We all need our friends, it’s true, but friends are especially critical for new mothers. Build strong relationships with other women now, so that you have support when your baby is born, as well as while you are pregnant.
Friends of both sexes can be supportive, but there is something about the company of women that is special. Another woman is most likely to understand what your mind and body are going through, particularly if she is also a mother or mother-to-be. If possible, having a whole community of women close to your home is even better.
How can you meet other women in your area? Try:
Pregnancy and motherhood support groups. Check with your childbirth educator to see if there is a group in your area—or start one yourself.
La Leche League. This national organization offers information and support to breastfeeding mothers and mother-to-be.
Exercise classes. Check with local gyms to see if special classes for pregnancy are offered. If not, consider a prenatal or gentle hatha yoga class.
Book discussion groups. Contact your local bookstore or library to find out what’s available.
Continuing education courses. Ask your local high school or community college to send you a course catalog. Choose a topic you enjoy, such as painting or cooking.
Don’t forget to seek out the support of older women, too. Our culture tends to separate us from previous generations. You may live far away from your own mother, aunts, or grandmother. If you can find ways to see more of them and other older women, you may find a gold mine of support. Women who have already experienced motherhood can teach you a lot about coping. They may be able to help you with your pregnancy and your baby’s birth, as well as some of the tricky parts of parenting like breastfeeding and colic.