Brand new and seasoned parents are currently all on the same boat: due to COVID-19, we are all parenting in isolation, without our village of helpers — parents, friends, support groups, local communities — to lean on and seek guidance and support from. And that is hard.
But here’s the most amazing thing: so many of our beloved parent support groups and communities are stepping it up and have figured out how to offer their services and parent get-togethers in virtual platforms.
Though we know it can’t beat actual, physical meet ups or grabbing coffee with your mom bff, it’s still a way for us parents to connect, and continue to learn from and lean on each other during the pandemic. So, cheers to that!
Without further ado, here are some virtual resources to keep us parents connected to one another during this unprecedented time. (Please note that while some of these “communities” have always been offered virtually or via app form, many of them are physical groups that have created virtual offerings to support parents during COVID-19.)
For Moms Struggling with PPD/PPA
The Mom Support Group, created by the Bloom Foundation for Maternal Wellness, consists of “a team of postpartum advocates” who support new and expecting moms, as well as moms who are suffering from a perinatal mood disorder.
The Mom Support Group offers FREE “peer-to-peer virtual support groups” via Zoom, led by group leaders (many of whom are survivors of postpartum mood disorders themselves).
Here’s what to expect: a chance to chat with other moms, hear their experiences and share your own, and develop coping and mindfulness skills. It is totally free.
The app connects moms, offers daily self-care tips (remember — you can’t take care of your baby if you’re not taking care of yourself), and provide a variety of resources, like a library, guest experts, community “video chat” call with other moms, and so much more.
Seabrook also offers private, 1:1 coaching for those looking for support with a perinatal mood and anxiety disorder.
*Note that this is NOT the same as mental health counseling.
Postpartum Support International (PSI) is an absolutely amazing resource. During the COVID-19 outbreak, they have increased their number of free weekly online support groups and added one for pregnancy mood support. Find info on timings and register here. They’ve also created a COVID-19 Resource Page for new parents.
Here’s a sampling of some of the support groups they offer:
- Perinatal (Pregnancy & Postpartum) Mood Support Group
- Pregnancy Mood Support Group
- NICU Parents
- Military Moms
- Moms of Color
The Motherhood Center of New York offers classes, support groups and services for new and expecting moms, as well as treatment for women suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
During this time of social distancing and isolation, The Motherhood Center of New York is offering all their treatment services, support groups, webinars, content and family-friendly friendly resources online/virtually. Check it all out here.
Apps to Connect With Other Moms
Like Tinder for new moms! Swipe up to meet other like-minded moms in your area. Connect virtually during this period of “social distancing”. Sounds so Millennial and cool.
This is a “social network for moms” where you can meet other mamas in your area, find and create meet-ups or activities (virtual for now — physical when this madness is all over), and even enjoy special deals just for moms posted by local businesses and “mompreneurs.”
SocialMama is a free app and website that helps connect mamas at every stage of motherhood. Moms fill out their profiles and SocialMama makes matches based on like-mindedness, location and other areas of compatibility. With the app, you also get free access to all of SocialMama’s “experts” — a group of women with expertise and/or certifications in several areas pertaining to motherhood, such as infertility, maternal health, self-care, relationships, and more.
This Colorado-based support group is “for ALL moms who want a place where they can feel safe, accepted and valued.”
During the COVID-19 crisis, YANAM2M will be offering weekly Zoom meetings for parents to stay connected to one another. Head here to join.
Meetup.com, a site that allows you to search for groups to “meet up” with in your community, is now offering virtual meet-ups as well. Click here to find a virtual mom or parent meet-up group.
Nextdoor.com is a “hyperlocal social networking service” that allows you to stay connected to the people in your immediate neighborhood. It’s a great way to connect with neighbors and find other parents to chat with virtually (and then later, in person, when life returns to normal…).
A quick FB search will help you find mom or parenting groups in your area, or search for very specific types of FB groups tailored to your unique interests/needs (i.e. Stay at Home Moms, Working Moms, Moms who Hate to Cook, Moms with Colicky Babies, Moms with Special Needs Kids, Moms of Multiples, Moms Trying To Survive the COVID-19 Pandemic While Raising Babies, etc.). These are usually treasure troves for tips, funny memes and so much more!
MOPS, which stands for Moms of Preschoolers, is actually a resource for all kinds of mothers. According to their site, “whether you are a soon-to-be mom, first-time mom or seventh-time mom, you are welcome here. Whether you are an adoptive mom, young mom, seasoned mom, foster mom, stepmom or any other type of mom, you are welcome here. Whether you prefer to meet with other moms in a coffee shop, church, park, living room or video chat, we have something for you.”
During the COVID-19 outbreak, many MOPS groups are meeting virtually. Click here to find a group near you, and see if they are offering virtual meetups.
FIT4MOM is an awesome resource for moms looking to get in shape while also connecting with other mamas. While normally FIT4MOM offers nationwide in-person fitness classes and mom meet-ups, right now they have gone virtual.
They are currently offering “online workouts, virtual playgroups for kids, and resources for moms to stay physically and mentally strong during these uncertain times.” Thank you, FIT4Mom!
Studio Bloom is another way to connect with mamas through exercise. This is Bloom Method’s virtual on-demand fitness platform made exclusively for women who are trying to conceive, are pregnant, or postpartum. It’s chock full of classes focused on preparing your body for birth, whole body and pelvic floor strength, core, cardio, yoga, postpartum rehabilitation, mobility, and also comes with access to in-house pelvic floor physical therapists and nutrition info. Plus, they offer a private FB group for members so you can “meet” other moms.
Up-to-date news and information for parents, by parents, about all things pertaining to COVID-19 and parenting, and so much more. You can also join the Parents Together FB page, Coronavirus Parents: Parenting in a Pandemic for additional support.
Led by Linda Szmulewitz, a licensed clinical social worker, certified Gentle Sleep Coach, postpartum doula, and mom of two, the Chicago New Moms Group offers education and peer support for new moms of babies from birth to 6 months old. PC (Pre Covid) this group had only been available to those living in the city of Chicago, but now since sessions are virtual, mamas from all over the country can join! Register here.
If you’re a breastfeeding mama who has questions about nursing, or is in need of support, guidance or just someone to talk to, you may think about joining La Leche League’s International Private Facebook Page.
That’s it for now, parents — but stay tuned because we will be constantly updating this page as new virtual resources for parents become available. If you know of an online or virtual resource aimed at connecting moms/parents with one another, please let us know!
Take good care of yourself; stay healthy and be well!