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Mum friends

Having mum friends can seriously help. Here’s how to meet the women who you’ll be chatting vaginas and nipple chafing with in a matter of weeks (really)…

1. Head to baby groups

Whether it’s baby sensory, rhyme time, a music class or baby massage, it doesn’t really matter. Check out what’s happening locally.

You could see which NCT’s events are going on near you, like Baby Cafes, Bumps & Babies groups, and Cheeky Monkeys Tea Parties. You could also download some apps that’ll tell you about groups for you and your baby.

You’ll find that mums are almost always in the same boat as you, i.e. eager to chat about their milk supply, giant knickers and birth stories (Sanders and Monger, 2009). Suggesting a coffee or giant slice of Victoria sponge after class is always a good way to get to know them more too. So take a deep breath and ask people whether they fancy coming along.

2. Try an app

They’re like Tinder but for mum mates. Apps to connect mums with each other are now a major part of the new mother landscape.

We know mum friends are a lifeline for our post-baby mental health, happiness and feelings of isolation (Sanders and Monger, 2009; Johnson, 2014). So you can find a slew of apps that let mums find friends in their area to chat to and hang out with. You’ll be amazed at how easy it is to meet people, although try not to compare yourself or feel bad if the friendships don’t work.

3. Join an antenatal course

Well, though we do say it ourselves… A lot of mums meet mum friends when they join an NCT antenatal course or the NHS equivalent to find out more about birth, labour and life with a new baby (Which?, 2018).

At one of your classes, you could suggest that you all form a WhatsApp group to keep in touch. That way you’ll have an instant network of mums with babies the same age as yours and who live close by. Win.

4. Connect with friends of friends

When you’re pregnant, keep an ear out for friends mentioning other people they know who are having babies too. That way you can ask for them to hook you up.

The other mums will most likely be pleased to connect with you as well. Plus, you’ll both have someone to go for coffee with when the rest of your mates are at work…

5. Use social media

If you have a social media account, you can join local mum groups nearby. You can also post whenever you have a question, a problem or just fancy chatting to someone at 3am when you’ve just handled a poo explosion (Johnson, 2014). The good news is that when you’re up in the middle of the night, the mum internet means you’ll never have to be alone. Hurrah.

Further information

Our support line offers practical and emotional support with feeding your baby and general enquiries for parents, members and volunteers: 0300 330 0700.

You might find attending one of our NCT New Baby courses helpful as they give you the opportunity to explore different approaches to important parenting issues with a qualified group leader and other new parents in your area.

Johnson SA. (2014) “Maternal Devices”, social media and the self-management of pregnancy, mothering and child health. Societies. 4(2):330-350. Available at: (Accessed 10th December 2018).

Sanders J, Monger C. (2009) Parents’ experiences of a new baby group. Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC). Available at: (Accessed 10th December 2018).

Which? (2018) NHS vs NCT antenatal classes. Available at: (Accessed 10th December 2018).

Related articles

Released on: 30 November 2016

Errol Murray is the founder of Leeds Dads, a support group for dads, which grew out of his local NCT branch. Here he talks about dads’ friendships and why these days he tries to avoid a beery night out.

Your whole social circle changes dramatically when you become a parent and you interact differently with your old mates. You can’t go out drinking and clubbing all night  because at the back of your mind you’re thinking that you won’t cope with feeding your baby with a hangover the next morning.

But being friends with other dads makes life much easier as we’re all in the same boat and understand it’s no longer about going out for drinks all the time. We might meet in a café during the daytime where we can take our kids, talk and just chill out.

The idea of setting up a dads’ group came to me after going to a few playgroups and feeling uncomfortable, as though I didn’t belong. They can be intimidating environments for both men and women - and having a child is challenging enough already!

So I thought about creating the kind of space I’d feel comfortable in myself and hopefully other blokes would too. I brought together a few friends who were new dads, word spread and that was it!

Still unsure of what a dads group was, I contacted the local NCT branch to see if there was a ‘proper’ one available. They said no, but asked if they could send some other new fathers my way too? This was the how Leeds Dads got off the ground.

Our aim is to support fathers to engage with their children, and share experiences with other dads. We run regular playgroups for dads and kids to play games, get creative with crayons and paper or just jump around and let off steam. We usually have a singalong and a story too.

It’s important that dads make time to play with their kids as they can often fall into the role of the disciplinarian. It’s easy to become the parent that enforces boundaries and tells the kids to do this, don’t do that and eat your greens. The emphasis in our groups is play, so we don’t have to be the bad cop all the time.

We get all types of fathers coming along – single dads, stay-at-home dads, gay dads and working dads who don’t get to spend much time engaged with their children. Most of us are exhausted and exasperated and this forges a siege mentality amongst us.

It’s much easier to build a rapport with someone who’s going through the same sort of thing as you are. They may not be the people you would have hung out with before but sharing the experience of being a dad brings you together.

I want Leeds Dads to create a much more relaxed and supportive vibe where you feel you can talk about your feelings and share information. If someone’s child isn’t sleeping or eating properly, someone else will often talk about their own experience which can be really helpful.

Our Leeds Dads Nights Out are increasingly popular. We might play pool, watch rugby or just go for a curry. Having a young family makes you think differently about a night out and a few pints. Of course we want to have fun but young kids and big nights out don’t really mix well at all.

I’d encourage other fathers to think about setting up their own dads groups. It’s been win-win - for both parents and the kids. And we’ve made a few mates along the way.

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