Just Hatched – A First Time Mums Group
After the birth of my little girl in 2008, I became passionate about positive birth experiences, the first few weeks after having a baby and the big adjustment during the first year in the life of a new mum. I naturally was drawn to helping new mums with advice and practical assistance (meals, housework, baby tips) and when the idea of a “new mums” group came about at church (C3 Bridgeman Downs), I jumped at the chance.
“Just Hatched” is designed to provide a haven for empowering, encouraging and enriching the lives of first time mums (in the church and the community) – women who suddenly realise what life is like looking after another person 24 hours a day! We provide a social connection (coffee and cake), a fun time with the bubs (nursery song time and playtime) and also provide practical information on motherhood and raising a baby (30-60min information sessions each fortnight). At the same time that Just Hatched is on, the church runs a community based volunteer Baby Clinic where mums can make appointments to see a qualified midwife at a private appointment. At this time they can have their babies weighed and measured and can ask questions about their own or their baby’s health. The midwives also provide the mums with a valuable link to getting support and information sources for challenges they may face.
The group is held in the children’s rooms at our facilities which provides a fantastic opportunity for community mums to see what we provide, in a non-threatening environment. As our key aim is to provide connection between the community and the church, we also use the ‘people’ resources of the church, including pastors and leaders who have skills and knowledge that is helpful for new mum. Topics this year have included: stress management, health and beauty, back care, expectation changes, fitness after baby, sleeping routines, shopping for baby, the Five Love Languages and more.
From the beginning there has been a sense of God’s hand on the group as it came together and grew every week with both church and community mums. We generally have 10-12 mums each fortnight (20-24 including bubs!) and it’s about 50/50 church and community mums. A spirit of excellence has also been vital to make this a group that the mums want to invite their friends and acquaintances to – including things such as meals for new mums, gifts of encouragement, extra resources by email – anything to add value to these beautiful mums!
The benefit to these babies is a happier mum and hopefully a more positive environment t for them to grow up in. It also provides the chance for mum to meet church members and build solid friendships that could ultimately change their life for the better.
by Madeleine Peterson