How do you make friends as a new mom? It’s not as simple anymore as being that 5 year old at the park, walking up to a nice looking girl in a sparkly tutu and saying, “want to be my friend?” As birth doulas and midwives-in-training we hear from new moms quite often about their desire for community for themselves, but they admittedly lack the boldness or energy to go out there into this great city and make new friends. This can be especially hard if you are the first of your current group of friends to have children, or if you live far from family or have recently moved to San Diego.
We have long understood the value of community for families. A study in 1983 confirmed it when 5 researchers from The University of Washington set out prove with data: How does support from a community affect the way a parent relates to their own children and their ability to raise them? “Mothers with strong support from their communities had lower levels of stress and were optimistic about parenting.” It really does take a village!
It’s easy to see why all mamas desire to be surrounded by support and companionship unique to this challenging, yet oh-so-rewarding stage of family life: People who get why you have crusted food or snot on your outfit before 9am; People who can identify with pesky mother-in-law parenting advice; People who can laugh with you about the musical beds situation from the sleepless night before. Lucky for us, San Diego is rich with new families and “mommy & me” groups are abounding. However, you may be overwhelmed with the options, the pressure to fit into a certain type of group or maybe you are still pregnant and don’t even know where to start.
Courtney Scott of My San Diego Doula shares, “As a first-time pregnant Mama, I knew I needed to find some other pregnant women to hang out with and build community with. The old saying, "it takes a village," kept echoing in my head. As a cross-country transplant, I wondered, “Who will be my village?” So I started my search for a Mom’s group, which ended up being one of my most precious resources throughout my pregnancy, birth and postpartum. It’s now four years later and we’re all still great friends - our little ones are, too!”
The birth of an idea (we love the birth of anything): Doulas Courtney Scott & Tiffany Alblinger, from My San Diego Doula, along with their Licensed Midwife pal, Alicia Hubbell from La Rosa Midwifery, were enjoying one another’s company over dinner a few weeks ago and sharing a similar dialogue, “What can a pregnant or brand new mom do in San Diego to meet other moms, without the pressure to have the exact same interest, or to pay for a class, or to introduce themselves to a stranger in public?” We had all been hearing from our birth clients that they would love to have a laid-back way of meeting other moms like them. And suddenly the concept of Mama Walks was born.
Alicia Hubbel reminded us, “Building community helps growing families feel and be supported.” YES! That is what we wanted to do, offer an option for moms to not only feel support, but actually have tangible support from their peers, and also from fellow birth proffessionals in ther community.
Mama Walks is a super casual, friendly, weekly walking group for pregnant and new moms - or even second, third or more-time moms. Join us on Thursday mornings for fun and leisurely walks around some of San Diego’s best trails and parks. You get to meet other moms just like you and you also have the opportunity to ask us, your fellow birth professionals, anything you'd like about pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and beyond! Our goal is to support you in supporting each other - so that you can find your place in your very own mama village. We are offering simultaneous north county and mid-city meet-ups, so wherever you are in San Diego you can join in on the fun. Meet with us to get some fresh air, move our bodies and make encouraging and supportive friends. Come alone, bring a friend, push a stroller or wear a baby. All are welcome and we are excited to meet you!
For more information on both meet-ups and to get connected with what we are up to follow us here:
To learn more about who we are as birth professionals, check out our websites:
San Diego Group:
Alicia Hubbell, LM CPM www.LaRosaMidwifery.com
Courtney Scott, Student Midwife & Birth Doula www.MySanDiegoDoula.com
North San Diego County Group:
Emily Ager, LM El Camino Midwifery
Tiffany Alblinger, Student Midwife & Birth Doula www.MySanDiegoDoula.com