Expectant mothers know that pregnancy comes with a lot of homework. But thanks to the birth of hundreds of thousands of baby-related Web sites, gathering information has never been easier. The Early Show talks to Regina Lewis, an online advisor for AOL.
Is it true that this is the number 1 reason why young women are logging on these days?Well, health is a big category, and women ages 25 to 44 are one of the biggest online audiences. They tend to use the Internet for very practical things, so they are logging on for very specific information to help them manage their pregnancies.
And there are a million Web sites, is that possible?
Yes, there are if you type in the word "pregnancy," and, of course, you're going to get all health-related Web sites, all female-related Web sites, children's Web sites, etcetera. So the key is knowing how to approach that.
Let's take a look at some of the specific Web sites that have specific purposes. Number 1 that you point out is thriveonline.com.P>
Right. That is a big woman's site. They have an interesting tool--an ovulation calculator. When you start planning a pregnancy, timing is everything. When you time in some specific information, they'll tell help you identify the day that you'll be most fertile. You can even print out a fertility worksheet.
Another one--take us through babycenter.com.
When I had my first child, you had a big book and you were constantly pulling it out to see where you were in the development process. This site has fantastic visuals, really terrific. You can have an email sent to you on a week-to-week basis.
From the site?
Yes, it is called having something "pushed" to you. What is nice is that there are a lot of weeks in a pregnancy, so when it arrives in your mailbox you think, all right, yes, another week. It will tell you what your baby is going through, how you should be feeling, and some things you need to do to prepare.
That is a free site?
Yes. It is free.
Take us through drspock.com.
He's online, a very popular site. It is well organized in that you can find information by age; if you've got an infant, a toddler, someone in elementary school, and by topic, so that is a worthwhile one to check out.
Shouldn't you be speaking with your doctor when you have a question? You shouldn't be going online to ask questions, should you?
Well, it's a great point, and it is not a substitute. I've talked to a lot of experts and they say that it is a real red flag when someone walks into the doctor's office and says, "I've got it all figured out', or worse yet, they don't walk in because they think that they have it all figured out. It is important to use it as a supplemental resource. Also, there is a big difference in information that Dr. Spock posts and information that you find in chat rooms and message boards, which is just moms alking to moms.
Parenting.com? What does that one give us?
Parenting.com is a fun one. They have a budget calculator, which is an important factor in planning a pregnancy. I can personalize this a bit. You think, "Well I'd love to do the baby's room over, I'd love to get a new crib, I'd love to do this," but when you do the math, you can go back and get an itemized list, because what you need and what you want may be two different things.
Good planner. All right, this one I'm surprised at: babynamer.momsonline.com?
Yeah, well this is the fun part. We used to buy books and look at the various names, that's all digitized now.
Shopping now What is nice about this is that it can be so overwhelming. You walk into Toys 'R' Us and say, "I am here to buy a car seat." There are so many choices. So it can help streamline the process, whether you end up buying online or not. Also they have a registry.
So you an register on there? You can register online and you can send links and say, "Thanks, Mom and Dad, I know that you want to get the crib. Here's a couple of choices."
That's pretty cool. Finally, babypressconference.com?A lot of people, when they have a new baby, instead of making a million phone calls or sending emails and digital photos, the guys at babypressconference.com have taken it to a whole new level. There is a Web path available.
This is available in 100 hospitals, so I think it's a prelude of things to come. It's real time and it is just for parents who are separated by family across the country, across the world. It's magic!
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