If you’ve downloaded Mush, we know you’re keen to make some mum mates – and we’re proud that, since launching in 2016, we’re responsible for over 2 million friendships.

But taking those first steps to make real-life friends can be scary. When you’re a new mum,  you’re not necessarily feeling at your most sparkling best, so how on earth are you supposed to make a good impression?

Ana in Belfast sent us this photo of the 17 (SEVENTEEN!) mum friends she’s made through Mush. The gang now meet up regularly for playdates and nights out, basically giving postnatal loneliness a big kick where it hurts. Ana says that inviting local mums to join a messaging group on Mush was her breakthrough, and we have a few more pointers…

DO put lots of photos on your profile. OK, so Mush isn’t a dating app, but mums still want to know what the human being behind the profile looks like – not least so that, if you arrange to meet up, you can spot each other across that crowded cafe. Profiles with clear, smiley photos get a much higher response rate than those without.

DON’T hide behind filters (or your baby!). Sure, you look super-cute with those puppy ears, but again, your future friends want to see the real you. Likewise, profiles that just feature ultrasound scan photos or adorable but anonymous shots of your baby’s feet don’t tend to attract as many potential friends. It’s you everyone wants to see!

DO make the most of our chat groups. If you don’t feel confident about messaging a mum directly, joining in with chat groups around topics you’re interested in can be a great way in to finding mums you have stuff in common with – whether it’s your love of Bake Off or your single parent status. Our due date chat groups are also a brilliant tool for finding mums at exactly the same stage as you – it’s always worth asking if anyone in yours happens to be local.

DON’T be an enigma. We’ve tried to make Mush profiles as fun as possible with our profile questions – everything from your favourite karaoke song to your pregnancy cravings. You don’t have to answer every single one, but devoting a few minutes to them can really give your future potential BFFs a flavour of your personality, interests and sense of humour. They can be a great starting point for conversations.

DO be specific about what you’re looking for. Only available on certain days of the week? Looking for someone to brave your local soft play hell with? Then fill out the bio section accordingly.

DON’T be disheartened if not every mum gets back to you. Mums are busy, sometimes scatty, and sadly not every “say hi” you send will get a response. Don’t take it personally (we know it’s hard!). Perhaps try sending a personal message about having kids the same age or a shared interest to get their attention.

DO keep checking out the mum matcher. New mums are joining Mush all the time, so it’s worth checking in on new joiners and playing around with the search filters. Plus, make sure you have your notifications switched on to alert you to new mums in the area. These are all simple ways to potentially unearth a lovely mum down the road who you might not otherwise have found.

DON’T be scared to organise a meet-up. As Ana has proved with her Belfast gaggle, group meet-ups can be the key to having a great time on Mush. If you can’t find one in your area, try setting one up yourself.

DO tell us how you get on. Our absolute favourite thing is hearing success stories of mums making friends on Mush – whether it’s one mum-soulmate or a whole gang, we can’t get enough of seeing pics and hearing your stories. You can email them to hello@letsmush.com, share your friendship victories in the Mush Stories chat group or tag us (@mushmums) on Instagram.

Good luck!