found her behavior-
oriented approach concise and compassionate. I recommend her
I participated in the Mindful Parenting group last summer and fall and found it very
helpful. Yvonne Mansell (who leads the group) is very compasionate and
supportive while keeping a sense of humor about it all. I enjoyed the group and
felt very comfortable sharing my concerns and experiences with the other mothers.
I highly recommend the group for anyone who is looking for support in parenting in
a more conscious way. You can find information about the group at
http://home.earthlink.net/~ymansell/resume.html or email Yvonne at
ymansell AT earthlink.net
I participated in the mindful parenting group for several sessions and I highly
recommend it. Small groups meet for 2 hours at a time and use the book Everyday
Blessings by Jon and Myla Kabat-Zinn as a guide. The meetings start and end with a
brief meditation. The leader provides a relaxing and peaceful place to contemplate
mindfulness practices in daily family life. Contact Yvonne Mansell at
My partner and I are looking for a parenting group that involves parents in general rather than just moms.
Does anybody know of an existing one or have an interest in starting one?
Karen and Tim
Couples groups have always been so hard to organize
Martha Harris is the first person in a long time to offer a
group for new couples: 925-284-4426 I think she may be
holding it at The Nurture Center in Contra Costa County.
Bruce Linton used to do some Couples Groups and he does see
couples with new babies for 3 sessions to look at the impact
of a baby on relationships.
His website is a wonderful resource for fathers:
If you need other resources for life with a new baby, please
this page was last updated: Nov 13, 2013
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