Parent Connection Virtual Groups

Christine Sweeney, LICSW Program Manager, Parent Connection, BIDMC

MARCH 30, 2020

New mother with baby joining parent support group onlineFor over 20 years BIDMC's Parent Connection has been supporting new parents in the adjustment to parenting: in our mentoring moms service, where our trained and supervised volunteer moms provide you weekly phone call support for 12 weeks, and in our new parent groups where we aim to decrease the isolation commonly experienced in the newborn period, and provide an opportunity to build community with other new parents.

Today, as the world faces the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, you are facing what is likely the biggest adjustment of your life in even more isolation than normal. In fact, nothing about now is normal, and it is in that light, that we have shifted our new parent groups into virtual mode.

About Our Virtual Support Groups

We are offering our virtual groups at the same times as they would usually meet in person. While you can sign up for any group and multiple groups, we recommend you pick one near where you live. This might help you to meet other parents in your area, who you can meet for walks and other activities once we are not socially distancing.

Our Parent Groups will be held on Zoom starting Monday, March 30, 2020.

Please click on the groups below to be directed to a zoom sign up. *You will need to sign up weekly for each group.*

The purpose of our groups is to provide a place for new parents to ask questions, share struggles and proud moments, and to offer opportunities for building connections and friendships. Our groups are led by a licensed clinical social worker. Each group participant has the opportunity to introduce themselves, and raise questions on whatever topics they wish to talk about. The group leader manages the discussion and time so that all have a chance to share. It's important that you sign in on time (as much as you are able), so that the leader can know how many are participating and therefore manage the time accordingly.

Online Privacy and Respect

Throughout the years we've run our groups, participants have let us know how much they appreciated having a safe space to talk about all they were experiencing from feeding issues to changing partner relationships. Therefore it is necessary that what is talked about in group, stays in group. While we are virtual, you may find you recognize someone participating — maybe it's the voice or the story that sounds familiar and you suddenly realize you are online with your boss's wife! (It happens.) So please remember, we are here to support one another and to be respectful of everyone privacy.

We realize that there are many different ways to do all things baby. It is essential that we come to group with a respect for others' ways of doing things, however different from your own. Privacy, respect, kindness, generosity and support are what makes our groups unique, and we ask all to agree to these principles.

More on Postpartum Mood Disorder Support

One of the most common complications of pregnancy is postpartum mood disorders. The statistics tell us that 1 in 7 new parents will experience a Postpartum Mood Disorder (PPMD). If you are wondering about your symptoms or are unsure where to turn, Postpartum Support International is a great resource filled with information. Please don't hesitate to call your OB if have questions or concerns. These symptoms are treatable and the sooner you reach out the better.

**Please bookmark this page so that you can use the links to sign up each week.**

Looking forward to meeting/seeing you soon,
The Parent Connection BIDMC

Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
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