By Kathy L. Collins

Brandon Regional Hospital’s New Mom’s Support Group celebrated its first anniversary offering its free support to mothers within the first year after giving birth. It is an informal setting that allows new mothers to get together and discuss their tears, fears and cheers that go along with motherhood.

The group meets every Wednesday in Classroom A in the Oakfield Medical Plaza (across the street from Brandon Regional Hospital). No registration is required and all mothers, regardless of where they delivered their baby, are welcome. Stephanie Sperling, RN, BCLC, is the Lactation Consultant and group facilitator.

Since the group started to meet, approximately 30 to 35 mothers and babies have attended. Amanda Poppe of Riverview is typical of the mothers who attend. She and her daughter, Makenzie (now 13 months) were the first to sign up for the group. Poppe said, “The group is great. The biggest thing for me was meeting other mothers. My husband is in the military and we were transferred here. I do not have family here and did not have a big support network when my daughter was born. I would come to the meetings with a pessimistic attitude about something like breastfeeding and my attitude would change by the end of the meeting.”

Poppe added, “The group has become very close. We are all friends and get together outside of the group.”

Sperling said, “Brandon Hospital is passionate about being a support and resource for moms even after they give birth and throughout the first year. We understand that the adjustment to motherhood is made smoother when we have the friendship and support of other moms. We have room to grow and are always eager to welcome new ladies.”

There is no formal format for the meetings. If the group wants to discuss a topic, Sperling will arrange for a speaker or demonstration.

Sperling said, “We had a talk on starting solid foods, and a pediatrician came in and talked about infant massage. The mothers wanted to learn CPR, so they took a class together. The mothers help one another. We have a Facebook page and they use it to discuss issues and announce outings they are taking together.”

For more information on the New Mom’s Support Group, call 571-5335.