The Bump, XO Group Inc
Colchester, CT | Syracuse University
The night before my first day at The Bump, I took to Snapchat, where I captioned a photo of the Pregnancy Wikipedia page “research" and chuckled at my own ignorance. As someone who’s never exactly aspired to motherhood, I couldn’t imagine a topic less relevant to my life. Then the obvious dawned on me: I was once a baby. And that’s the beauty of The Bump—it touches on a subject that directly affects anyone with a pulse.
Unlike weddings, that other milestone we seek to monopolize at XO Group through The Knot, giving birth is a not a social construct. It is the very reason for being. It’s a serious task—one that requires info beyond mere aspiration. Service journalism takes on a different significance when your words might determine what vitamins a woman invests in for her growing baby or how she handles the newborn crisis that is projectile poop. Where's my role in all this?
Each morning, I pitch several ideas, keeping our millennial audience in mind. A new study on the benefits of folate is the perfect peg to remind moms-to-be of their suggested intake, while Chrissy Teigen’s public breastfeeding story will generate Facebook shares and discussion. After I write a blog post, I’ll open my “Real Answers” tab to sift through the questions my editor dropped in that day from our site users. This is where my tenth grade biology education comes in. But reporting allows me to act as an authority. Much of the interns’ time is devoted to a project for The Knot, which we’ll pitch to company executives at the end of summer. We decide on an initiative for diversity and inclusivity, with the goal of planning every wedding in America.
Through this project, I think about how XO Group is, at face value, a company rooted in traditions: get married, have a baby, buy your dream house—completing the seamless transition from The Knot to The Bump to The Nest.
But it also recognizes that these landmarks have been historically exclusive (in the case of LGBTQ weddings, for example) or limiting (in the case of a workforce that hasn't always been friendly to new moms). Then there’s the reality that more women are deciding to forgo weddings and babies altogether—which XO Group gets. After all, one of its original slogans is "Toss Tradition." In keeping with this slogan, The Bump empowers both moms and dads to parent their way. At a time when readers might be confused by their changing roles and bodies, it serves as a trusted friend turned obgyn, who won't raise an eyebrow at any of your questions, fears or needs. I’m still not sure I ever want to be a mom. And on days I’m researching mucus plugs (Google at your own risk), the answer might be a hard no. But I'm confident in the value of giving parents the support they need for one of life's most beautiful events. Because moments that were once milestones are no longer mandatory, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth celebrating.