Motherhood: Challenges & Changes
to Mar 23

Motherhood: Challenges & Changes

Motherhood can be overwhelming and stressful in ways we never imagined.  This group is intended to provide peer and therapeutic support to women who have experienced discomfort, bewilderment, isolation, depression, anxiety or other difficulties during the transition to parenting or following a traumatic birth experience.

Moms and babies will gather for six weeks to intimately share experiences and support one another in order to regain a stronger sense of well-being and healing in a safe place. 

Objectives of the group include:

·         Understand the emotional changes that can occur during life with a baby.

·         Reflect on the highs, lows and incredible challenges associated with parenting.  We will use realism, humor and strength, along with many resources and guidance to deeply cover poignant topics that arise for women postpartum.

·         Learn skills to enhance coping, reduce stress and improve a sense of well-being.

·         Connect with other moms with similar struggles.

** Mothers are encouraged to bring their baby

Fee: $150. Sliding scale available based on need.

Leader: Christen Scozzafave, LCSW, Christen Scozzafave is a licensed clinical social worker in private practice specializing in pregnancy & postpartum adjustment, maternal mental health, pregnancy & infant loss and parenting transitions.  She takes pride in warmly attending to the emotional needs of parents and families as they navigate both the stress of welcomed life changes and difficulties that sometimes arise.  She believes that through every one of life’s challenges, there is growth, healing and peace possible. 

In addition to her private practice, Ms. Scozzafave also serves as a Perinatal Family Support Specialist at NorthShore University HealthSystem.   She is a member of the National Association for Perinatal Social Workers and serves on the board for Beyond the Baby Blues.  Prior to transitioning her career to clinical social work in 2011, she was a senior manager at a management consulting firm for 11 years.  She has a Masters of Social Work from the University of Chicago and Bachelors of Science in Industrial & Operations Engineering from the University of Michigan.



Phone: (773) 916-6863

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Mom & Baby Group
to May 22

Mom & Baby Group

I already miss our mom’s group!! Wish it went on for many many months!!
-Joy (mom)

This is an intimate group for both first and second-time mothers and their babies. We meet weekly for 5 weeks with loose talking points each week and spend a lot of time talking about how life changes when you have a baby!

These topics include: 

  • Birth stories

  • Changes in how mothers see themselves

  • How to find time for oneself

  • Changes in your relationships, from intimate to professional ones

  • How life will change with a new baby

  • Breastfeeding and other feeding issues

  • Sleeping issues

  • Helping fussy babies

  • Understanding a baby’s separation anxiety

  • Returning to work

  • Help finding the right child care.

In addition, other topics important to the group are added as they come up. As the group continues, moms talk openly and intimately with each other about their personal situations and find support from this amazing group of women that are going through the same experiences at the same time. This group provides an opportunity for mothers to spend time with other mothers and for young babies to begin ‘socializing’. It really is a must for any mom with a new baby! 

Led by Sue Gottschall, Certified Lactation Consultant and Child Development Specialist and/or Rebecca Nguyen, Certified Lactation Consultant and Early Childhood Specialist

Cost: $100 (sliding fee scale if needed)

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Working Mom's Group
to Dec 22

Working Mom's Group

This group is for moms that are working in any capacity and have a young child or children. The group is open to join as a 5 week series or for drop-ins.

(Group will skip the Weekend of Thanksgiving - 11/24)

Are you a working mom trying to balance your family life and your work life (not to mention your social life)? Then, we have designed this group for moms like you!

During the 5-week group, we will tackle all the mess, the drama, the tears, and the joys of being a working mother. Whether you are a new mom and just returning to work or your ‘baby’ is in school and you’ve been back for years, we are all working hard to figure out how to be a good mom, further our career, and enjoy the jobs we chose. We encourage those of you that have little ones to bring your babies to the group but if your baby is older or you want to have a group just for you, we also encourage you to come alone. We do ask that kids over 6 months are left at home as those movers and shakers may disrupt what we are trying to create!

Each week, we will delve into a specific topic related to being a working mom. So, feel free to join us for the whole 5 weeks or to drop-in on the topics that are most important to you!

Below are the weekly topics (in general);

Week 1: Your Identity (as a mom, a career woman, an employee, a wife/partner, etc…)

Week 2: The relationships in your life (from the one with your partner to the ones at work; nothing is off the table during this discussion)

Week 3: Work/Life Balance

Week 4: Your child(ren) and you as their mom (parenting struggles, childcare issues, and on and on…)

Week 5: Your Household (managing everyone and everything)

We will also add topics that come up as the group progresses, so the schedule is open to interpretation and we will spend the most time on the topics that are most important the to the moms in that particular group.

Cost: $90 ($25 drop-in)

Led by: Rebecca Nguyen, M.Ed (working mother of 3!)

