When she wasn’t walking her year-old son, Elliott around the room, Rebecca Courtot was sitting in a circle with other moms chatting about familiar topics.
Sleep. Lack of Sleep. Teething. Crawling.
IU Health childbirth educator and pediatric nurse practitioner Cindy Love facilitates the weekly support groups – Toddler Time and Mother Connection. Topics vary for each group ranging from “Sibling Rivalry” to “Perinatal Moods.” And there is ample time for moms to talk, play, and ask questions.
“What is the right age for baby to begin crawling?”
“How do I calm him down when I’m trying to change his diaper?”
“He won’t go to sleep at night. What do I do?”
The moms come to learn and to find support. Courtot attended a recent west side meeting at its new location – the Avon-Washington Township Public Library. The groups also meet at IU Health North.
“It’s nice to have something to look forward to every week and to meet other moms with children around the same age as Elliott,” said Courtot. “It’s also nice to learn things I didn’t know from a reliable source.”
Love who has been a nurse with IU Health for nearly 20 years says she bases her topics on guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics.
“I think right now, all new moms have questions. There is no book out there that gives them the ins and outs so the topics are important and more than anything these moms are getting support for what they are doing,” said Love.
In a recent Toddler session she offered practical advice on tantrums, sibling rivalry, sharing, and conflict resolution.
“One of the things about having a sibling is that it helps the older child learn empathy – to develop a relationship with their sibling,” Love said.
And as she talked to new mother’s about self-care Love offered tips on coping with anxiety: Exercise, proper nutrition, sunshine, and adequate sleep. She also reminded moms to ask for help when they need it.
“I want moms to feel comfortable and have confidence in the staff at IU Health that we are here to help them in their transition to motherhood.”
For a list of support groups, dates, times and locations log onto: https://iuhealth.org/find-medical-services/maternity.
— By T.J. Banes, Associate Senior Journalist at IU Health. Reach Banes via email at
T.J. Banes or on Twitter @tjbanes.