Growing your tribe

We hope that one of the best things about signing up for an antenatal course is the guarantee that when you cross the threshold into new parenthood, you won’t be doing so alone.

Of course, we sincerely hope that our mums-to-be are already feeling the love from a gaggle of supportive female friends (and maybe even fellow mums), as well as a couple of family members who are keen to pop round with casseroles and a genuine desire to run the hoover around for them. Not to mention, of course, a reliable birthing partner for the labour and immediate aftermath. But for those who are not quite so sure that all of this support is at the ready, then perhaps an antenatal course could just fill a couple of gaps, to help navigate those first potentially challenging months of motherhood.

I am pleased to be able to say that I am still friends with my antenatal course tribe - having just celebrated the collective third birthdays of our ‘newborns’ - and I honestly couldn’t have survived (and thrived) during those first few months without them. The ever-reliable 24/7 WhatsApp chat that was a very welcome comfort and support during all those late night feeds and the ‘presence’ of my girls during those tough times was invaluable. Not to mention the fact that there was always someone willing to put up with me (possibly needing to laugh/cry/vent/boob feed/eat biscuits…) on their sofa throughout those long and exhausting days of maternity leave.

There’s just something special about the group of women that you share these experiences with for the first time. Your best mate with her two kids will be a life-saver - full of tips, advice and love, of course. And your mum/auntie/granny/neighbour, with her years of experience, will be the one to mop you up a good few times and rescue you from domestic oblivion, we are certain. But your antenatal girlfriends will be experiencing things at exactly the same time as you - in one way or another - and it is this that makes them so precious. And hopefully they like biscuits too.

Sign up for a Bump to Cradle antenatal course and get ready to grow your tribe of fellow new mums in Bristol!

Dr Miriam Walsh