Q: We moved house when I was 37 weeks' pregnant to a completely new town, away from family and friends. I have since had my son, who is now 8 weeks old, but I feel so lonely. I love him to bits but he's not great at conversation! I think I'd like to start getting out and meet some new people with young babies too. I'm just not quite sure where to turn. Where can I meet other mums?
A: Having a network of parenting friends is really important for both you and your baby, and the good news is there are lots of different websites, groups and activities that are specifically for mums and their babies.
A good place to start is parenting websites. Some of them have dedicated "meet a mum" pages where you can post a request to meet mums in your area. As long as you meet in a public place, this is a safe and easy way of finding a great new circle of friends.
Another place to try is the National Childbirth Trust (NCT). As well as being an excellent site for parenting information, the NCT also organises and runs various different baby groups across the UK. These sessions usually only cost a few pounds to enter and are a great way of meeting new people.
If the web is not for you, maybe you could have a chat with your health visitor? Most areas have postnatal sessions, arranged by health visitors, where you join other mums with babies of a similar age in a group setting.
As well as a chance to socialise, these groups normally begin with a session dedicated to a topic of motherhood, for example first aid, feeding advice, coping with colic etc. Your health visitor will arrange for you to attend a group if there is one in your area.
There are also numerous baby music, massage, yoga and swimming courses that you could join. As well as being fun and stimulating for your son, all of these facilities offer you the chance to get out and about and meet other people – although these can be expensive.
If you are on a budget, most churches hold baby playgroups on a weekly basis for a very small entrance fee; and many libraries now hold storytelling and rhyming sessions, which are suitable for very young babies and are free!
However you choose to get out and about, please don't be nervous – you will be amazed by the amount of new mums who feel exactly the same!