Chicago Family Picnic - New Mother / New Baby Care

Services in a nutshell

Sue and Rebecca are a mother/daughter team who have created a welcoming and lovely space for new families to gather in and find support. We want families to have a safe and nurturing place designed to meet their needs: to learn about and discuss childbirth; to be supported in their labor and birth; to receive care and support in the postpartum period; to learn about and discuss the joys and difficulties of new parenthood; to become acquainted with other families; to share their experiences as parents; and to enjoy a place to play and socialize as their children develop.

More about us
Please visit our website to see upcoming class, workshop and group meeting schedules or to schedule an in-home consultation.

We provide families with young children a place to gather, learn, and share ideas about childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting, and early childhood development. Come join us for classes, play groups and workshops, including:

Postpartum Care package

Our Postpartum Care Package supports families after the birth of their baby with postpartum doula support, Lactation support, Parent support groups, physical therapy, nutritious food, and more.

This Package includes:

  • Base: 10 hours of postpartum doula support ($360): in-home support from a compassionate postpartum doula: this can include, but is not limited to, holding baby while you sleep/shower, listening to and answering baby or breastfeeding related questions, Supporting parents in bathing, swaddling, and skin-to-skin, making a nutritious meal, and other general support you may need (these hours can be organized in any way that the parents and support person wish for and includes daytime hours only. Overnight hours can be arranged at a slightly higher hourly rate).

  • Add: An at-home lactation visit ($150): 2-hr consultation at home with follow up support by text/email/cell by one of our Certified Lactation Consultants or Specialists.

  • Add: Mom & Baby Group held at Family Picnic ($120): A 5-week support group for new moms held at Family Picnic and led by Rebecca Nguyen or Sue Gottschall. Bring your baby to the group and share and explore with other parents. Topics include: birth stories, changes in relationships, sleeping and feeding issues, personal identity struggles, separation issues, returning to work, and many other important topics.

  • Add: Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy Consultation at 6-weeks ($150): This in-person consult includes: A Discussion around your birth experience, where you are now, and where you see yourself physically in the future; Guidance on early postpartum strategies to optimize pelvic floor and abdominal healing; Education on how to construct a good foundation for return to activity; Collaboration on and creation of a timeframe for you to reach your goals; *Optional* internal pelvic floor muscle assessment; Education on when to seek additional resources.

  • Add: A postpartum massage ($96): an hour-long in office massage with Licensed Massage Therapist Becca Brown (book early!).

  • Add: In-home Infant Massage instruction ($150): 3 sessions at home or virtually with your baby and Infant Massage Educator, Adriana Liwsky.

  • Add: Postpartum Welcome Basket ($20): A basket of healthy snacks to go beside the nursing parent to help meet nutritional and caloric needs when nursing day or night.

  • Add: Nourishing Postpartum Healing Soups ($24): High quality, healthy commercial frozen bone broth brought to your home.

  • Add: Infant Sleep Class at ~3 months ($35): Join Kelly Murray, Certified Sleep Consultant, in a 1-hr virtual class discussing how to build better sleep habits for your infant and prepare for the 4-month sleep regression (or progression).

  • Add: A family photo shoot ($)

  • Add: Chiropractic care consult ($)

Breastfeeding Support

Breastfeeding can be daunting and with all the information and advice out there, many mothers are confused about how to proceed and when to ask for help. Whether beginning your journey in breastfeeding or you have been at it for a while, we are here to support and help you achieve your breastfeeding goals! Sue and Rebecca, both Certified Lactation Consultants, will see you in your home or in our office to determine your needs and how to get your baby nursing well. A consultation includes a pre- and post-feed weight check to determine how much baby is transferring, observation of a feeding, making the necessary adjustments to positioning, holds, and latch to ensure baby is achieving an optimal latch. After the consultation, you will receive a written report and plan of action. This consultation fee also includes any necessary follow-up to ensure that nursing is progressing successfully.

Baby Play Group (for caregivers and their babies 6 months – walking)

Are you tired of being house bound with an active baby – a baby who is increasingly interested in the world and people around them? Come join us at Family Picnic to meet other parents (or caregivers) and babies. Share the wonderful changes in your baby as well as the difficulties of having an active baby whether sitting, crawling, or beginning to walk. We will spend this hour talking together, while your babies play with and experience an assortment of toys and materials to stimulate exploration and play.

We’ll end with songs and finger plays to share together. Come and have fun with us in the warmth.

