Empowering Moms Program
Building Connection, Community and Confidence in New Mothers
The Empowering Moms program at in Toto consists of virtual and in-person support groups, community events and workshops to support women as new moms & throughout their parenting journey.
Our mission is to empower women to gain confidence as new moms through a validating, diverse, and accepting community setting.
We know that having a village for resources and support can help create a healthier experience in many ways. Our program helps women to connect and access a support system.
We are grateful for all financial support and excited to announce the support of Heinz Endowments to continue to grow and strengthen the Empowering Moms Program in Toto.
- Facilitated, weekly groups for new moms to meet, explore daily challenges and receive encouragement and support.
- Information on resources for mental health, developmental interventions and social services.
- Workshops on early parenting topics.
- Support groups for primary and secondary infertility.
- Special events and regular meet ups for increase community connection.
- Volunteer led social activities and resources.
- Mentoring & advocacy regarding maternal mental health, developmental & family needs.
- Encouragement, empowerment & acceptance of all moms.
What moms have to say about their experiences with groups...
“When my daughter was 5 weeks old I finally worked up the courage to give New Moms Group a try. I had been a member of the Facebook page for a few weeks but I was terrified to put myself out there. I had barely left the house since we had come home from the hospital. I almost cancelled that morning because we hadn’t slept much, obviously. The only predictable thing my daughter and I both did at the time was cry in the car. It was bitter cold outside. I still couldn’t sit comfortably in any position. But despite all that, we made it to that first group and I am so glad we did.
Being around other moms with babies the same age and talking through the struggles helped me so much. During one group, I found the strength to say “I’m not doing okay” and the responses showed me I wasn’t alone even in the darkest days. The isolation and lack of sleep got the best of me in those early months but the routine of going to group and socializing was a lifeline. Reflecting on this year as my daughter reaches her first birthday, I am forever thankful for Empowering Moms for all that it gave me: support, guidance, strength, friendship—the list is endless.”
A new mom
I gained a strong sense of community at the vulnerable time of becoming a new mom. I gained a space and a new mom tribe to share honestly the joys and tribulations of new motherhood. No experience, question, or viewpoint was off limits or judged. It was truly a safe place to share, learn, and make connections to other new moms. I will forever hold New Moms groups and Megan Shane in a special place in my mom heart.
A mom of 2
As a first time mother, discovering this group gave me a sense of community, identity, and reassurance. In most communities there is not enough support for mothers (mentally and emotionally) and having a group for solidarity, as well as to ask questions, while knowing judgement is nonexistent, gives moms the support that is necessary.
A New Mom
I was only a few months pregnant when COVID19 lockdowns started, and thus didn’t get a chance to connect with other expecting parents. The first few weeks postpartum are hard when there is only a handful of people you can trust to be around with your baby. Having a virtual way to connect each week with other new moms made a huge difference for me! It allowed me the chance to ask random questions, share the milestone moments, and vent about the difficulties. The Facebook group is also an amazing outlet to ask a wide group for advice, offer support, and simply connect regularly and easily.
A VERY New Mom
I’ve mostly only been able to attend groups virtually due to Covid precautions. Going through post partum depression, especially without typical social interactions, mom’s group helped me to find a place to work through these difficulties. Also having a child with extra needs, mom’s group is a great place to seek support but also to help others.
A second time Mom
Megan’s group was a life preserver when the ocean that is new parenting threatened to drown me. The first time I went to one of Megan’s groups, my colicky newborn screamed so loudly and for so long that nobody could hear what anyone else was saying. Frustrated and embarrassed, I practically threw him at Megan and sobbed. The group gave me a welcoming place to process having a traumatic birth as well as a high needs infant.
A New Moms graduate!
What I’ve gained from being a part of a mom’s group is absolutely priceless and I could talk forever about it. Support as a new mom is so critical and In a society where no one talks about how hard it is, this group was everything to me. In a struggle with post partum anxiety and depression.. I was able to surround myself with other moms in my same “boat.” I never felt alone even when I was just knowing I had somewhere to go. I learned tricks and tips and heard relatable stories to my own. I gained confidence and friendships that mean the world to Me. The foundation of my motherhood was among these amazing women and without the guidance, compassion, support, recognition, respect and empathy I wouldn’t have made it. Grateful doesn’t even scratch the surface.
A New Mom
I moved from out of state four years when our first son was 6 months old. This mom group was my instant community. I met almost all my friends through group. It was so nice to be able to ask questions and get answers from moms that have been through it. I think socialization is so important for babies and children even before they start to play together.
A mom of two
We encourage accessibility through open, weekly groups offered through Zoom and in-person. Women from the greater Pittsburgh area and outside of our region can participate without clinical or financial obligation. Use our scheduler through Calendly to RSVP and get more information.
We know that it can be challenging to come for the first time. If you’re not sure what to expect, please email Megan (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
- A weekly call for moms in the first year of parenting a little one (first, second or third little one!).
- Toddler Time playgroup and mom connection every other week.
- Evening calls/groups for moms who are working or occupied during the day.
- In-person, daytime, meet ups for New moms and babies.
- Specialty support groups such as Secondary Infertility.
- Monthly workshops on a variety of parenting topics.
- Volunteer organized social activities to help build community.
Please join us to get individualized support and encouragement. In addition, we offer a Facebook community to those who have registered through the above sign up link. This community is an extension of our non-judgemental, inclusive and supportive approach.
We can't wait to meet you.
Come together with other moms to find connection and community while building confidence as a new mom. All groups are free, inclusive and open to you.
Megan Shane, M.A. Program Manager
Text EMP to 412-748-0406 for more info