x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Baby on the way? Head off to cyberspace

A new community website aims to take the pain out of being pregnant in the Emirates

Dubai, 4th May 2011. Kristin Thrane Hart (38 year old mother from Norway) with her 11 month old daughter Liv. Kristin started a website to help pregnant women on what to do and what to expect and other matters that is important to pregnant women and mothers. (Jeffrey E Biteng / The National)
Dubai, 4th May 2011. Kristin Thrane Hart (38 year old mother from Norway) with her 11 month old daughter Liv. Kristin started a website to help pregnant women on what to do and what to expect and other matters that is important to pregnant women and mothers. (Jeffrey E Biteng / The National)

DUBAI // Two mothers are hoping to ease pregnancy woes for expatriate women across the UAE with a website that focuses on all their needs.

The website, pregnantindubai.com, was launched after a year of planning and provides information for expectant mothers through to the first few months after delivery.

"We are hoping to reach women from all cultural and economic backgrounds," said Kristin Thane Hart, 38, the community website's partner. "We want to be an information hub and a place where women can discuss and share their ideas in our forum, maybe even become friends."

Mrs Hart, from Norway, and her business partner, Anneli Idnert, from Sweden, found a gap in the market and decided to merge their skills to create the website.

"I came up with the idea when I was starting my second pregnancy," said Mrs Idnert, who is now based in Sweden but continues to work on the project. "I was trying to get information about all sorts of things ... I saw the opportunity to gather all the information so mums-to-be do not need to do so much research and are able to see what is suitable for them."

Mrs Idnert has two sons, three-year-old Matteo and 10-month-old Dante. She explained that the intention is to inspire women and give them the support they need to get through the pregnancy. From her own experience, she found that some websites did not have adequate or updated information.

"During the pregnancy, you might be tired and do not have the energy to call people so it is much easier to check things on the internet," she said.

Mrs Hart has a background in the marketing field while Mrs Idnertis an illustrator. They worked together and utilised their professional experience - as well as their young children's nap breaks - to work on the project. The women brought in a physiotherapist, midwife, dentist and doulas to provide women with worthwhile information and advice.

With two children of her own, two-year old Laila and 11-month-old Liv, Mrs Hart understands the challenges of living far from home.

"We help women think about insurance, hospitals, plan for the baby and learn about health and wellness," said Mrs Hart. "Back home in Norway, we use public health care but there are many more choices that women need to make here."

The website is not only about health and swollen feet, but is also developing a lifestyle section that will cover lighthearted subject matters like fashion for pregnant women.

"It is a new website and has only been up for four months, so we are always looking for feedback from users and contributions from experts," said Mrs Hart.

One woman who welcomes the idea of a local-based pregnancy website is 41-year-old Maria Victoria Carlos from the Philippines, who is expecting her second child.

"When I was pregnant with my first baby I would check the internet regularly," said Mrs Carlos. "It is sometimes difficult to find the services that we need because we hear so many things and it's scary because we do not know who to trust or where to go. Also, if some women still do not have health insurance, check-ups can be expensive."

 

balqabbani@thenational.ae