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.
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.

In-home Consultation: $125 (allows us to see you and your baby in your home where you are nursing everyday)

Contact us for an appointment!

Infant Sleep: 7 Tips To Achieve a Better Night’s Sleep for Your Baby

*This class will be held over a video call to ensure the safety of all attendees and ease of access for new parents

We offer this class once per quarter, upcoming classes: 4/14, 8/14, & 10/13 @ 7:00 pm.

This class is designed for parents of babies 3-12 months old, once your baby is developmentally ready for a sleep training approach that is best for you and your family.

In this class, Kelly Murray, from Kelly Murray Sleep Consulting, will share her, “7 Tips To Achieve a Better Night’s Sleep for Your Baby”.  She will cover everything from naps, bedtime, night wakings and early morning wakings. You will walk away with techniques that you can implement immediately to help your baby get the sleep they need for their emotional, mental and physical well-being.

Taught by Kelly Murray, Sleep Consultant

Cost: $35

CPR and Choking Relief for Infants and Young Children

**This is an in-person class held at Picnic. We are limiting registrations to 15 people. We ask that you wear a mask and we will be maintaining appropriate social distancing throughout the entire class. We are also asking that all attendees are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 for the safety of our instructor and other attendees.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all expectant/new parents learn CPR. Choking is the #1 cause of accidental infant death. CPR and choking relief skills are vital for parents of infants of young children. This fun class follows American Heart Association Guidelines, featuring infant and child CPR, choking relief, AED use, as well as hands only CPR for adults. This class is especially geared for parents. Our CPR Instructors are certified by the AHA & have experience working with more than 20,000 new families, and we are skilled in the safety challenges that new parents face. We also include the other essential safety information specific to new families: SIDS prevention, poison control and car seat safety. Non-crawling babies are welcome to attend with their parents.

*Certification available for a small additional fee

Led by Kim Wilschek, RN and CPR Instructor
Cost: $40/individual; $75/Couple

Postpartum Care Package

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

This Package includes:

10 hours of postpartum doula support from a compassionate postpartum doula: this can include, but is not limited to, holding baby while you sleep/shower, listen to and answer 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 ($300)

  • Add: An at-home lactation visit with follow-up support
  • Add: Mom & Baby Group held at Family Picnic ($100)
  • Add: Pelvic Floor Physical Therapy consult ($) and Initial assessment with therapist at 6 weeks ($)
  • Add: Postpartum Nutritional Basket ($)
  • Add: Nourishing postpartum soup ($)
  • Add: Infant Sleep Class – at ~3 months ($30)
  • Add: A postpartum massage ($)
  • Add: A family photo shoot ($)
  • Add: An in-home Infant Massage class ($)
Baby Play Group (for caregivers and their babies 6 months – 15 months)

This group is designed for babies ages 6 to 15 months along side their caregiver. We are now meeting in our new space on Damen and ask that all adults are fully vaccinated and wearing a mask.

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 for an interactive and social playgroup at Picnic! Meet other caregivers and babies; share the wonderful changes in your baby; discuss the difficulties of having an active baby whether sitting, crawling, or beginning to walk.

This hour-long play group will be focused on the babies and their developmental needs with a variety of toys and materials to stimulate exploration and play, as well as songs and finger plays to share together. Come and have fun with us in the warm and caring atmosphere at Family Picnic.

Led By: Rebecca Nguyen, M.Ed

Cost: 5-group pass: $50; Drop-in cost: $12

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 day 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)

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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