How This New Mom Support Group Aims to Empower Parents

Being a new mom isn’t easy, especially today. Whether you’re part of a new mom support group, reading books, taking classes, or going down the rabbit hole of websites — it can be information overload. But how do you know you’re getting vetted advice from true experts? The answer is that you choose a platform run by nurses and moms such as Nuture By NAPS, which stands for Newborn And Parenting Support.

The platform offers classes and new mom support groups running the gamut from car seat safety to breastfeeding basics to sample daytime schedules, programs for twins, and so much more. Essentially, if there’s any information that a new parent needs to know from conception to toddlerhood, it’s probably on NAPS. 

There’s also a Baby Bootcamp, which is the perfect new parent support program that non-members can enroll in. This is in addition to referrals for in-person help, access to nurses, and so much more. 

Before starting this platform in 2011, co-founders Emily Silver and Jamie O’Day worked on the labor and delivery floor at one of Boston’s leading hospitals. By 2017, after working together on the company as a side hustle for six years, the women started to run NAPS full-time. Today, they have a team of 40 people providing all sorts of educational programs and support for members. 

I recently spoke with the founders to learn more about the challenges of being a parent today, how their business has evolved, all about “the fourth trimester,” and more. 

founders of naps, a new mom support group

What was the process of starting NAPS and how did the platform change during the pandemic?

When NAPS started, we focused on the local Boston and New England audience. In early 2020, we started to dabble in the virtual space as we had the plan to create a digital parenting platform as part of our overall business plan. We were hosting one-off parenting workshops once a month. Up until that point, all of our services, including prenatal classes, lactation consultations, and support groups were conducted in person. 

When Covid hit, we had to pivot operations, like nearly every business out there. We started conducting all of the NAPS services via Zoom, except for our in-home nursing care. We realized we could take it to the next level and offer our services to moms across the country and really the globe.

But more than that, Covid gave us the time to create the content for our digital parenting platform (Nurture by NAPS) that we always had plans to create. So we took that time to outline and record all of the content for Nurture. 

Conducting the once-in-person offering online allowed both parents to join the call from anywhere, whereas before, only one parent was able to join during the in-office classes. 

Why do you think new parents get so overwhelmed these days? 

Today, the expectations of nearly everything seem greater. More often than not, both parents work, therefore following maternity, paternity/parental leave, they quickly head back to work. This creates a significant period of adjustment as parents learn to juggle it all. 

With the advent of social media, there’s also a lot of societal and peer pressure. There’s the whole notion of “Instagram vs. reality.” It paints a picture as though parenting has to go or look a certain way, but in reality, at NAPS, we know that it’s not a “one-size-fits-all” approach when it comes to being a mom or dad. 

Some parents see what their friends or influencers are doing and often feel like they have to live up to a certain expectation. This can create a lot of emotional stress on top of the demands of parenting.

Essentially, with all of this external input, we’ve clouded our ability to listen to our internal input. At NAPS, we aim to empower parents and make them more confident in their parenting.

What are some of the best ways for new moms to empower themselves during the fourth trimester?

At NAPS, we’re all about moms supporting moms. There’s no greater power than leaning on those around you who are experiencing the same things you are, especially when you have an infant. We actually use our NAPS name as an acronym in our prenatal classes to help parents identify the things that they need to keep in their daily lives to remain (somewhat) sane, and the P in our name we say is your people. What we mean by that is for you and your partner to identify who your “people” are, meaning those individuals in your life who you turn to, value, and rely on to give you sound advice. This might be a family member, friend, healthcare professional or lactation consultant, or us at NAPS.

Whether you have friends, family, or coworkers who are new moms, don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to them. Plus, NAPS offers dedicated support groups including ones for new moms, veteran moms, breastfeeding or bottle-feeding moms, working moms, and more. 

What types of courses and content does the platform offer?

NAPS’ signature digital parenting platform, Nurture, is thoughtfully designed to help parents thrive in every stage from conception through preschool. Nurture provides families with 24/7 access to the Ask a Nurse feature, a wide array of virtual classes and webinars, video how-tos, live Q&As, and in-depth care guides. Within and outside of Nurture, we also offer prenatal classes, support groups, lactation and sleep consulting, in-home daytime and overnight nursing care (in Massachusetts only), and parenting workshops for every stage. 

It’s worth noting that NAPS takes a very different approach to provide parenting support. We don’t just offer courses and content, which we do from a fun but informed perspective. A large part of Nurture is also coaching. We work alongside our members to carefully listen, learn about their situation, and provide a plan that’s tailored to their needs and parenting style, allowing them to find their way as a parent. 

What is the most important course to take, if you could only take one?

It’s hard to choose just one course because what’s most important to one mom or parent might differ from what’s most important to another. 

However, Nurture by NAPS is our most comprehensive offering. Especially if you take advantage of the annual membership, which includes all of your prenatal classes, a support group, infant and child CPR class, a sleep consultation, and then all of the content that lives on the platform. Plus access to a nurse 24/7.

Nurture by NAPS is very different from the hospital or U.S. healthcare system support. Not only is there self-paced education that’s actually organized and delivered in an easy-to-understand way but also extensive opportunities to customize and continue your 1:1 support with the NAPS team.

What makes NAPS unique?

NAPS is unique in that we offer content for every topic and stage of parenting from pregnancy to newborn to toddler. Meaning we don’t just cover one specific topic, like sleep or feeding or developmental milestones, but instead cover them all.

The experts at NAPS, since they’re all nurses, also prioritize listening to the client first and secondly offer suggestions or a plan to ensure we have your best interests and goals in mind! NAPS is truly an all-in-one resource for parents, whereas, in the past, parents have had to go to different experts for different topics. 

In addition to all of this, you have a podcast that is available on the major platforms brilliantly called Unswaddled. Can you tell me more about it? 

Unswaddled gives candid, uncensored parenting advice. Emily and Jamie combine the worlds of medical advice and real-life parenting to provide a break from the challenging day-to-day life of parenting and come and get support and education or just a good laugh usually at the expense of ourselves. 

Photos courtesy of NAPS

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About Amanda Lauren

Originally from New York City, Amanda Lauren currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their two dogs Milo and Lulu. Rarely seen in an actual gym, she is a group fitness enthusiast who enjoys Pilates (both East Coast and West Coast styles), spin, barre, power plates, yoga and her newest obsession, versa climbing. She will try any group fitness class at least once. When Amanda isn’t working out or trying to find the perfect pair of pink sneakers, she blogs about her adventures in fitness as well as fashion, lifestyle and beauty on ItsAmandaLauren.com.

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