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Moms Helping Moms: Social Media Parenting Groups Gaining Popularity

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) -- Many mothers are turning to social media to help each other out, joining virtual communities to get advice on everything from diapers to divorce.

As CBS2's Cindy Hsu reported, while some moms get to know each other at the playground, many are expanding their circle by joining mommy groups online.

Alissa Meyer has three young children and uses online community sites all the time.

"It's been great. I don't know what I would do without it," she said. "I was able to meet so many people and get so much advice."

Jen Marchetti is a working mom with three young boys. She started the group Ridgewood Moms on Facebook.

"It started with me. Three years ago it was just one, and now I reach over 55,000 people in northern New Jersey and New York City," said Marchetti.

The group provides everything from alerts about crime in the area, to advice about life changes.

"Your kids have just left for college and you're in a new place in your life, or you want to go back and start a career, or you're going through a divorce," said Marchetti.

Dr. Stephanie Strozuk said being part of an online community of moms has helped her stay connected, since she can't always be at pick-up or drop-off.

"I love to read the articles written by other mothers because as a mom, a lot of these things they talk about can really resonate with me and make me feel like, you know, I'm not alone," she said.

Janet Kelly is a 61-year-old grandmother.

"I think social media is a wonderful thing. It's something that I didn't have when I was a young mom," she said.

But social media expert Erika Kauffman said it's important to be selective before you join an online community.

"You should definitely first try and get a suggestion from trusted friends," Kauffman said. "It would be great to have a group that's local to you, so that it's relevant."

Many start with Facebook. Just plug in your neighborhood and the word "mom," and you'll likely find some choices, Hsu reported.

When it comes to posting to these groups, social media experts warn to be careful, saying you should treat anything you're going to share online like a corporate email.

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