Support groups for mums who have just had a baby or have very young children are few and far between in Barcelona. This is partly because Catalan women tend to rely on their own mothers for help in the early days and also because once the statutory four months maternity leave is up, the vast majority of women go back to work and it is not uncommon to see babies as young as four months in nursery (Guarderia). However, there are increasing numbers of support groups around, which have proved a lifesaver for many mums without families here. The groups are a great way to share information and to meet others in similar situations. Below we have listed some of the groups available but wed love to hear from you if you have your own recommendations so please do send us your comments.
Recommended by Louise Vaughan
Barcelona’s English speaking contact group for mums, dads, babies and tots. Weekly music and singing group plus the chance to connect with other parents with kids in the city. Seek advice and support, meet other parents near you and arrange playdates.
For more information contact email@example.com
"The Wednesday morning baby group is a lifesaver! Its great to have a gossip with other mums and share tips and experiences. I found it a real comfort in early mummyhood when things can seem a bit overwhelming.......also a good excuse to drink tea and eat biscuits. BCN Tots is a fantastic resource, theres always a database of mummies just an email away to answer any mummy worries!" (LV, May 2008)
Recommended by Carrie Frais
Catalan support group for pregnant women and mothers. There are also very interesting articles online. Meetings are held in Central Barcelona every Tuesday between 11 and 1pm.
Centro Cívico Sagrada Familia, Calle Mallorca, 425, 433 3º - Sala 3 BIS
Recommended by Chantal Ducoeurjoly
Poble Nou playgroup is held once weekly for both babies,toddlers and children up until 10 years. As well as the weekly group, they also organize activities such as Halloween and attending Barcelona events suitable for children. The children are from all nationalities but the aim is to promote the use of English. Held every Friday from 5pm.
Contact Margaret West firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 690391834
"I have very good memories (Nadim and I were some of the first people to join the group 3 years ago....) Margaret has great ideas and lots of energy which is why the group has grown so much and does a lot of fun activities - Margaret is really good at organizing and finding good activities for kids...she´s really into it!"(CD, March 2008)
Recommended by Kara Stenhouse
The Barcelona Womens Network Mums and Tots group gives young children a chance to play and gives mothers a chance to foster friendships and trade valuable information on life in Barcelona with children. The weekly get-togethers include free play and sing-along time (with songs in English). The group meets every Wednesday morning in Sarria at Casa Orlandai, a municipal space just a short walk from the FGC Sarria train stop. There’s a café serving sandwiches with outdoor seating and room for the little ones to run about.
Casa Orlandai (www.casaorlandai.cat) c/Jaume Piquet, 2. 932524262. From the FGC Sarria stop, take the c/Mare de Deu de Nuria
exit. Turn left; its the pale yellow and green building. Nearby buses include 22, 30, 64, 66, 75, N60 and N61.
For further details about the mums and tots group please contact Lisa Williams on 678 825 260 or email Lisa at email@example.com
Recommended by Zoe Koumbouzi
Many new mums complain that advice on breastfeeding both before and after giving birth is difficult to come across in Barcelona. This weekly group is a chance to discuss any concerns you may have over this much debated issue. It is run by a trained and experienced group leader along with trainee counsellors who offer help to mums with babies with problems such as poor weight gain, sleep deprivation or painful breastfeeding. The rest of the group functions like a baby and toddler group - there are toys for children to play with whilst mums get to grips with all the usual issues. Ages range from newborn to about 3 years old. There are various groups throughout Barcelona. Consult the website for more information:
Recommended by Zoe Koumbouzi
Spanish/Catalan breastfeeding arm of this established support group in Barcelona. Advice and encouragement given on all aspects of breastfeeding and also a good way to meet other mums in similar situations.
Recommended by Lou Melotte
Elvira has been an independent breastfeeding consultant for the last 4 years, certified by the FEDCAT Catalan Federation of Breastfeeding.. Helping women resolve the potential problems in their journey of breast feeding which is a natural, emotional, unique, bonding, nurturing and nourishing experience for both mother and baby, is her passion. Available for private home (also prenatal advice) & hospital visits on request. (+34) 626122047
"Elvira can give the emotional and practical support necessary to enjoy the experience of breastfeeding. Happy to work in both Castellano and English, as an Australian Andaluzian - they are both her native languages." (LM)