New Mom School: Let’s Make One in Indy

As an avid podcast subscriber and intermittent listener, I was thrilled when I accidentally stumbled upon The Mom Hour podcast. As a clinical social worker and mom to a six month old at that point, I completely nerded out when I saw an episode titled “Newborn Attachment…”.  As I listened to the podcast episode the next day while at the Irsay Family Y in downtown Indy,  I obsessively nodded my head and smiled. I couldn’t believe my ears when I learned what the visiting guest created: a brilliant place dedicated to new moms, The New Mom School.

new mom school

Me as a brand new mom during my first (and only) night in the hospital after my daughter, Tess, was born. The exhaustion and desperation for breastfeeding help had not yet started, so I was enjoying a few quiet moments and feeling very grateful to be holding my healthy daughter.

What is The New Mom School?

tummy time

One of the topics The New Mom School covers is newborn physical development, including the benefits of tummy time. Tess was not excited about tummy time exercises on her play mat at first but learned to enjoy them more with practice.

As I listened to Alexandra (Alex) Spitz, the Founder of The New Mom School, share her experiences and details about The New Mom School in Orange County, California, my mind and heart were exploding with possibility. Alex and her other team members host 10-week class series for moms and their newborns that include topics, such as: navigating changes in your relationship with your partner now that your parents; attachment & bonding; creating healthy sleep habits; and baby’s physical development. They also offer ongoing support groups for moms related to postpartum depression & anxiety and breastfeeding in addition to classes for mommy & me (3-6 months old) and second time moms.

Why do I love it?

What I love most is that moms are clustered together with other moms who have babies born within a month of each other. Sure, with the google, we have immediate access to any information we want. But in those early, vulnerable, often hormonal and sleep deprived days, how amazing to be in a room with other new moms in your exact stage and access to an expert on some topic of importance rather than fumbling through anecdotal evidence online. It’s genius these classes don’t start until AFTER the babies are here, too, because there’s an entirely new willingness to engage with strangers with a potential to become friends when you’re a mom to a newborn than when you’re pregnant.

Could we start a New Mom School in Indy and in other cities?

new mom

Newborn Tess was tired as her brain was processing the world around her and did not want to wake for a feeding despite my best efforts.

I was so enamored that this place existed I actually reached out Alex and was shocked when she replied with an offer to make time to talk with me later that week. A few months ago, Alex and I talked for about an hour, and she answered many questions I had about what she started in California and insight from what she learned that may be helpful in me starting a new location in Indiana. 

I have continued to consider what a New Mom School in Indianapolis could look like, and I have some ideas of how I’d like to more purposefully create a place like this to help bring new moms together of all different types of backgrounds and current struggles. I have not yet taken any action steps to make it a reality for Indy because I’m waiting to see where my family settles after my husband’s fellowships. It would be amazing to find other people passionate about this idea to join me in getting new moms access to more ongoing support in cities all over the United States. 

If you see the benefit of New Mom Schools existing in Indy and all over the United States, leave me a comment and tell me what aspect you like best. 

 

9 Responses to New Mom School: Let’s Make One in Indy

  1. Sarah June 18, 2018 at 8:30 am #

    Ashley, this is amazing! I’m so flattered for the shout-out to The Mom Hour, and it’s so awesome that you connected with Alex. She’s unbelievably generous and a wonderful person. Can’t wait to hear where you take this energy and inspiration!

    • Ashley Magers June 18, 2018 at 10:26 pm #

      Thank you, Sarah! I really appreciate the work you do and am also flattered that you took time to read and reply to this post.

  2. Dawn Ballantine June 18, 2018 at 10:57 am #

    This sounds awesome 🙂 and I love the idea of having something for second time moms, since we waited awhile in between it all felt new again (and k felt silly asking questions I thought I “should” know the answer to)

    • Ashley Magers June 18, 2018 at 10:30 pm #

      Thanks for sharing, Dawn! I can imagine that starting over feeling was hard. Also, congrats on your current pregnancy–you’ll have to share insight on parenting in “zone” defense!

  3. Lindsey Vanzant June 21, 2018 at 9:04 pm #

    This is an awesome concept! I lead a support group called Embrace Grace for girls with an unplanned pregnancy down in Columbus. These mamas desperately need the education and community that a mom school would provide!

    • Ashley Magers June 22, 2018 at 4:11 pm #

      That’s awesome, Lindsey! I’ll look up Embrace Grace. My vision is to definitely have diversity in the school, so I would absolutely love to welcome teenage mommas!

  4. Caitlin Laurino June 28, 2018 at 12:55 pm #

    I think this is a great idea! Being a new Mom myself there have been so many unknowns, questions and new things to learn! I have also been curious about ways to better support working Moms! I would love to talk more!

    • Ashley Magers July 1, 2018 at 9:57 pm #

      Hi Caitlin! Thanks for your comment. I agree there is so much room for improvement to support working moms, including better maternity & paternity leave policies. I would love to talk with you! (Also, your last name is super familiar–I think I briefly worked with a Laurino when I was at Creekside Middle School in Carmel back in 2009-2010.)

  5. Caitlin Laurino June 28, 2018 at 12:59 pm #

    This is a great idea! Being a new mom myself there have been many unknowns, questions and new things that have come up. I have also been wondering what strategies/ideas can support & ease moms returning to work! I am an teacher myself and know that I am not the only one!
    I would love to talk more!

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