Pediatric Rheumatologist and thought leader Dr. Paul Rosen—a regular contributor to our blog—talks doctor-to-doctor about why pediatricians and other providers should care about, and connect with, the “mommy bloggers.”
Who are the mommy bloggers? Every pediatrician across the country—as well as family physicians and other specialists—should be asking themselves this question…and consider the benefits of engaging with their influential voice in healthcare.
Some have frowned on the term “mommy blogger,” but despite the discussion about phraseology, mommy blogger has become the term with staying power to describe women who write on social media and advocate for their families.
I first discovered mommy blogs when I was researching the topic of physician burnout. I found several blogs from women physicians. These blogs poignantly discussed the challenges of raising a family while practicing medicine.
But on a broader scale, mommy blogs are established in every major city in the country. Larger cities have several blogs that address a variety of topics including, but not exclusive to, women’s issues, work-life balance and parenting. Many also feature a sales component where products are recommended.
The blogs share useful information about the local community including: education, entertainment, health issues and consumer goods. Some of the blogs have a specific demographic or geography such as parents who work, homemakers, parents in the city or parents in the suburbs. In many cases their interests align with the goals of pediatricians: raising happy and healthy children.
One mommy blog, Hulafrog, with a national network, polled their followers to understand their demographics:
- 96% women
- 83% between the age of 25-44
- 94% have between 1 and 3 kids
- 69% work full or part time
- 86% have a college degree or higher
- 92% are on Facebook
- 66% on Pinterest
Why should pediatricians care?
The answer is that these bloggers have considerable influence with their readers—often a highly desirable target audience. While some blogs have 100 followers, others have more than 20,000. The bloggers are mothers who are engaged with their local communities. They are socially active, Internet savvy, and curate a tribal knowledge regarding the best community resources to raise children.
Pediatricians are also engaged with their communities. Pediatricians and other medical specialists seek to arm families with the best strategies to treat diseases, help children grow up healthy, and prevent disease, trauma, and injury. Pediatricians typically reach one family at a time.
Mommy bloggers can reach thousands of families overnight. With alignment of a common goal to keep families healthy and create healthy communities, should not the world of pediatrics and the mommy blogosphere come together to advance child well -being?
The mommy bloggers are a diverse group of educated, digitally connected, engaged parents. They are focused on their child’s health care needs and can have broad influence within a community.
What could be achieved if the pediatric community and the blogosphere came together to promote child health? What if there was ongoing feedback between the two groups to help transform pediatric medicine and make it more user friendly?
Perhaps, this group of networked moms could teach those of us in pediatrics and family medicine how to better engage with our patients and families and spread health education in a way that is scalable.
Paul Rosen, MD