Making friends as a new mum
After the birth whirlwind has settled and you know one end of your baby from the other you might be thinking about making some mum mates.
If you haven't got existing friends with babies you might have to find some new ones. Gulp! It can be pretty daunting. The cool mums in the park all seem to know each other and the mums you see striding out and about with prams and buggies look like they are on a mission with somewhere definite to go.
If you've been working until having the baby you may not know anyone in your area. Daylight hours were probably spent at work or travelling to and from work so the people you see out and about now are all new faces.
Rachel Burrows, editor of the parenting website Netmums says: "Becoming a new mum can be lonely. On maternity leave you can feel cut off from old friends without children or from the buzz of your workplace. And with research showing two thirds of new mums no longer live close to immediate family, it's a growing problem."
Why do you need new friends?
If your partner is working all day and there's only you and the baby, no matter how delightful he or she is you may like to speak to someone who can speak back in actual words and sentences!
Let’s be honest, little babies are pretty high maintenance. It's a constant round of feed, change, sleep, repeat. So a half an hour chat with someone who isn't crying can seem like a bit of light relief!
With your old friends who aren't parents themselves you can sometimes see their eyes glazing over as you chat about sleep routines or the best wipes to use. These new mum friends will absolutely LOVE to talk about babies.
"Mums at the same stage will understand what you are going through while mothers with older kids can give you great advice to get through any problems, while telling you what to expect next," says Rachel.
Laura Wragg from Brighton set up a Facebook group for new mums in her area. They can talk about problems, share babies' first moments, and arrange meet ups.
She says: "It's so important to find other mums to connect with for support. Not only for baby related issues but your own personal health which, as a new mum, you tend to forget about!"
"Meeting other mums via social networks enables you to talk together and get to know one another which can then make you feel more confident to meet them in person. They then become your support network and, as in my case, lifelong friends not only for me but all our children too," says Laura.