The Internet has done a lot for parenting and pregnancy. As we have moved away from our families and friends and started families of our own, that lack of personal touch has been difficult. Not only can the Internet and it's associated technologies help us stay in touch with our families, but it can help us meet friends we'd never have met any other way.
Support at Convenient Times
One of the biggest benefits of the Internet for friends is that it can be done at our convenience. You can post a message to an e-mail group or bulletin board and return later to collect your messages. This means that if you have time to read online at 2 A.M. after baby has fed, so be it!
Real-time chats are available through many different programs or services. Some of these are free while others require a service fee. These require a bit more specific timing but are optional in many online communities.
In addition to being very convenient, these groups are often built around a common theme. This may be a due date group, where everyone is due the same month and continues after the birth. It may be a geographic region. Some groups often gather over other commonalities such as parenthood after infertility, babies after forty, younger moms, military moms, etc.
While these groups are great for advice, remember, they are not your pediatrician or other health-care provider. Be careful what advice you follow and adhere to from these lists. Use your common sense.
This can help create a bond between women who may never have met otherwise. It brings you together and is a safe place to ask questions. It's often a great place to ask the embarrassing questions about baby poop or bloody discharge as your periods return.
Sometimes these groups even wind up meeting in real life (RL). These meetings can be very strange and exciting. Your family and friends may think you're a bit nuts, but think of it like a blind date. Always plan your out, in case you feel uncomfortable, and be aware of what's going on.
The new social you after baby is an important side to nurture. It can be difficult to find a way to integrate your motherhood with your personhood. Take the time to try to reach out to others, both near and far. Find those with similarities and differences. Be bold and confident but mostly have fun!