Emerson Hospital

New Parent Support Groups & Classes

Emotional well-being after baby

A free support group that meets every Thursday, 9:30-11 a.m. Emotional challenges are the most common complication of pregnancy and childbirth, yet parents often feel isolated and ashamed if they are struggling. Parents experiencing anxiety or depression in the postpartum year can come together in this supportive, nonjudgmental, confidential group to share stories, learn from each other, and acquire coping skills.

While this is an ongoing group, before attending for the first time please contact the facilitator, Heather O’Brien, LICSW, at hobrien@jri.org. Currently meeting via zoom, with one Thursday per month meeting in person in Acton. Individual assistance with finding a postpartum therapist can also be provided. For more information, please call 978-429-8284 or visit the First Connections website.

New Mothers Group

Any parent who identifies as a mother with a pre-crawling baby is welcome to attend this ongoing, free weekly group held on Wednesdays from 1-2:30 p.m. Facilitated by Mary Beilman, CLC, this open discussion group is a forum for you to share experiences, connect with other new mothers, and seek guidance about any concerns you might have. Receive support around feeding and find out about community resources. Currently meeting via zoom, with a monthly in-person meeting at the Littleton Library. Email mbeilman@jri.org for the link. Email lmatthews@jri.org to RSVP for the in-person group. For more information, please call 978-429-8284 or visit the First Connections website.

Mary also offers an Older Babies (5-11 months) parents group virtually on Wednesday mornings, with one week per month meeting at Boxboro library. Email mbeilman@jri.org for more information.

New dads group

The transition into fatherhood can be a complex one, full of joy, excitement, uncertainty, and stress around relationships and balancing work with family life. This group helps dads make connections with other fathers, gives them an opportunity to ask their own questions, exchange tips, and share their experience of parenthood. The group is facilitated by experienced dads, trained and supervised by First Connections.

This free group currently meets virtually one Tuesday each month from 7:30-9 p.m. To be added to a monthly reminder email which includes periodically-scheduled, short-term, in-person events or groups for dads, email hobrien@jri.org For more information, please call 978-429-8284 or visit the First Connections website.

More Support Group Options

Click on the link below for a list of additional local and virtual support group options for perinatal and postpartum parents. This list was developed in cooperation with Emerson's behavioral health department and the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Central Middlesex.

Childbirth & Parent classes

The Steinberg Wellness Center for Mind & Body offers several classes for parents, including breastfeeding, infant care, and infant CPR. Visit emersonwellness.org to learn more and see which classes are currently available.

These classes can fill quickly so we recommend registering for classes at about week 24 of your pregnancy so that you attend class at around your 32nd week. (Earlier if you are expecting twins.) The infant CPR class may be taken before or after your baby is born.