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.
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 NCT's Early Days groups 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: https://www.mdpi.com/2075-4698/4/2/330/htm (Accessed 10th December 2018).
Sanders J, Monger C. (2009) Parents’ experiences of a new baby group. Children’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC). Available at: dera.ioe.ac.uk/2705/1/Microsoft_Word_-_PLR0910027Sanders2.pdf (Accessed 10th December 2018).
Which? (2018) NHS vs NCT antenatal classes. Available at: https://www.which.co.uk/birth-choice/your-pregnancy/nhs-vs-nct-antenatal-classes (Accessed 10th December 2018).