It can be so tough for new parents to find support in those early weeks after birth.
Sometimes it’s a matter of feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where to even start looking for support. Other times it’s a matter of not really understanding what types of support are out there besides postpartum doulas.
If you’ve thought about going to a postpartum support group but haven’t taken the leap yet, we encourage you to do so!
Here are a few common myths about postpartum support groups:
You have to be diagnosed with postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety, or another postpartum mood disorder.
That’s not the case! Most postpartum support groups are open to anyone who has recently given birth (unless the group name or description specifies otherwise).
A postpartum support group is mostly just a facilitator talking at you.
Not at all! Most postpartum support groups are driven by the people who are in attendance. Facilitators usually love it when parents come with their questions, concerns, joys, and challenges to share. Some support groups take the form of playgroups, with a positive side effect of community-building and meeting other parents with similarly-aged kids.
I’m not into groups, so a postpartum support group isn’t for me.
One huge benefit of going to a postpartum support group is meeting other parents who are on the same(ish) journey you’re on. If you aren’t going for the actual group support, go for the chance to meet other parents! Relationships with other parents can be invaluable - having someone you can really relate to who you can text, call, or meet up with sometimes can be such food for the soul.
I can’t bring my baby to a postpartum support group.
Unless stated otherwise in the group description, the majority of postpartum support groups welcome babes in arms (but you might need to figure out childcare for your older children if you have other little ones at home). It’s usually expected that parents attending a postpartum support group have a baby attached to them most of the time.
Male-identifying people aren’t welcome at postpartum support groups.
Mostly false, but there is definitely something to this myth. Many postpartum support group facilitators are happy to have anyone attend who feels they may gain something from the experience. But there are some groups that exclude male-identifying people. If you want to bring your male-identified partner, or if you’re a male-identifying parent in search of a postpartum support group, we encourage you to reach out directly to the facilitator of any groups you’re interested in attending and have a conversation with them directly. (This is also unfortunately true for many parent & me yoga classes in Orange County.)
If you’re experiencing overwhelm during the postpartum period and just don’t know where to even start looking for support, we’ve rounded up a list of postpartum support options for Orange County parents.
We’ve compiled the best information we were able to find for local support groups. There is something you could attend almost any day of the week in OC!
(And yes, this list includes our New Parent Support Group that Marlee hosts every month!)
The groups on this list are free to attend unless noted otherwise.
Support groups for new parents in Orange County hosted by hospitals and birth centers
Beach Cities Midwifery (Laguna Hills): Postpartum Support Group (every other Thursday from 10-11am (1st time free, $5 per meeting afterward)
Hoag Hospital (Newport Beach): Postpartum Adjustment Support Group (Mondays from 6-7pm and Wednesdays from 11am - 12pm)
Kaiser Anaheim: Mother Baby Cafe (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 9:30-11:30am)
Kaiser Irvine: Mother Baby Cafe (Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 9:30-11:30am)
Mission Hospital (Mission Viejo): Postpartum Depression Support Group (Tuesdays, 10-11am)
South Coast Midwifery (Irvine): Bumps n’ Babes Support Group (1st Wednesday every other month from 1-2pm)
St. Joseph Hospital (Orange): Mommy Matters (Thursdays from 11:30am - 12:30pm, $5)
Support groups and playgroups outside of birth facilities
Cottonwood Psychology Center (Anaheim Hills): Adjusting to Motherhood Support Group (each group meets for 6 weeks, $60)
Empowered Postpartum (San Clemente): Adjusting to Motherhood Support Group (weekly drop-in postpartum support group, donation based)
Granola Babies (Costa Mesa): Mommy & Baby Playgroup (each group meets for 6 weeks with varying start dates, $200)
Hero Birth Services (Santa Ana): New Parent Support Group (2nd Tuesday of the month from 10-11:30am, free for our clients, $5 for others)
Mama Bear Club (Tustin): Baby & Me Classes (each class meets for 6 weeks with varying start dates, $325)
MOHM (Mission Viejo): Mommy & Me Classes (various age groups available, each class meets for 8 weeks with varying start dates, $300)
My Village (Lake Forest): Parent and Child Playgroups (various age groups available, each group meets weekly for 10 weeks, $215)
The New Mom School (Newport Beach): Postpartum Adjustment Support Group (Tuesdays at 2pm), and Newborn Mommy and Me Classes (other age groups also available, each class meets for 10 weeks with varying start dates, $550)
Unfold Yoga (Brea): Motherhood Circles (each circle runs for 8 weeks with varying start dates, $225)