From Mothering Without a Net to Mothering on the Net: The Impact of an Online Social Networking Site on Experiences of Postpartum Depression

Caitlin M. Mulcahy, Diana C. Parry, Troy D. Glover


This research speaks to the desire expressed by women, health care professionals, and researchers alike, for an alternative, non-pharmacological or therapy-related intervention for postpartum depression (PPD). Interviews with twenty-two mothers and members of—a social networking site focused on connecting mothers online and face-to-face—demonstrated new mothers are increasingly isolated and without community. However, mothers reported becoming members of Momstown allowed them to build a social network providing them company, camaraderie, and community, resulting in improved mental health. We conclude services like Momstown could be viable, alternative interventions for women with ppd, enabling mothers to survive and thrive postpartum.

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We are grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for its ongoing support of the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement.