Whenever someone asks me what my internship at The Bump is like, my answer is pretty simple: I’ve learned a ton about babies. Seriously, I’ve written about everything from laws exempting breastfeeding moms from jury duty, to a couple who started potty-training their daughter when she was an infant, to parents’ spoofs of the birth announcement for Beyonce’s twins. I’ve delved deep into the world of mom blogs, mom-shamers and “momtrepreneurs” (seriously, look it up).
When I first found out that ASME placed me at The Bump, I was somewhat perturbed. I have babysat a lot in the past, and I’m scarred by memories of baby vomit, explosive diapers and 2-year olds’ temper tantrums that had reduced me to tears. I wasn’t sure if I was equipped to think and write about babies all day. After all, so much of my time at Northwestern has been spent writing stories about university policy and women’s issues for our campus print magazine North by Northwestern – a far cry from a digital site for information-hungry moms.
As I started, though, I realized how important pregnancy and parenting publications like The Bump are to pregnant women and new moms. When I wrote about a 3-year-old who broke his femur on a trampoline, lots of moms commented on the story that they didn’t know the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that toddlers don’t jump on them. There’s a lot of misinformation out there on the Internet, and it can be a scary world to navigate for moms. I’ve gotten to write about maternal health, the institutional reasons why the c-section rate is so high and LGBT parenting issues. These stories matter, and I love writing them.
It also doesn’t hurt that The Bump is part of the XO Group, which has the best office I’ve ever worked in. There’s always fresh coffee brewing, a huge tea selection and cabinets full of free snacks. My editors are always thinking about how to reach more readers, and I’ve learned so much about how to grow a small publication into a serious competitor (It involves learning a lot about search engine optimization). They have also helped me to grow as a writer, and I’ll miss their encouraging words and helpful edits when I’m no longer here.
And if I’ve learned nothing else during my time here, I can leave knowing that I don’t want to be a parent for a really, really, really long time.