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New Moms Breastfeeding Support Group (for moms and babies aged 0-6 months)
to Oct 20

New Moms Breastfeeding Support Group (for moms and babies aged 0-6 months)

*Skipping the week of Nov. 23

Most mothers agree that breastfeeding can often be challenging, especially during the first weeks and months. Having access to expert support is particularly beneficial and enables mothers to meet their goals. This weekly group is for both first and second-time mothers and their babies, aged 0-6 months, with a focus on breastfeeding.  

The group is led by Jaudon Rogers, MS, RN, IBCLC, CCE. Jaudon is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant and maternal-child RN. She has many years of experience working with mothers and their babies in a variety of settings. The group will meet weekly for 5 weeks. Each week Jaudon will address your breastfeeding challenges and provide guidance. You will be able to do pre- and post-feeding weights to assess milk intake. Jaudon will also have a loose topic for the group to discuss each week.  

Some topics include: 
• Engorgement 
• Pumping-how, when, and why 
• Clogged ducts and mastitis 
• Building a freezer stash 
• Growth spurts and weight gain 
• Sleep patterns
• Introducing bottles and pacifiers 
• How to prepare for returning to work 

• Teething 
• Distracted nurslings 
• Nursing strikes 
• Biting 
• Oral hygiene 
• Starting solids

In addition, other topics relevant to the group will be discussed as they arise. This group will also provide the opportunity for new moms to form relationships with other breastfeeding mothers and bond over your shared experiences. To be able to have weekly support from a breastfeeding expert, as well as from your peers, is invaluable. Please feel free to reach out to Jaudon at for questions.

Cost: $150

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Dad's Group
4:00 PM16:00

Dad's Group

Meets the Third Sunday of every month. 

This group is meant to be a place where dads (with or without their babies) can gather together and talk candidly about what fatherhood has been like!

Join new dad, Jerry, and his baby, Watts, for lively discussions and daddy camraderie! This will be a great opportunity for you to tell your perspective on your baby's birth, talk about how bonding with your baby is going, how you and your partner are supporting each other, and the struggles that come with all of these experiences! This is a group for you and it will follow your needs. Join a great group of other dads and find out you're not the only one! 


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Newborn Sleep: Tips & Tricks To Encourage Healthy Sleep Habits
7:00 PM19:00

Newborn Sleep: Tips & Tricks To Encourage Healthy Sleep Habits

Whether this is your first baby or your fourth, one thing that is consistent is that all newborns feed round the clock, and wake multiple times in the night. This is normal! The question is how do you create the best environment to encourage your child to sleep longer? In this workshop we will discuss your sleep deprived stories, and cover no tears sleep training techniques for now and when your baby is old enough for more formal sleep training. 

During this workshop you will learn:
  • The best sleep environment for your baby 
  • What is "drowsy but awake", “self-soothing" and "sleeping through the night." 
  • Nap time
  • What products are available and how they can help with your baby's sleep
  • Tips to help develop sleep for 0-6 months old. 

All caregivers and babies are welcome, suitable for parents with 0-6 month old babies.  If you have any questions regarding the class please email Aimi at

Taught by: Aimi Palmer, Certified Sleep Consultant (read more about Aimi in our about section)                                                                                                                                   Cost: $35/family

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Relaxation Yoga for Postpartum Moms
7:00 PM19:00

Relaxation Yoga for Postpartum Moms

Class held on: Sunday, November 12th

7:00-8:00 for class with wine and conversation following class

Relaxation Yoga for Postpartum Moms                                                                                     Join other moms for an evening of relaxing yoga, friends, wine and cheese.                       Taught by mother and Yoga Instructor,  Lauren Plagens 

This class is designed for moms in the year after childbirth. It will be a time planned just for you so leave your baby and cares behind and focus on you. It will be followed by a glass of wine and time to chat with other moms.

Lauren is from Cleveland, Ohio, where she owns a yoga studio appropriately named, 3 SISTERS yoga with her 2 sisters (  She is new-ish to Chicago and new to motherhood.  She completed her 200 hour yoga certification in 2012 at Bhumi's Yoga in Ohio.  Lauren looks forward to sharing the joy of yoga with you and your baby!

Cost: $15 (all proceeds donated to a special fund for a mom from Picnic's community and her baby, Sage. Sage is was diagnosed with a rare heart and lung disease at 6 months, She was in The Critical Care Unit at Children's Hospital for 2 months and still must return at times. Her amazing parents, Michelle and Luis, provide most of the 24/7 care that Sage needs, focusing on the moments they have with her each day.)

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Parent & Baby Drop-in Group
to Mar 31

Parent & Baby Drop-in Group

Fridays  10:30-11:30

Home with a new baby? Looking for other parents to connect with, a community of people with babies the same age, a reason to get out of the house? Look no further than our new Drop-in Parent Group.

Sue will welcome you and your baby to join her in our warm and caring environment at Family Picnic. There will be time to visit, ask questions about baby care and breastfeeding, and enjoy the company of other moms and dads! Sue is a Lactation Consultant and a Specialist in Child Development.

