Services and Support Groups Available for Moms

moms in a support group

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Sometimes parenting can make you feel like every day is your first day on the job. Just as you conquer one stage of your child's life, they enter another one that leaves you wishing you had a parenting manual. There's nothing wrong with seeking support for the issues you face today.

Not only will you take relief in knowing there are other parents going through exactly what you are right now, but you'll also make invaluable connections with families and experts who can help you tackle the parenting obstacles you'll encounter as your child grows.

Support for Moms With Postpartum Depression

New parents can suffer from postpartum depression (PPD) for a variety of reasons. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that one in eight women suffer from depression before, during, or after pregnancy, so you are not alone.

You can find postpartum depression support in your area through Postpartum Progress, a nonprofit dedicated to helping pregnant and new moms find local peer support and educational tools.

Another option is to talk to your obstetrician about what you're experiencing. Your healthcare provider will be able to pinpoint the resources you need that you may not be able to locate.

You can also call your local hospital. PPD is a common struggle for mothers, and many hospitals have now set up departments devoted to helping women with postpartum depression.

Support for Breastfeeding Moms

Breastfeeding your newborn seems like it should be the most natural thing in the world, a chance to provide your baby with optimum nutrition while strengthening the bond you share. While it is certainly natural, breastfeeding is not always easy. Successful breastfeeding requires practice, education, and outside help for many moms.

It may seem like breastfeeding comes to other women more naturally while it's a struggle for you. But many times, it's just a matter of finding the right support so you can continue your breastfeeding journey.

Seek support from peers who understand what you're going through and can offer encouragement and advice when you need it most. Even if you've breastfed more than one child, moms know that each child is different. It's a smart idea to ask for advice from experts and other experienced moms.

One place to find encouragement and instructional information is La Leche League International (LLLI). It's safe to say LLLI is one of the most popular support groups for breastfeeding moms, as this nonprofit has been offering support and education for more than 60 years.

If you worked with a midwife or doula during your pregnancy, you can seek them out for breastfeeding support. Even if you gave birth at home, you can talk to the lactation department at any hospital. Their dedicated lactation consultants have one goal: to help you and your baby have an enjoyable breastfeeding experience together.

If you gave birth at a hospital, you probably even had a lactation consultant visit you in your room to talk to you about breastfeeding and help you with latching on, proper holding techniques, and more.

Parenting Support for Moms Through the Early Years

Just when you thought you'd escaped the baby stage of all-nighters and the toddler phase of endless meltdowns, your child has now become a preschooler. What you don't find out until you become a parent is that the preschool age can be one of the toughest.

Your little one is now old enough to start talking but not mature enough yet to fully handle their own emotions. Even when every day seems like a new struggle, you can take comfort in finding other parents who are living a life parallel to your own.

One way to find that solace is by joining other moms going through the exact same parenting stage you are. Moms of Preschoolers (MOPS) is one of those groups. MOPS is a membership-based program with chapters across the United States.

In addition to getting some much-needed time to mingle with other moms, MOPS chapters also offer childcare while you meet. So instead of trying to talk about your child's temper tantrum while they are at your feet kicking and screaming, you can actually take a break with other moms while learning how to handle those parenting situations.

Another alternative is to invest in mom's day out. While mom's day out generally does not offer support or groups for you to meet other moms, this program is specifically for babies, toddlers and preschoolers to offer you affordable childcare a few days a week.

This means you can get some downtime and your kids can meet new friends. And if you do want to make new friends through mom's day out, invite one or two of the moms in your child's class to coffee one morning. Chances are, she'll take you up on it.

Support Groups for Moms of Tweens and Teens

The tween and teen years present unique joys and challenges. While this phase typically gives you the chance to start relating to your child more as an adult and trusting them with more responsibilities, kids at this age are also learning to be independent and figuring out who they are and who they want to become.

These changes are all necessary and even desirable, but they aren't without their difficulties. Mood swings, attempting to bend (or break) the rules, and challenging authority are all par for the course with many tweens and teens.

However, knowing that these issues are normal doesn't necessarily make them easier to cope with.

Connecting with other moms of tweens and teens can be a great source of help and encouragement when you're trying to navigate these years. They can share their experiences and give you ideas for maintaining a good relationship with your child as you help them grow into young adulthood.

Below are websites that provide online groups or lists of local support groups for moms of tweens and teens:

  • Meetup offers a worldwide database of groups for parents of teens as well as single parents of teens.
  • Moms of Tweens and Teens is an online community for mothers, facilitated by a parenting educator.
  • Parents Helping Parents is a nonprofit that offers virtual and community-based support groups for parents of teens. They also provide free webinars geared toward parents of troubled teens and those with special needs.
  • Philly Tweens provides a list of Facebook groups and other online gatherings for families of tweens.

Parenting Support for Moms at Every Stage

As your kids grow and change, you'll find that you are too. You will eventually outgrow the support groups geared toward moms of younger children. Even if you're adding more little ones to your family, you will find yourself facing new challenges with your school-age children.

Everything from a sassy mouth to trouble making friends at school may keep you up at night. You may even be facing mommy burnout because you've been at this so long. Plus, you need a new space for where you are in motherhood.

You need the company of like-minded moms who are in the same boat as you that can help you through the difficult days, the parenting obstacles you're dealing with, and the celebrations of your family's accomplishments.

There are many groups that offer a more general meeting space for parents. International MOMS Club is one that offers group meetings for you to swap stories, get support, and make new friends with moms who are at various stages of parenthood.

If the idea of joining these types of groups is intimidating or you simply don't find it appealing, you can always start your own club. It can be anything you want it to be, from a small get-together for a girls' night to a more official group open to any moms looking to make friends and help each other out.

Support for Moms Raising Special Needs Children

Caring for a child with special needs means you typically don't have a lot of time to focus on yourself or seek the support you need. That's where groups specifically devoted to providing you with resources for your child's particular challenges can be beneficial to your entire family.

The best place to start is through nonprofits devoted to those challenges. The following organizations offer help to moms of children with special needs.

  • Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) offers online discussion forums for parents of children with autism and/or Asperger's syndrome. Their groups are moderated by AANE staff and divided by children's ages to provide specific help for the stage you and your child are in.
  • Autism Speaks can help you find support groups in your area as you raise children with autism.
  • Easter Seals is well connected in communities and provides a number of resources for children and their caregivers.
  • Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) can connect you with local support for kids with muscular dystrophy.
  • National Down Syndrome Society can get you in touch with support in your area as early as pregnancy.
  • Parent to Parent provides a national network of support groups and resources for families of children with special needs.
  • United Cerebral Palsy has an easy-to-use locator to find individual and family support close to you.

A Word From Verywell

Nonprofit organizations are an excellent resource for finding the support you need as both caregiver and parent, as well as locating meetings that can put you in touch with other parents.

Many nonprofits can also help you find respite care services to give you some much-needed time to do everything from grocery shop to have a few hours to yourself.

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  1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Depression during and after pregnancy. Updated May 14, 2020.