Mother & Baby Support Groups
Support Groups do NOT meet on holidays August 5-6, 12-13; November 25 and December 23-24, 30, 31 and follow the cancellation policy of Arlington County Public Schools.
WE'RE HERE TO HELP!
Virginia Hospital Center has several support groups for new moms and parents.
All of our support groups are FREE! NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED.
Breastfeeding Support Group
When: Wednesdays at 12:00 pm and Thursdays at 10:30 am
Where: 1701 Women & Infant Health Lobby Classroom
While breastfeeding is a natural process, it can be challenging especially in the early weeks. This popular group meets weekly providing encouragement to new and experienced breastfeeding moms through the first year and beyond. Discussion topics may include sore nipples, infant weight gain, nipple shields, milk supply concerns, formula supplements, exclusive pumping, introducing solids, infant sleep and much more. A Board Certified Lactation Consultant/RN is present to answer your questions. Babies are welcome.
Breastfeeding Support Group FAQ
For the answers, please click on the links below to expand or collapse.
What is the Breastfeeding Support Group?
The Breastfeeding Support Group is a twice weekly live forum designed to help nursing moms achieve their breastfeeding goals. We are there to offer support and encouragement to any mom who is offering any amount of breast milk to their baby. All breastfeeding moms and their babies are welcome. We are a very open, accepting, and the non-judgmental group. Most moms attend the group because they have questions about breastfeeding or need help.
When does it meet?
We meet every week on Wednesdays from noon-1:30 pm and on Thursdays from 10:30 am to noon.
Is there a fee?
No, It is a free community service provided by Virginia Hospital Center, so there is no fee or charge for attending.
Who facilitates the group?
The group is moderated by an experienced Registered Nurse who is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC).
Can I get a lactation consultation at the group?
No. A lot of breastfeeding challenges can be solved in a group setting, but the Breastfeeding Group(s) is usually not a "hands on" forum. If you need more in-depth help or prefer an in person consult, we can direct you to area lactation consultants.
What if my baby needs to eat at the group?
If your baby gets hungry, by all means, feed your baby at the group, whether you feed at the breast, with a bottle, with a nipple shield or the other device, it is okay. Most moms attend the group because they have questions about breastfeeding or need help.
I'm nervous that my baby will cry the whole time.
Babies cry. It's okay. We know that you will do your best to respond and comfort your baby. We are all moms and understand. If you are concerned, you can always step out for a few minutes to settle your baby.
What if I am exclusively pumping, can I attend?
Absolutely. If you are making milk for your baby, I will bet that you may have a few questions about pumping. We can help. We can offer ideas and solutions. If you need to pump during the group, bring your pump and plug it in.
My baby is in the NICU. Can I still attend even without my baby?
Having a baby in the NICU is stressful. If you are pumping milk for your baby, or perhaps your baby is not yet latching, this is a great time to attend. We can offer you strategies to help protect your milk supply until your baby can feed at the breast. Many of our regular attendees are the NICU graduates.
My mom/mother-in-law is here to help me. Can she attend too?
Of course, we welcome grandmas. Often grandmas are astonished at the resources and support that are available to nursing moms.
Getting to the Group
If you are on a driving restriction, you can be dropped off at the Women & Infant Entrance. We are located just inside the lobby area directly across from the information desk.
If you are driving, park in the Zone C Green garage and follow the sidewalk to the Women & Infant Entrance. We are located directly across from the information desk. You will see a gaggle of strollers in the alcove. If you are running late, no worries. Just join us whenever you arrive. We offer complimentary valet parking in the Zone A Blue garage. Metered parking is also available on the side streets. Allow for two hours.
Please park your stroller in the stroller alcove near the information desk; space is limited in the classroom. If you need help lifting your car seat from the stroller, let us know; we are happy to help out.
Many moms find that breastfeeding is easier when they have their breastfeeding pillow with them; feel free to bring one.
We also have a twice monthly Breastfeeding Support Group for the Working Mom (see below).
Breastfeeding Support Group for the Working Mom
When: 1st and 3rd Sundays at 7:00 pm
Where:1701 Women & Infant Health Lobby Classroom
This popular group provides working moms an opportunity to learn strategies for breastfeeding success while balancing the demands of pumping, motherhood and working. Common topics include pumping strategies, breast milk collection and storage, childcare concerns, employer support, business travel, partial breastfeeding and much more. Moms are encouraged to attend before they return to work. A Board-Certified Lactation Consultant/RN moderates the group. Babies are welcome.
New Parents Support Group
When: The 1st and 3rd Wednesday of the month September through May at 10:30 am (except for Holiday weeks)
Where: 1701 Women and Infant Health Lobby Classroom
Meet other new parents to share the joys and challenges of the birth experience and parenting in the early weeks and months. Babies most welcome.
Postpartum Support Group
When: 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at 10:30 am
Where: 1701 Women & Infant Health Lobby Classroom
Meet and talk with other new mothers who are finding the postpartum weeks difficult and/or overwhelming. If you are feeling anxious, angry, irritable or sad, group support can help. Babies most welcome. To read more about depression, click here.