Going through the process of pregnancy, delivery, and early motherhood is challenging for any woman however, the feeling is amplified when you’re far away from “home.” Often times, we new moms may feel scared and alone if we are unfamiliar with the city. The good news is that there is an incredible organization with a variety of support groups available in Beijing called Bumps2Babes. Beijing Bumps2Babes started just over two years ago as a support group for pregnant moms and those with non-mobile babies. The small group of western moms needed an excuse to get out of the house with their babies on a regular basis, meet other moms with children of similar ages, learn from, and support each other. As their babies have grown, and as group members have steadily increased (there are currently over 200 members), there are now several subgroups in the CBD area.
The groups offer a free and easy way to meet other moms as well as to make friends for both mom and baby. Many moms express what a life saver the groups are and how great it is to realize you aren’t the only foreigner with a baby in China. (Crazy, but it’s how we all feel sometimes, right?)
I have been to a few Bumps2Babes gatherings myself and am active in the WeChat group. It has been an invaluable resource on a number of occasions. The morning before we left to the UK recently, Kai was inconsolable between teething and diaper rash, and I was totally freaked out about the long flight ahead with a screaming baby. I messaged the group and received almost a dozen helpful tips. Honestly, this is a lovely group of women.
Each group is organized by a volunteer mom who can decide on location and content. Some groups like to meet up and simply chat over coffee, others prefer to organize topics, speakers, etc. Groups are created on a need basis: usually as the babies grows (2-year-old toddlers can no longer meet in coffee shops, for example, as they need a safe space to explore and be creative), or if a mom would like a coffee morning in her area, etc. Here’s a rundown of current support groups:
Bumps2Babes (B2B): A support group for pregnant moms or those with a baby not yet fully mobile. Meets Friday mornings in Sanlitun.
Babes2Cruisers (B2C): A group for more mobile babies (up to about 18 months old. Meets Friday mornings in Sanlitun.
B2B Toddler Playgroup: A group for the fully mobile 15-30 month age group. This is a full on playgroup with songs, stories, messy play, and anything fun and creative our moms come up with. Meets every Wednesday morning at Beijing City International School’s Early Childhood Center in Shuangjing.
B2B @ weekends: For working moms and dads or those that prefer to meet other families at weekends. Dates and locations vary.
Mondays @ MyGym: For all ages (currently newborns up to about 30 months). Use of the gym facilities and chat over coffee at the MyGym CBD location. RMB 60 per family.
Coffee Mornings: There are regular coffee mornings happening in moms’ homes around the CBD area.
The groups are primarily for English speaking expat moms but dads are welcome to some of the groups.
All groups run independently of each other, however there is a weekly newsletter so anyone interested can attend or contact the relevant group organizers. There are occasionally group offers posted on the newsletters such as mommy makeovers, group buy discounts, etc. Newsletters also advertise any mom/baby related ventures that members are involved with.
If you’re interested in learning more, contact Gemma at firstname.lastname@example.org
Theresa Pauline is a yoga teacher, social entrepreneur, momma, wife, and beijingkids contributor. You can find out more about her at www.taozitreeyoga.com.
Photos: Courtesy of Bumps2Babes