When I was expecting my first child, I did what a lot of anxious first time soon-to-be first-time moms did. I searched and found an online community of women who were also expecting. I felt comfortable being able to commiserate with other women in my same position. At the time, none of my friends were on the mommy and kids route yet. An online community was the next best thing to IRL (in real life) friends. That was over 14 years ago. Since then, several other online communities have sprouted up.
One new one, BrightBod.com, stands out because it is trying to position itself as more than an online community but also a potential alternative to folks to who do not have healthcare. A reader reviewer, Sharon, checked out the absolutely FREE service and here is her testimonial about her experience:
I wasn’t sure what to expect for my first prenatal checkup. I knew I was going to have lab work done and a complete physical. I was told by a friend that the hormones present in a blood test would confirm I was pregnant, but I wondered why they would be drawing blood to confirm I was pregnant (when any simple urine test could determine that). Actually, it wasn’t until I went to BrightBod.com that I was able to speak with another woman in a video chat about the emotional aspects of some of the tests my Doctor will be conducting.
BrightBod is where pregnant women go to connect with other pregnant women in a free video conference. You can video conference with another pregnant woman one-on-one or video conference with a Pregnancy Support Group. (All of the Support Groups at BrightBod.com are also free. BrightBod is paying people to lead their 30-minute Pregnancy Support Group video conference each week. Their email is [email protected])
BrightBod.com has become one of my favorite sites. One of the first things I discovered about BrightBod is that I was able to select my Avatar from a big group of Avatars, which were in Yoga poses, Dance poses or Kung Fu poses. Then, I selected a hair color for my Avatar. Next, I selected a hair length. Last, I uploaded a pic I took of Central Park in NYC as a background photo.
Frequently, I like to use BrightBod’s custom 3-D backgrounds (Disco lights, Zero gravity, Magical forest, etc.), which move with my Avatar. Do I need a 3-D background to learn about Pregnancy? Definitely not, but it makes it so much more fun!After you sign up at BrightBod.com, select “My Avatar” (on the left-side navigation) and then, just select “Pregnancy” as your medical condition. When you click on the “Pregnancy” symbol on your Avatar, you can connect with everyone else, who also designated “Pregnancy” for their medical condition.
When I clicked on the “Pregnancy” symbol and was presented with everyone else on BrightBod.com who was also Pregnant, I selected Lucy P. I chose her because she was young and looked approachable. I sent her a video request and she was very, very helpful. By the way, this was free, as is 99% of BrightBod.com.
Evidently, Lucy explained the blood test that I was so concerned about is done primarily to check for STD’s and to rule out genetic disorders. I also found out from Lucy in a video chat on BrightBod.com that a urine test will be necessary to make sure I don’t have any infections. She also said a pap smear will be done to test for Cervical Cancer and a vaginal infection. Of course, they will check my blood pressure, weight and a number of other metrics. Basically, they want to establish a baseline, so they can measure various concerns throughout my pregnancy, should they arise.
The Pregnancy Support Group on BrightBod.com will be a weekly event for me. For a half hour each week, sometimes, up to 20 of us will talk in a video conference (like Skype, but for 10 to 20 people at the same time, in the same video conference). I really like that because it’s so helpful to hear from a group of women, as opposed to just 1 other pregnant woman. Sometimes one-on-one is best, but other times, listening to different responses to the same question is immensely helpful.
Sometimes, you have to trust and go with the wisdom of the group!Of course, in the past, I referred to WebMD, but it is completely ridiculous for me to try and self-diagnose. I, for one, can’t ascertain any of the emotional content from reading a random anonymous person’s opinion. Further, I’m not a doctor; I don’t understand a lot of what I have read there. In my opinion, there is no longer any reason to refer to any other site because BrightBod.com is free and makes life so much easier and better.
I really dig the fact that BrightBod is working to position itself as America’s FREE Alternative Healthcare for women who cannot afford the real cost of Healthcare — Deductibles, Premiums, co-pays, and the like! Very cool!
I’m going to have to check them out myself. Consider signing up too! Do it Here!