By: Tina Goldstein
The holidays are over, your partner has gone back to work and it’s a grey and cold January. There you are sitting in your designated nursing place with your baby for hours on end, alone.
Wait, you don’t have to go down that rabbit hole into loneliness, but you must be a bit proactive to get yourself out of the house and with other people. Of course, the baby blues are a real thing and may be working against your instincts and efforts to motivate yourself. If you can plan one activity every day and have a goal to get there, you may find more balance and less anxiety or sadness during the early postpartum. We are super lucky as Brooklyn mothers, since there is a lot of access to community and activities for parents with or without their babies. Here is a list of suggestions for getting through January and beyond.
• Find a New Moms’ Support Group. Starting January 16th, I am facilitating The New Parents’ Support Group at Bend + Bloom Yoga as a 6-week series, a great “get out of the house” goal for every Tuesday at 1pm where you will meet with the same group of moms (and potentially dads) for 6 weeks and have a chance to discuss issues that are coming up for you as well as engage in discussion of a specific topic that concerns the group each week. It’s a great way to find your tribe and get tips and affirmations on the day-to-day with baby. Learn more or sign up here!
• Go to a mommy and baby yoga class. At Bend + Bloom, there are 3 mommy and baby classes a week on the schedule. You may have never taken a yoga class in your life - don’t worry! Postpartum yoga is focused on the healing of the postpartum mother and is a very gentle practice that works with the breath, provides relaxation and slowly builds strength as it helps to relieve common postpartum aches and pains. Almost as importantly, it builds community and is another way that moms (and dads) can see how other parents deal with each stage as their baby grows and changes.
• Find a breastfeeding support group. Bend + Bloom also runs a Breastfeeding Support Clinic every Thursday from 1-2:30. Have your baby weighed and meet other moms while receiving expert help with breastfeeding by an IBCLC.
• Join an online parents’ group. You may meet friends that you will have for the rest of your life in these groups. Even though you may come from very different backgrounds, you immediately share so much in common just in the fact that you are a new mom. You may make friends through an email thread, or meet face to face at coffee shops, the Y, at a mommy and baby yoga class, or even at a member’s home. These moms become your tribe and you may find that soon you are texting each other like you’ve known them for years.
• Find a class for baby! Believe it or not, there are classes for very young babies here in Brooklyn. For example, there are music classes for early child development and bonding with your baby.
• Go to the library! The public libraries are a great place to spend some time reading to your baby and interacting with your neighbors (who are very often new moms like you.) They also have free sing-a-longs, readings, craft making classes and even yoga as well as many other events throughout the year. A great place to get in out of the cold.
Tina Goldstein is a pre and postnatal yoga teacher, certified breastfeeding counselor, a postpartum doula, and a mother of a kindergartener. Her passion and fascination with all things moms, babies, and kids has put her on the path of providing open-minded support to her clients and students whatever their choices may be. Contact her at www.motherher.com