Now more than ever it is important to stay current on information that is available to us as parents. Because mothers can easily be cut off from important information due to the demands of a pregnancy and caring for a newborn or even toddler/s, finding ways to stay informed is crucial to learning as much as possible in whatever little time a mother may have available to her. It is common knowledge that a mother can go through significant social isolation during pregnancy and early motherhood, but there isn’t much attention paid to the information isolation she can also experience during this time.
Mothers are often encouraged to get out of the house and get a sitter (not an easy task for cautious and wary new mother or that mother struggles to afford a trustworthy sitter) so they can get a break. They are also encouraged to reach out to family, friends, experienced mothers, their doctors and other peers if they need help or advice. However, no one really encourages new parents to use their phone, tablet or computer to get the information they need. In fact, it’s commonly discouraged. Spouses, family members, and even outside observers often view a mother (or new parent) who is sitting and looking at her phone as one who is neglecting some household chore or her children, or putting them in harm’s way even if the baby in question is safe asleep in her lap or at her side.
Before becoming a mother I was a ‘Google queen’, gobbling up articles and blogs that interested me and making use of Facebook and bookmarks to stay up-to-date. However, after becoming pregnant with twins this flow of information slowed significantly and after their birth stopped almost completely. I have always read to learn, but like so many others I have also have found that I am also a visual learner in many ways. In order for something to catch my attention and really stick in my mind I find I also need to see how it is done. Then Pinterest came along and what once started out as a site to share beautiful images quickly became a powerful reference library. Pinterest has become a useful tool for both myself and many other mothers during pregnancy and motherhood. I use it to keep track of the topics I need to look into more since I never know when my little bundle of joy will wake up and demand my attention.
I organize Pinterest pins in a similar way that I used to create different folders for my bookmarks. Pinterest allows me to quickly ‘pin’ a page I want to read according to the photo contained in the article and a simple bold title. Then I can quickly find what I’m looking by simply glancing at my Pinterest page. This lets me quickly process and prioritize things.
I pin all sorts of pregnancy and parenting related ideas from ‘tips on trying to conceive’ to ‘what to pack in my hospital bag’ to ‘how to get a baby to sleep through the night’ all on a board (a category I created for this these subjects). Pinterest will also automatically recognize any of my changes in interests and fill my feed (the articles or pins that I see) with things related to that new interest. I can follow others on Pinterest, much like you can on Facebook, that share my interests and browse what what they have posted in the same kinds of categories as I have and like. While care must still be taken to evaluate sources of information, Pinterest is a gold mine of information and a great timesaving reference tool to have in your arsenal.
How to use Pinterest
– Create boards for motherhood topics that you want to learn more about, like “Birthing Options” or “Breastfeeding”. Think of boards as “categories” or “folders”.
– Skim the main feed that Pinterest offers and make use of the “other pins like this” option near the bottom of your screen.
– Pin (kind of like bookmarking) online articles for future reference.
– Follow other like-minded people to get ideas. I’ve been able to find resources through Pinterest that I didn’t find while googling.
– When you find yourself sitting down for a bit, even if it’s for a few minutes in a doctors office waiting area, bring up your boards and quickly choose an article to skim just by clicking or touching it.
Top 5 Pinterest Mom Boards
-Breastfeeding and Pumping
-Sleeping Through the Night
-Trying to Conceive
TIP: If you are driving, breastfeeding, or have your hands otherwise occupied, you can make your Google browser read to you. Simply go to the Chrome web store and click “add Chrome Speak”. Once installed, highlight the text of an entire article, right click on single tab if on a tablet or phone and select the option: Read Selected Text. And voila!! Completely hands free learning! Siri and other home assistant devices like Echo can be enabled to read webpages to you as well.