Have you been to #PPDChat yet?

Two weeks ago, on May 3, the very first #PPDChat took place @Twitter. (Don’t worry if you’re confused, I’ll explain what I just said in a few minutes!)

We had a few attendees at both chats. Overall response was very warm, excited, and generally thrilled about this new avenue of support available for new moms struggling with postpartum mood disorders.

This week’s attendance was even stronger, especially in the evening. Women were sharing, supporting, getting brave about seeking help (two even made doctor’s appts!), and even more exciting to see was that they were STILL chatting about it this morning! Attendees continued to encourage and support each other well after the official chat was over. Last night’s chat was so phenomenal it had tears streaming down my face. The sheer POWER of social media at it’s finest – truly doing what it’s build to do – help us connect and support each other. Speechless!

Imagine my surprise to see folks like @marchofdimes and @60secondparent spreading the word about #PPDChat!

I am so excited to see what is in store for #PPDChat and can’t wait to see you there!

I promised to share how to participate.

First, you need a Twitter account. It’s free and easy to sign up. Just go to http://www.twitter.com to get your account.

Once you’ve signed up, you’re good to go.

Our “chat” is held every Monday. There are two chats. The first chat takes place at 1:00pm EST with the second chat taking place at 830p EST. Both chats last about an hour but if they’re going strong or there’s someone who really needs to continue discussing, we won’t cut you off. Ever. We promise. Even though we call it a “chat,” it’s really a serious of tweets (those are messages sent on Twitter) with a specific hashtag (phrase which follows the # symbol). Our hashtag is #PPDChat.

There are a few ways to follow the chat.

If you’re already on Twitter and have a program like Tweetdeck or use Seesmic or HootSuite, you should have a way to follow specific #hashtags.

If you’re just on Twitter via the web, type in the hashtag (#PPDChat) into the search box. The search page will update to show you additional tweets and you can click on them to see the new messages. There is a message/Tweet box at the top of this page so you can participate directly from the tweet page.

There’s also http://www.tweetchat.com. You do have to authorize this to work with your Twitter account and then type in PPDChat up top next to the hashtag. (it’s a little hard to see – I had a rough time with it) The nice thing about using tweetchat is that it automatically hashtags all of your tweets for you so you don’t have to remember.

If you have any further questions, please leave a comment here or find me on Twitter. I’m still @unxpctdblessing there. Click here to follow me: http://www.twitter.com/unxpctdblessing

I do have lovely co-hosts assisting me in this endeavor and I am SO happy they are because without them it wouldn’t work as well as it has so far! Thank you ladies!

Co-hosts are:

@postpartumprogr

@ivyshihleung

@Atlantamom

@helenfcrawford