The art of being a new mom: New meet up for new mothers launches at LAM

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Moms at the Museum, a unique monthly meet-up designed to guide new mothers of infants up to six months old through the complex world of postnatal care, has hit the ground running at the Laguna Art Museum.

Valerie Lynn (standing at rear) hosts a monthly meet-up for new moms at the Laguna Art Museum. Clara Beard/LB Indy

Spearheaded by Laguna Beach resident Valerie Lynn, a holistic postpartum doula and author, Moms at the Museum combines education and socialization with an artistic twist. 

“I’m trying to customize the meet-up to how the moms want community and whatever that looks like for them,” said Lynn, who rebalanced herself naturally from postpartum anxiety after her son was born in 2007 by turning to traditional postnatal practices. “I’m trying to give new moms the chance to look at beautiful art and practical tips they can take away. Because new moms can feel isolated, I want them to be in a beautiful space to discuss issues important to them and say, ‘I feel alone’ or ‘I don’t feel good.’ I want to create a safe place for moms to let their hair down.”

Haley Schwartz holds six month old Gabriela, one of her twin daughters, while exploring Laguna Art Museum the Moms at the Museum meet up. Clara Beard/LB Indy

The meet-up, which started last November, begins with coffee, tea, and mingling before a LAM Museum educator leads the group on a tour of one of the exhibits. 

Then, Lynn and other postnatal care experts like midwives, doulas, newborn care specialists, nutritionists, acupuncturists, and massage therapists share tips and tricks for mom’s self-care and newborn issues.

At December’s meeting, participants had the chance to hear from Lynn, acupuncturist Leilani Wong Navar and Suzi Schwartz, owner of OC Nanny Newborn.

“The turnout for our previous events has really given us a lot of hope for this program because it gives moms a place to come together, be social, find other people in the same place as them, and appreciate art – on top of the fact that they are moms,” LAM Museum Educator Katherine Morton said.

Moms at the Museum gives new mothers a chance to mingle and chat about issues relating to motherhood and babies. Clara Beard/LB Indy

Melissa Nunez, a first-timer to the group, said she came to the meet-up because being a new mother can feel isolating. Connecting with other moms has become her priority. 

“After you have a kid, something changes in the brain that programs moms to be more social. Just having a kid, historically, is not a single-parent action. In the past, there was more community,” said Nunez, holding her seven-month-old son Nolan. “Before having a kid,  I was fine just being in my house with my partner, watching TV or something. But now, I’m seeking those social connections, so I’m making a bigger effort to come out and do that.”

The next New Moms at the Museum event will be held on Feb. 15 from 9 to 10:30 a.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring a yoga mat for their baby to lie on and a blanket for extra warmth, as it can get chilly in the museum. The group is for babies zero (pregnant) to six months. New dads are also welcome. Snacks and drinks are provided. More information can be found at www.lagunaartmuseum.org/events/new-moms-at-the-museum-4/

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