Having a baby is a time of great change for mothers. You may be the first of your friends to start a family, or you may be making career changes. A little support can make a big difference. Atlanta has a number of options to make the transition to motherhood a smooth one.
The hospital where your baby was born may offer support groups for moms and dads. Often these groups have a specific focus, such as breastfeeding or premature birth. Medical professionals such as nurse practitioners facilitate these groups.
Northside Hospital, for example, hosts a number of classes around the Atlanta area.
Cost: Varies, but often free.
The MOMS Club is an international organization dedicated to stay-at-home moms. You can join an existing one or start your own chapter. Each chapter offers lots of ways to get involved, from playgroups based on age to field trips to seasonal parties to moms' night out. The wide variety of activities provides great opportunities for moms and their kids to develop strong friendships.
Cost: annual dues are set by each chapter - usually $20-$25/year.
MOPS is for mothers of children from birth to kindergarten, working or stay-at-home, single or married. It's a Christian organization that sponsors meetings for moms; children attend on-site MOPPETS classes while the mothers meet. Some groups meet weekly, while others meet monthly. Meeting times can be day or night. At the meetings, you'll hear a speaker, do a craft, and get to know other moms. You can find a MOPS meeting in your community or start your own.
Cost: Membership is $23.95 per year and includes a subscription to MOMSense magazine.
Breastfeeding mothers can find support by attending La Leche League meetings. These monthly meetings follow a four-month cycle addressing different aspects of breastfeeding. Mothers often continue to attend after they've completed the cycle.
Cost: Meetings are free, but membership in La Leche League is encouraged to fund the work of the organization.
Parents who practice attachment parenting, the parenting philosophy promoted by Dr. William Sears, can find support groups in their local areas. These groups enable parents to meet people with similar approaches to parenting and to learn the latest research and ideas in attachment parenting.
Cost: Meetings are free, but membership in Attachment Parenting International is encouraged to fund the work of the organization.