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Creating a Support Network

Example of Cardamon - a curated friend-matching app for moms

Photo of Kate Rushton
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'Finding a small group of peers with babies the same age can significantly ease some of the emotional stress of those first few weeks and months (and years). There is enormous value in being with a group of women who don’t necessarily have answers for your parenting questions, but instead completely relate to how exhausted and overwhelmed you feel.'

Source: Postpartum Progress

An example of a resource available for moms is Cardamom - a curated friend-matching app. 

The algorithm introduces and connects local moms.

How does it work?

Source: Cardamom

'Cardamom App is hyper-local and can match within one city block of a like-minded mom.'

'Cardamom also hosts local events to help break the ice with in real-life socializing.'

Source: The Bump

Other connecting/networking apps and websites on the market include Peanut, Hello Mamas and Moms Meet

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

How might we create new support networks for pregnant and new moms and their close friends and family?

How does this research relate to our use cases and personas?

The 'The Under-Resourced Mom' seeking a support system could use this app to create a connection to other moms The Mother Suffering from Chronic Disease could connect with other moms with a similar chronic disease The Unusual Suspect e.g. expectant fathers could connect with other fathers in a similar situation to compare notes and advice.

Tell us about yourself:

I am the Community Manager for this challenge.

Are you currently an employee of Sutter Health or UCB Pharmaceuticals?

  • No

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Photo of Anna Lee

Hi Kate! I'd also not heard of these apps before. When I was pregnant and nursing (5 years ago), and feeling particularly isolated living abroad in Hong Kong, I also found it tremendously helpful to have a support network of other moms who were in the same boat, though we didn't always have the answers for each other (we were all treading water through the same stages at the same time) there is tremendous value in just having a group that can empathize with one another; there are so many incredible insights to one's new identity as a parent that occur at this time. I did not find my birth group through an app, but through a rather low-tech birth club sign up sheet that was posted at a local baby supplies shop ("Looking for other July 2012 Bumps! Want to get together? Put your email here."). As a result, I met and got to know a rather random group of moms from very diverse backgrounds who really had no other thing in common other than we spoke English and had babies due at the same time. This diversity actually helped a lot as we "cross pollinated" a lot of cultural resources that we would not have had access to individually.

What I like about these apps you mention here (Cardamom and Peanut in particular) is how they position themselves toward building offline (not just online) support networks in the form of playdates (much like Meetup helps you find people to meet with face to face), thus bridging the pre-natal and post-natal experiences.

I'm inspired by this post to explore issues relating to User Interface and community building: In what ways can technology help us find and build support groups and communities of not only like-minded folks, but a diverse mix of community members who can share empathy, knowledge resources and learn from one another, all bonded by the experience of new-parenthood? In the interest of sharing the emotional workload of new parenthood, can the marketing and branding of such apps be expanded to target new fathers?... Just some thoughts that this post inspired for me :)

Photo of Kate Rushton

Thank you, Anna Lee, for your thoughtful response. I am always pleased when people read my posts. It is nice to know that is not just my Mum!

I look forward to seeing your ideas in the ideas phase. This sentence also jumped out to me - 'This diversity actually helped a lot as we "cross pollinated" a lot of cultural resources that we would not have had access to individually'. You are welcome to submit as many ideas as you like. I always recommend submitting an idea early on in the ideas phase and working on it on the platform in response to feedback.

https://challenges.openideo.com/challenge/new-life/

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