Now, thanks to a new support group she's started in Ocean Beach, Moms on Maternity – she's getting her message out.
The first MOM's luncheon held last month at Ocean Beach Woman's Club featured a guest speaker on post-natal nutrition and fitness. It was a great networking opportunity for moms of all stripes.
“I started the group to connect moms who are on maternity leave (or will be soon) with other new moms to talk babies, kids and careers,” said Sando Cruz.
There were 22 mommas and three guest speakers at the group's inaugural meeting.
MOM luncheon attendee Shannon Handy Grassi, of KFMB-TV, remarked, “If you're a working mommy, this group is for you, education and support all in one.”
Moms and their infants were so elated to be able to share their experiences with others, they posed for a group shot hoisting their infants up with outstretched arms.
Sando Cruz hopes the new group can promote the importance of employer-supported maternity leave to allow moms to bond with babies and find support and a system before they return to work.
“I am very fortunate to work for an employer (Deloitte financial consultant in San Diego) who has one of the best maternity leaves in the country,” said Sando Cruz. “My second son will be three months in a few weeks, and I am being supported by my employer until I have to return at the end of July. I am so thankful for this time, and wish all moms to have a memorable maternity time.”
Sando Cruz said Deloitte's maternity leave policy offers 16 fully paid weeks of leave “on top of” anything you get from the state of California in regards to short-term disability or paid family leave.
“That's fully paid time off to stay at home and take care of your family and your baby,” she noted.
The second-time mom added she founded the new mom's support group to “make maternity time off matter.”
Part of that was reaching out via Facebook to advertise her new support group.
“I wanted to stay focused on meeting new, like-minded women who are interested in learning about child rearing and post-natal things like breastfeeding,” Sando Cruz said. “I wanted to connect with other women raising families who are going back to work so we could compare schedules, challenges and ways to support each other.”
In the future, Sando Cruz said more guest speakers will speak at monthly networking meetings.
“We'll be focusing on nutrition and fitness, talking about things like understanding your new body post-pregnancy, how to get back in shape, about breastfeeding your child and how to find balance in your life,” she said.
MOM will continue to meet for now at OB Woman's Club at 2160 Bacon St. from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every fourth Wednesday. Every meeting includes a half hour of socialization, a catered lunch, a guest speaker and play time for toddlers.
“It's about finding someone you can connect with so you have a friend when you go home,” Sardo Cruz said.
The topic of MOM's next luncheon in May will be finding balance as a new mom (with career and family).
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Moms on Maternity
Where: Meet at OB Woman's Club at 2160 Bacon St. from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. every fourth Wednesday.