Suggested Contribution: $10 (but we welcome whatever you can give)

*No need to register, come on by and we'll be there to welcome all that can make it!

Led By: Sue Gottschall, M.Ed, CBE, LC


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Solving Toddler Sleep Troubles
7:00 PM19:00

Solving Toddler Sleep Troubles

Once the newborn days are over, parents often see their little ones sleeping longer stretches at night. Some are sleeping through while others are still having one or two wakings at night. By the time the first birthday celebrations come round everyone is ready for more sleep. 

In this workshop we will learn about and discuss why your toddler is still waking frequently at night and cover no tears sleep training techniques to help them sleep longer. In addition to discussing night time troubles we will also cover:

  • Naps and nap transitions

  • Putting your toddler down awake for naps and bedtime

  • What to do when your toddler wakes during the night

  • Early risers

  • Toddler sleep training techniques

  • What products are available and how they can help with your child's sleep habits

All caregivers are welcome. This class is suitable for parents with little ones 12 months and older. If you have specific questions regarding the class, please email Aimi at:

Cost: $35 per family                                                                                                               Taught by: Aimi Palmer, Certified Sleep Consultant

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 Expecting parent: Lets Talk Sleep!
7:00 PM19:00

Expecting parent: Lets Talk Sleep!

Most parents are aware and ready for the sleepless nights that come with having a newborn. Not everyone has had time to read the sleep books, or research how to help their baby sleep. This class will help you prepare for your baby's sleep so you can encourage healthy sleep habits.

During this workshop you will learn:

  • The best sleep environment for your baby
  • How to deal with day/night confusion
  • The fourth trimester sleep habits
  • Bedtime routines and where should my baby nap
  • What products are available and how they can help with your baby's sleep

All parents and caregivers are welcome, suitable for expecting parents. If you have any questions regarding the class please emails Aimi at

Taught by Aimi Palmer, Certified Sleep Consultant (read more about Aimi in our about section)                                                                                                                                       Cost: $35/family

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Gatherings for New Parents: for families with their babies
to Dec 10

Gatherings for New Parents: for families with their babies

Meets Saturdays, 3:00-5:00

Becoming a new parent is often challenging at times no matter how in love with your baby you are. This group will celebrate the joys of parenting while discussing a variety of ways to meet the difficulties new parents face every day!

Parents, Join us to discuss the ups and downs of parenting a little one. Share ideas with your peers and with Sue, an experienced parent and grandparent, who has worked in Child Development with families all of her career. 

Here's a sampling of the topics we'll cover plus any you'd like to add:
*Weekly milestones or successes
*Sleep: Who? How? When?
*Feeding your baby: how often? When can partner help? How?
*Comforting your baby: What's working? What isn't? New ideas
*What's happened to you as a couple? Time for each other?
*Time for yourself? What's that? How do I do it and still be a good parent?
*Who should take care of baby when mom returns to work or you want to go out?
*Changes as baby grows
*The good enough parent

Led by: Sue Gottschall, M.Ed

Cost: $75/family

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Core-focused Yoga for Mom & Baby
1:00 PM13:00

Core-focused Yoga for Mom & Baby

Sunday, October 30th at 1:00

Join Women's Health Physical Therapist and Yoga Instructor Catherine Lewan, PT, DPT, CYT in this special workshop for new moms (and soon-to-be moms!) and their babies ages 6 weeks to actively crawling. 

If you are feeling the effects of pregnancy and childbirth in your body and want to learn the most effective postpartum exercises, please attend this class! You will learn the essential exercises you need to rebuild your strength from the inside out, focusing on the Core and Pelvic Floor. We'll be sure to cover: • Simple techniques that you can apply while feeding/ caring for your child • Some surprising things that you may be doing that are slowing the healing process, and how to encourage optimal healing • How to playfully engage your little one in your practice, so that you can fit some self-care into your busy day!

Taught by: Catherine Lewan, PT, DPT, CYT

Cost: $30

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Motherless Daughters Group for Pregnant Women and New Mothers
to Sep 27

Motherless Daughters Group for Pregnant Women and New Mothers

A new supportive group now offered at Picnic! 

Tuesdays, September 20th – November 8th 5-6:15 pm.

This 8 week group will explore the grief and loss of your mother and how it impacts your journey through pregnancy and becoming a mother. Through the use of meditation and relaxation skills, we will practice becoming "mothers" to ourselves and our young children. Over the 8 weeks, we will identify coping skills that will help us achieve this goal. Becoming more aware of our feelings and responding to them in an attentive way makes room for creativity and solving problems.  Class is designed for both expecting and new mothers.

Cost: $180 for 8 sessions, 20% deposit due at registration. The rest is due at the first class. (a payment plan can be arranged)

To register, please call Caryl Pripusich, LCSW at 505.259.0038. Please register by 9/6! She will answer any questions you have and looks forward to speaking with you.

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