This week’s Blog of the Week is one I featured in my Mom Blogs that Rock series, but it bears repeating, especially with television exposure! Traveling with Baby is the blog of chiropractor Dr. Dolly Garnecki; a blog gaining attention from Central Virginia moms and Dr. Dolly’s wide network of online first-time moms and blogging moms looking for help and ideas for happy, healthy kids.
Over the holiday weekend, I conducted an e-mail interview with Dolly to prepare for the blogging segment. Here are some excerpts from our exchange:
MJ: What inspired you to begin blogging?
DG: I began blogging in 2004 at Chiropractic Perspectives to chronicle my experience in graduate school. At the time, I was the only blogger at my college, and I only found a handful of other blogs by chiropractic students. It became a working “yearbook” for my classmates and me. When I was pregnant with my son in 2007 in my last year of chiropractic school, I thought it was appropriate to start a new blog to write about the life-changing experience, emotions, and non-stop travel that I would endure throughout pregnancy and beyond. Although there were very few colleagues who blogged in graduate school, I suddenly found myself one of thousands of mom bloggers in a fantastic online writing community.
I moved 5 times from the time I was 6 months pregnant to the time my son was 8 months old. My close friends and support group were thousands of miles away as I was transitioning into the most life-changing year of my life. As much as I appreciated the phone calls from my girl friends, it was the mom blogging community with whom I connected regardless of my location. Even though we’d never met face to face, we could lift one another up when times were rough: past-term baby, difficulty breastfeeding, months and months of sleepless nights, teething, etc. There are scores of women who’ve been though it before, and they’ve blogged about it. Writing is my release. If I can put into words what I’m going through and how I’m handling it, then I can gain a greater peace in spite of seemingly endless chaos in the first few months of being a mom to a newborn. Often, I receive comments from moms who appreciate that I posted about something that they’re currently going through. We share our common experiences. It’s lovely.
MJ: Where do you see the blog going?
DG: Traveling with Baby offers a unique perspective among other mom bloggers since I’m a chiropractor. I’m no longer a stay at home mom, and even though I’m a working mom, my son is at work with me. I’ve wanted to bridge the gap between a purely health-focused blog and mom blog. I recently launched a new Friday column called Health Happy Round-Up which will feature yummy family-friendly recipes as well as nutritional information. This column will also highlight natural treatment approaches to common health conditions including prevention and chiropractic care. There will be topic-focused giveaways and product reviews such as ergonomic diaper bags and preventing skin cancer with UV sun protective clothing for babies and children. I see this column as an area where I’ll be able to direct my chiropractic patients for further information as well as provide education for the mom blogging community with a chiropractor mom’s perspective.
MJ: As a chiropractor, has your blog helped build your business?
DG: I’ve learned so much more about marketing and PR through blogging which has helped me in the same arena with my practice. My blog has helped me connect with local business owners and set up health talks within the Charlottesville community on topics related to ergonomics in breastfeeding and babywearing. I’ve learned about branding, search engine optimization, and networking all through the mom blogging community. It’s a fun hobby that’s turned into a part-time job that is beginning to integrate well with my practice that focuses on women and children’s health.