A Guide to Pregnancy Forums
Pregnancy forums can help any mom-to-be through this exciting and life-changing time. They offer an outlet for pregnant women to vent their frustrations, concerns and questions. Pregnancy forums can offer information from other moms-to-be or new moms so that other moms-to-be know that people who have had the experience are answering their questions. Joining and participating in pregnancy forums can be fun and easy as long as you follow these simple steps.
What is a forum?
A forum is a type of message board on the Internet where people make themselves available for dialog. You can post messages and reply to other people's messages. You may even find someone who lives in your area, in which case you may be able to meet with them face-to-face. It is a place where people who share similar interests can have a place to communicate with one another. A forum can even serve as a type of support group.
How to Find the Right Forum for You
The best way to start looking for a pregnancy forum is to search the Internet. Choose a search engine and type in the phrase "pregnancy forum." You can search the results and then decide which site holds your interest the most. There are some pregnancy forums that deal with all different topics in pregnancy, such as tips during your pregnancy, pregnancy complications, and how to make a birth plan. If you feel like making your own topic, many forums have a place for that also.
How to Join a Forum
Usually in order to join a forum you must have an e-mail address. This is so the site can confirm your registration and send you messages. Your e-mail address may even help the site contact you if another person in the forum has sent you a message. You will be asked to create a user name which is a nickname that you will use when you sign in to the forum. People will identify and contact you by this user name. You will create a password, just like you would for your e-mail, so that no one else can sign on under your user name. Some forums will ask you for information to help match you with people who have similar interests or concerns. Some forums will post this for others on the forum to see. The information will be connected only with your user name unless you choose to have your real name displayed with it.
Each forum has its own rules, but general forum etiquette is simple. Do not use abusive or profane language. Pregnancy forums are not a place to tell people what they are doing wrong or why you think a choice they made is wrong. For example, if there is a topic on the forum site about women who have chosen not to breastfeed, this is not a place to post a message telling them your opinions about why they should never use formula or a bottle - and vice versa. Forums are also not a place for advertising. You can post any kind of messages you want referring to the topic you choose, but if you do not follow the rules your privileges may be revoked by the site owner(s).
There are many advantages to joining a pregnancy forum. First of all, it is nice to have other people to talk to who are in the same situation as you. Perhaps you are going to be a single parent and you find a forum for other single parents. This forum may offer you advice that you couldn't get somewhere else. Second, it may be a place for you to get your questions answered. Perhaps your doctor is talking about performing tests and you would rather talk to someone who has had them before. A pregnancy forum would be a great place for you to ask that question. In addition, there is a possibility that you could find other mothers-to-be in your area and maybe you will form your own support group. You might even make such good friends that you form a play group once your babies are born. Some forums even offer health care providers' advice.
Unless you happen to join a forum where people begin harassing you or sending you unsolicited e-mail, there probably aren't any disadvantages to joining a forum. Remember that if any of the above does happen to report it immediately to the site owner(s).
Now that you have adequate information about pregnancy forums, go ahead and decide if it is right for you.