This post is sponsored by Medela
I had my first baby 17 years ago when I was 20. It was before the internet had much going for it and in many ways, it was very isolating. I was much younger than all the other women in mother’s group and I only had a few friends my age with kids. The only place to get advice was at the baby clinic or through my mum. I found the whole experience quite overwhelming at times, and very lonely.
13 years later, when I had Tully, everything changed. While I was an avid social media user I had no idea that mums were using it to connect with each other. My social media experience so far was using it for my job, to stay in touch with friends and to organise events. I’m pretty sure that before I had Tully I didn’t belong to a single facebook group- now I belong to so many I need to cull every so often so they don’t completely take over my life!
When Tully was around four months old my friend added me to our local area’s facebook mums group- and everything changed. Suddenly I was in contact with 2000 mums who knew what it was like trying to settle a crying baby, who were awake at night and desperate to chat during those long night feeds. It had been so long since I’d had a baby that I had forgotten so much but this group of mums willingly answered all my questions and shared advice and anecdotes, so I never felt alone. Even if you haven’t showered or left the house in three days because the baby has gastro, there are still people to talk to, mums that get you and keep you sane.
Through this group of mums, a smaller group was born- this group is my tribe. It’s made up of 250 mums that are there to laugh, cry and support me no matter what. Some of these women have become my very closest friends. We holiday together, we have girl’s nights out and our kids have found wonderful friends in each other.
Recently Medela conducted a survey to see where mums are getting their information and advice from, and it’s no surprise to see that 70% of mums are part of online communities, app or group, with 45% of mums saying that these online communities are extremely important to them. 60% of mums admitted to suffering post baby blues and said that, after talking to their partner, family and friends, reading about other mums’ experiences was the most helpful thing to get them through it.
68% of mums said that the biggest benefit to being online or using an app is the availability of information 24/7. Medela has recognised this feedback and created the MyMedela app, which provides practical advice, tips and tricks from experts on pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. The app keeps track of what's happening whenever you want, with your personal MyMedela diary including when and how long you breastfeed and express milk, evaluate your progress and get tips from experts.
MyMedela also tracks your baby's size, weight, sleeping patterns and nappy changes 24/7 and provides a comprehensive guide to breastfeeding and answers to frequently asked questions about pregnancy, breastfeeding and Medela products.
Are you part of an online community? How have you found it?