Community HUGS Therapeutic Playgroup

Community HUGS Therapeutic Playgroup

Community HUGS Therapeutic Playgroup was developed in recognition of the fact that postnatal depression and other issues in the early postnatal period can lead to disturbances in the mother-infant relationship, and that treatment of maternal symptoms of postnatal depression alone may not improve the mother-infant relationship.

Mothers often feel regret that they have missed out on some of the valuable time they could have spent.


The playgroup consists of 10 structured sessions. Each session lasts for 1.5 hours and focuses on enhancing the mother-baby relationship and experiencing the enjoyment of parenthood through:

  • Exploring new ways to manage infants, while encouraging mothers to look after their own needs
  • Facilitating positive interactions between mothers and infants
  • Sharing observations and anxieties, in a supportive setting
  • Experiencing fun, laughter and a positive, accepting atmosphere.

Session content includes:

  • Play and physical contact and movement with baby
  • Anxiety management and baby massage
  • Learning about babies’ personalities and preferred styles of relating, through observing and increasing parents’ understanding of their baby’s cues
  • Examining mothers’ feelings and responses to their baby’s cues
  • Information about what babies need from their parent and how we learn to be a parent

Previous research has found that the H.U.G.S. Playgroup has a number of benefits for mothers and babies including significant improvement in mother’s depression, anxiety and stress ratings and improvement in mother’s sense of competency and ease of interaction with their babies.

For further information contact Jennie Ericksen on (03) 9496 4496.

Download the CommunityHUGS brochure (157KB)