Niche Communities for Moms

As an expecting mother, access to medical information and to that of other mothers and mothers to be is extremely important. There are numbers sites where people can get this information, but I’ve become a regular user to two, whattoexpect.com and cafemom.com.

whattoexpect.com
What to expect is an interactive site based on a book by Heidi Murkoff — which discusses pregnancy in a linear way based on the growth of the fetus, and how the mother might be feeling. The website and iPhone app take the initial information from  the book much further by enabling readers to participate in group discussion, post questions, comments and advice, and find resources and make purchase related pregnancy, birth, and parenting. While the primary audience of the website is expecting mothers, it also has areas  that are focused on parenting toddles.

Since pregnancy evolves on a daily basis, there is a compelling reason to return to the site every day — and it becomes both a habit and a daily reassurance while dealing with the many knowns and unknowns related to having a child.

cafemom.com
Cafemom.com has some subject and structural overlap with whattoexpect.com, in the sense that it does have some useful information and discussion about pregnancy. However, it’s strength and focus is on the inevitable questions, dilemmas, and shared experiences related to parenting. Cafemom.com is more of a ‘lifestyle’ site than whattoexpect.com and caters to active mothers who what to discuss everthing from sex to sports…technology to teenagers. I consider the site to be less serious than whattoexpect.com, and because of this it offers more of a feeling of release than relief.

What is really great about both sites is that they combine expert information with general chat in a way that makes users feel comfortable, informed, and welcome to be part of the community.

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