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Beer brings new moms together for support, reassurance

A meetup group for new moms in the Tri-Cities has grown to more than 500 members in its first year. Where they meet might have something to do with it.

Alex Turner was a new mom when she ran headlong into postpartum depression.

She didn’t have it. But the former television reporter felt deeply connected to the news coverage of a young Burnaby mother who’d gone missing for three weeks until her body was found near Bowen Island.

In a heart-wrenching post on Facebook, the woman’s husband said she had been struggling with breastfeeding her newborn son, but without a community of moms around her to provide support and reassurance, she gave into her feelings of guilt and anxiety.

“I could feel her struggle,” said Turner, whose own baby was about the same age as the woman’s infant. “You have a new person you have to care for, yet you can feel you’re so alone.”

So when Turner became pregnant with her second child, she was determined not to let herself become isolated by creating her own community of new moms who could lean on and learn from each other, who would appreciate the opportunity to just get out of the house.

A year later, Turner’s Tri-Cities Moms Monthly “Meeting” group has more than 500 members from New Westminster to Maple Ridge, several dozen of whom gathered with their infants and toddlers for their regular assembly Thursday at the outdoor patio behind Yellow Dog Brewery in Port Moody.

Turner said while social media like Facebook and Instagram might provide a refuge for new moms, digital connections aren’t a substitute for real, personal interaction.

“You need to come together face-to-face,” she said.

And what better place to do that than the family-friendly environs of one of Port Moody’s craft breweries where moms can have adult conversations while their babies and toddler roll around on blankets spread on the soft wood chip ground of the expansive and shaded back outdoor patio?

“We’re in this together,” Turner said.

• You can connect with the Tri-Cities Moms Monthly “Meeting” on Instagram @TurnerTalks.