I’m sure you have heard of birth groups. You know, a group of women who are all having babies around the same time that get together and share what they are going through and make new friends. This is a lot easier to do with your first baby. But what about any babies after that? Do you really want to drag your older child out to go meet with a different group of pregnant women? Or what about if you are really awkward in social situations? Well, thanks to websites like Facebook and Baby Bump, online birth groups are the new thing!
I will admit, when my cousin (who had her baby the DAY after me!) asked me if I wanted to join the Facebook group for August babies, I was a little apprehensive. I didn’t know any of the women besides my cousin and I wasn’t sure I wanted to see other people complain about their aching bodies and all the other little quirks of pregnancy.
At first, I didn’t post anything. I had been in other groups, and some people just don’t mesh. And with 175 members in the group I was a bit worried. I kind of gauged how everyone else was, and watched what kinds of things they posted. There were A LOT of questions. A lot of questions about pregnancy that I could give an opinion on because I had been there before. The ladies in this group weren’t offensive. They helped each other, and were respectful of one another. There was no bashing, and if there ever was a problem, it was settled almost immediately. As time went on, we all learned a ton about each other and we got to watch all of our bellies grow when we posted weekly “bump” pictures. We celebrated each new baby that was born, mourned over losses, and grew closer to one another. And we continue to watch them all grow with weekly “bub” pictures.
It has become so much more to me than a silly group on Facebook. I look at these women in awe. They have become my best of friends, my support group. They are the people I confide in when I feel like I have no one. We turn to each other for advice. It’s not just about baby problems either anymore. It’s ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Especially when it comes to complaining about lack of sleep!
The most wonderful part of this online community is the fact that I don’t have to leave my home…or my pajamas for that matter to feel like I have someone to talk to, or even brag to, about my kids. There are so many members and these women are from all over the world. So someone is bound to be online and ready to talk to no matter what time it is here at my home. My specific group of girls have such huge hearts, it’s hard not to be infected by them.
If you haven’t joined an online birth group, I’m sure this seems a bit silly to you, but the technology we have is amazing. Probably the best thing that we have done with my group so far is introduce ourselves with a short video. It was so great to see each and every one of those videos and be able to put a voice and face to a name. We even have a trip planned for next summer for the mothers that reside here in the states. Unfortunately, it’s too far for me to attend but I so wish I could be there.
Included in these groups are women of all talents too. Lawyers, nurses, teachers, stay at home moms, the list goes on. Some of them choose to breastfeed, or strictly pump, and some of them choose formula. Some of the mothers vaccinate, and some don’t. Because there are so many different lifestyles that come together, there is always going to be someone who you can ask for advice. Now, if you would rather join a group dedicated specifically to one of those lifestyles, I am sure there is an online group out there for that too.
I never thought in a million years that I would enjoy a group of strangers so much. And not just enjoy them, but rely on them to be there. What did I ever do without a birth group with my first baby? Why did I never even think to join one? Better yet, why did I never think to make one myself?
I’ve made good friends through this experience. I’ve been able to share with them my ups and downs, and they even tolerate many, many, many pictures of my children (I’m that over-sharer on Facebook). I’ve swapped coupons, recipes, tips, and even gifts. I’ve gotten support when I felt like there was no one to talk to, and in turn I lift their spirits when things are rough. They are some of my biggest fans of these articles I write (and even help me out with new ideas to write about!).
Bottom line, whether it’s online or in person, if you are on the fence about joining a birth group just jump in.
Do you have any experiences with an online birth group? Let us know below!