One thing Artie Wu knows for sure is that mama knows best.
He also knows the collective wisdom of thousands of moms makes for a powerful database that serves millions of moms (and dads, too) at Mamapedia (www.mamapedia.com).
“Moms can get there and search for any issue or ask any question and get answers from tens of thousands of other moms,” Wu said. “They can learn what they did, what worked for them and what didn’t work.”
Issues covered on the site range from potty training and breast feeding to issues with grown children and grandparents raising their grandchildren. “The most recent generation of moms know what the official answer is (for parenting questions). They want to hear from actual moms like themselves. They have been there and know what works.
“This is stuff your grandmother told you. How to get your baby to sleep or eat. The wisdom of moms is not just from today, but it goes back a generation or two,” Wu said. “It’s all written by moms. There are no experts and no official opinion on the site.”
Wu started Mamapedia about two months ago as a supplement to Mama Source (www.mamasource.com), which he has operated for more than two years. Mama Source is an online community for moms in specific geographic regions, and has about 2 1/2 million visitors a month. “It’s about moms in their local communities sharing advice and recommendations on pediatricians, pre-schools and activities,” Wu said. “Mamapedia is a searchable archive of the questions and answers that have been asked over the years.” Both sites are free of charge.
Wu’s inspiration for the sites was personal, as he and his wife — a San Francisco physician — started a family. “We were the first in our circle of friends with kids. We both work, and found it hard to get into the play date scene. We couldn’t compare notes on potty training, pre-school and all that stuff,” he said.
“I found two kinds of sites. There were the official parenting sites, which are the glossy magazines of the Web, and tell you how you are supposed to do things. The other side was chat rooms. They connect people more on a social basis and aren’t going to help with teething or getting baby back to sleep.”
Wu said he gets about 200 e-mails daily and has heard from lots of moms thanking him for a safe place to ask questions. A common message is: “I can ask questions I can’t ask my mom,” Wu said. “They don’t have to follow their own moms’ advice.”
“People tell me they are not so alone anymore, as there are thousands of others with the same questions. The best thing is there is no judgment. This incredible thing happens when you bring moms together to solve even unsolvable problems.
“At end of the day, moms know best. We truly believe that,” Wu said.
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