Timed to the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday, Treato, the single largest source of online consumer insights on healthcare, announced its first annual list of top online communities for postpartum depression. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in 10 women experience postpartum depression, a type of depression that occurs after having a baby in which a mom feels disconnected from her baby. In examining online communities with the highest volumes of postpartum depression related discussions over the past year and conducting a targeted review for relevance and quality, Treato discovered a range of different attitudes towards women suffering from postpartum depression. The most common theme across all of the communities is how breastfeeding struggles enhanced existing feelings of depression among women.
The in-depth analysis by Treato revealed that Reddit is the online community in which members are most openly expressing their feelings of postpartum depression. Conversations in this community are more honest and emotional than any other community. Members reinforce to each other that parenting is an experience and not an identity. They also frequently discuss the pressures and expectations of mothers in society.
While BabyCenter and TheBump have the highest rates of discussions out of all the online communities, conversations were of higher quality and more in-depth on Reddit, Mothering and NetMums. Members of Reddit, Mothering and NetMums are not seen having to explain why they feel the way they do as there is already an established common understanding of the seriousness of postpartum depression. Both BabyCenter and TheBump’s commonality among members is based on socialization around similar due dates rather than common experiences. Serious discussions about postpartum depression are rare in these communities. Judgment is more frequently seen in these communities and the original poster expressing feelings of postpartum depression can feel vilified.
The analysis also revealed that these online communities aren’t just for women as men and adoptive parents are seen participating and giving advice within the Reddit, Mothering and NetMums communities.
Top Treato Online Communities For Postpartum Depression:
Reddit Parenting Sub-forum:
Strength: most honest, open and in-depth discussions of all communities
Weakness: fewer discussions about pregnancy related depression
Good If You’re Looking For: connect with parents who validate each other by discussing what is normal
Strength: shows the least amount of judgment than any other community
Weakness: least frequently discussing breastfeeding than any other community
Good If You’re Looking For: connect with parents with multiple kids that share experiences about the huge amounts of stress moms face
Strength: strong presence of a moderator who often provides resources for postpartum depression to members
Weakness: less frequent participation from first-time moms
Good If You’re Looking For: to connect with moms through in-depth conversations with long personal narratives
Strength: most frequently discussing breastfeeding troubles than any other community
Weakness: serious conversations about postpartum depression are rare
Good If You’re Looking For: looking to bond with first-time moms that share the same due date
Strength: the most active community
Weakness: women with postpartum depression are often told to “go see a doctor”—not much sympathy
Good If You’re Looking For: light-hearted conversations with other women expecting their first child
"Our analysis revealed that many women are searching for a safe place online where they can openly discuss their experiences with postpartum depression without judgment," says Ido Hadari, CEO of Treato. "This behavior is a testament to the vital role online health communities play as sources of information as well as emotional support for patients."
Find out more about Treato’s postpartum depression online community ranking.
TreatoVoice is a unique data asset that continuously collects and analyzes more than two and a half billion patient and caregiver conversations happening across the Internet in real-time to understand what patients are saying about their experiences with their conditions and treatments. For this analysis Treato collected and analyzed more than 17,000 online discussions about postpartum depression across 3,000 communities over the past year.