### Building a Support Network in Your Community as a New Parent

Now that you have a newborn, you require all the assistance available.

Dr. Maggie C. Vaughan, LMFT, PhD, and head of youth transformation at tapouts in Manhattan, emphasized two essential aspects of finding reliable support as a new parent. Firstly, she highlighted the importance of pushing oneself to step outside. Secondly, she stressed the significance of recognizing and accepting the chaotic nature of parenting.

When parents encounter challenges, they often experience feelings of shame and inadequacy, according to Vaughan, which can hinder them from seeking assistance.

Building a strong community is crucial in facilitating the journey of raising a baby, as Lance Somerfeld pointed out.

Melissa Bykofsky, executive editor at What to Expect, acknowledged the sense of isolation that many parents feel, particularly during the initial year of parenthood, citing research indicating that 75% of mothers lack sufficient support.

On a positive note, accessing resources and support groups, both locally in New York City and virtually, has become more convenient. Here are expert recommendations for forming your parenting network and valuable resources for those grappling with sleep deprivation:

  • Throw a nesting party: Nesting parties, focused on assisting the expecting parents with household preparations, have gained popularity. These gatherings involve tasks such as stocking the freezer with meals and organizing the nursery, offering practical support to the new parents.

  • Communicate your needs: Activating your existing support system is essential. Clearly expressing your requirements, whether it’s emotional support or practical help, enables your network to assist you effectively.

  • Engage with peers and professionals: Online platforms like Facebook, Meetup, and What to Expect NYC forum provide avenues to connect with other parents. Resource swaps, where parents exchange various items, can also foster community support.

  • Support for Dads: Fathers also need to establish connections during the early stages of parenthood. Programs like New York City’s Fathering Together’s City Dads Program offer meetups and events tailored for dads.

  • Facilitate social interactions for your child: Encouraging your child to socialize early on is crucial for their development. Organizing playdates, attending local parenting workshops, and participating in community classes can help your child build social skills and make friends.

In conclusion, while the challenges of new parenthood can be daunting, seeking and accepting support from various sources can significantly ease the journey.