Led By: Rebecca Nguyen, M.Ed or Kim Gottschall, Early Childhood Educator

Infant Sensory Music Class (birth to crawling)

Learn how to interact musically with your baby and activate the senses using music! In this class, the teacher will guide you through age appropriate musical and sensory games and activities that you can continue to do at home with your baby. We provide a relaxed environment designed for small babies and their parents or caregivers. Research shows that exposure to a variety of sounds and rhythms in the first few months of life creates the strongest foundation for developing communication skills and musical aptitude as they grow. Research also shows that singing to and dancing with your baby enriches emotional and social development!

Baby blankets, bottles, and nursing are welcome :)

Mom & Baby Group

This is an intimate group for both first and second-time parents and their babies. We meet weekly for 5 weeks with loose talking points in each group based on the needs of the group. We always 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

In addition, other topics important to the group are added as they come up. As the group continues, parents talk openly and intimately with each other about their personal situations and find support from this amazing group of parents that are going through similar life experiences. 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!

This group will be led by Sue Gottschall, M.Ed, Early Childhood expert, mother and grandmother. Sue has years of experience caring for both young children and new parents of young children.

Playgroup for 1-year olds

This play group is geared to the unique developmental needs of young toddlers while also providing space for parents to engage with other parents about the triumphs and struggles of parenting a toddler!

Are you tired of being house bound with an active toddler – a toddler who is increasingly interested in the world and people around them? Come join us for a group designed for you and your young toddler! Come meet other parents and young toddlers; Share the wonderful changes in your toddler as well as the difficulties of having an active toddler. We will spend our time together facilitating social play between our children, allowing them to learn about the world through paly. We will also engage your toddler in songs, short stories, and sensory or motor activities. Parents will also be provided with a list of great early toddler activities, books, and songs to do at home. This group will meet indoors at Family Picnic’s open and engaging space. Masks for adults are still required and we ask that all adults are vaccinated as well.

Look to liven things up with Family Picnic!

Led by Rebecca Nguyen or Kim Gottschall, Early Childhood Specialists

Playgroup for 2 & 3 year olds

This Play Group was designed for the the developmental needs and abilities of two and three year-olds.

Held in our open and exploratory setting; toys and activities will be appropriately aimed at this age group with their growing vocabulary, social skills, gross-motor development, and art and literacy curiosity. The first hour and fifteen minutes will be spent in open play where children can choose toys, games, activities, and sensory and art experiences. There will also be purposefully chosen activities to encourage socialization and communication among kids and between kids and their adult. This Play Group ends with a circle time with songs, games, finger plays, and stories. Feel free to bring a snack for your little one to enjoy during our circle time.

To make the most out of each play group, toddlers must be accompanied by a parent or caregiver.

Led By: Rebecca Nguyen, Masters in Early Childhood Education or Kim Gottschall, Preschool educator

Please visit our website to see upcoming class, workshop and group meeting schedules or to schedule an in-home consultation.
Our Team


Sue Gottschall has a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus on conception through the early childhood years.  She is a Certified Lactation Consultant and Childbirth Educator as well as a Birth and Postpartum Doula.  Throughout her career Sue has worked with children and families, supporting emotional development, literacy and literature for the very young, and learning through play.  Previously, she taught Child Development at UIC and City Colleges and was Director of Hug-a-Book, an early literacy organization, and Chicago Volunteer Doulas.   Sue is delighted to now be concentrating on the earliest periods of development and helping families determine what the right choices are for them.  Sue and her daughter, Rebecca Nguyen, have long dreamed of starting an early childhood organization together. They hope that Picnic: A Gathering Spot for Families with Young Children will offer support to families for many years.

Rebecca Nguyen holds a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education.  Before having her own two children, she taught preschool through 3rd grade for ten years becoming a Master Teacher, supporting other teachers in reading strategies and using high quality children’s literature.  With the birth of her children, Rebecca became interested in the earliest period of development, becoming a Certified Lactation Consultant and Childbirth Educator.  Rebecca and her mother, Sue Gottschall had long dreamed of starting an early childhood organization together.  Combining their skills to open Picnic: A Gathering Spot for Young Families is the culmination of this dream.  It will offer Rebecca opportunities to teach new parents about childbirth and breastfeeding and provide many opportunities for her to support parents as their children grow and learn.  She is excited and enthusiastic about the possibilities.


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