A colleague and I decided about a year ago that we wanted to expand our services to new moms by hosting a free monthly chat. We each chose a coffee shop on our side of town and got to work. The winter was really slow but as word spread we have each had at least 4 moms some months. I chose to move out of the coffee shop where i was hosting in May after no one showed up. I am a parenting partner with Love and Learn so I have access to the classrooms on St. Francis' campus so I figured I may get more moms at a place where moms on this side of town are familiar. So either it was a coincidence or I was right because we had 8 lovely moms in June!
It's a very laid back group where everyone strives to be respectful of others views and I encourage everyone to chat on whatever topic is on their mind at that time. We have a private corresponding facebook group where the moms can continue the conversations all month and plan meet ups outside of the monthly chat. In June, I started highlighting a specific topic at our chats. In June it was Carseat Safety, Cloth Diapers in July, and in August we’ll have a brief visit by a local IBCLC to go over a few Breastfeeding Basics.
Grab a new mommy friend (and your babies) and join us on August 26th! RSVP here or on the facebook event page to let us know you're coming but walk ins are welcome! Mama to Mama Chat - St. Francis Medical Center
*This event happens every 4th Wednesday of the month, and we have a corresponding Northside Coffee Chat every 2nd Wednesday at Stir Crazy Cafe in Richmond, hosted by Erica Angert, who is also a certified postpartum doula (firstname.lastname@example.org).
**The classrooms are not very kid friendly above about 12 months. Use your own judgment about whether your older kids can handle it. Also think about whether you'll be able to relax and be yourself with them there. That answer will be different for everyone, of course. Anyone with a baby who wants to meet other moms and babies is welcome, whomever she needs to bring along with her to make that happen.
In honor of World Breastfeeding Week I'm sharing all the FREE breastfeeding support available here in the Midlothian area.
With my first child, I found amazing support from a group that St. Francis' New Life Center used to run with their staff International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLC). The IBCLC's in the group offered great continuity of care seeing mothers and babies at the bedside and also staffing this support group twice a month that I affectionately called Boob Group!
I found it so helpful and comforting to simply sit with other new mothers in a circle, breastfeeding our babies without cover, and chatting about what was going on in our lives. I first went when my son was just one week old, and I still clearly remember how much the IBCLC helped me that day as we struggled to latch with a shield. Because of her we were able to continue successfully nursing for 27 months when my son self-weaned.
While some things have changed over the years, there are still Bon Secours staff lactation consultants running free groups. At St. Francis the support group meets at 11 am on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays, and 6:30 pm on the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Please remember to register through Love and Learn but walk-ins are welcome as are breastfeeding babies, of course!
Through CJW there is a group that meets at Chippenham at 10 am on the 1st Tuesday of the month and at Johnston Willis on the 3rd Tuesday of each month. A lactation consultant guides discussion of a breastfeeding topic and then a group sharing time follows.
VCU Medical Center has a group that meets at 3:30 pm on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at their medical center at Stony Point, which is run by an IBCLC. This support group is for new mothers who have questions and concerns about breastfeeding in the weeks after birth, babies are also welcome, of course. Registration is required.
Le Leche League mother-to-mother support group meets at 10 am on the 3rd Wednesday of each month at St. Mark’s Methodist Church on Lucks Lane in the nursery. This is a great meeting to bring older siblings to as there are toys available to keep them entertained while mom and baby nurse and have their questions or concerns addressed by trained Le Leche League mothers.
Most of these programs do offer groups that meet outside the Midlothian area and can be found on the local support circles page here on my website. On the calendar you can also find additional information and links to each of the above mentioned groups.
Tell me in the comments below which group will you be checking out this month?
Babies should be bottle-fed:
The benefits of bottle-feeding in this manner: