When Stephanie Ciatti was pregnant with her youngest child, Pippa, she thought about creating a community for mothers of newborns.
A mother of three from Mequon, Wisconsin shared her raw emotions after giving birth: isolated and alone. But she turned her hurt and sadness into creation, and now that mother is bringing support to new mothers in the area.
Stephanie Ciatti told TMJ4, “I noticed a shift when I wasn’t around other moms, other people, that I was more anxious and sad and I kind of really yearned for a group.”
She quit her job as a speech pathologist to create Babbling Babes, which represent both the babies and their mothers.
Ciatti has a method of meeting up with other mothers across the Milwaukee area. She makes use of social media and word-of-mouth to get the word out about these meet-ups. When Ciatti spoke with TMJ4, she was at Little Sprouts in Shorewood. Other mothers have told her that in just the little time they’ve known her, the differences they’ve noticed in their lives are huge.
“We just met like a week ago or two, and already, we’ve talked about things that I know she gets but I have not said to any of my other friends,” said one new mother.
“It’s really about feeding your soul and having someone ask, ‘How are you?’ and not just ‘How much is your baby sleeping?'” said Ciatti.
“When you said that I was like, ‘Oh, you’re right,'” said another new mother.
Babbling Babes isn’t just about talking and sharing experiences concerning the little ones. It’s also about finding and settling into a new normal. But while Babbling Babes is about uplifting new mothers, Ciatti encourages these women to express what’s really on their mind, even if it’s not always positive.
“It’s okay to come and say, ‘I’m having a terrible day’ or ‘I’m really scared of going back to work’ or ‘I’m really excited to go back to work’. It’s okay to feel,” said Ciatti.
Babbling Babes is a free, nonprofit organization and group events don’t cost anything to attend. The plan is to organize more events down the line where fathers can be involved, like group date nights. Ciatti says her focus right now is to rally a community of support for moms of newborns.