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Netmums logo.png
Type of site
Available in English
Owner AuFemine
Slogan(s) 'Local information and support for parents'
Registration Optional
Launched Early 2000

Netmums is a website for parents in the UK. It features a family of local sites across the UK and was established in 2000. The network offers information to both mothers and fathers about parenting on a national level. The Coffee House forum launched in 2004 where mothers could chat, make friends and find advice [1] The site has over 150 local websites, 500 national meet-up groups for mothers and 1,500 bloggers in its network.[2] The social support element of the site has also been recognised by a grant from the Department for Children, Schools and Families to support online counsellors and health visitors.[3] It also gives mothers advice on which products to buy and tells parents about special deals which could be of help to them.


Netmums was founded by Siobhan Freegard, Cathy Court and Sally Russell who met at playgroup in Harrow, North West London in 2000. It is one of the biggest parenting websites in the UK.

Siobhan Freegard was born in Bristol, 1967 and started her career as a marketer for hospitality provider, Keith Prowse. She now lives in London and has three children. Freegard is a regular in the media and has written for UK newspapers such as The Guardian and has appeared on ‘Loose Women’ and ‘This Morning’.[4][5] Co-founder Cathy Court worked in food technology and Sally Russell has a background in environmental sciences.[6]

In September 2014 Rimi Atwal joined the Netmums team as managing director. Rimi has experience in major companies including EMAP, Bauer and Attic Futura before joining netmums. [7]

Siobhan Freegard, Cathy Court and Sally Russell with their OBEs at Buckingham Palace

In the New Year's Honours lists 2014 the Netmums founders Siobhan Freegard, Cathy Court and Sally Russell received OBEs from the queen for Services to Families.[8][9][10][11][12]

Business Ventures[edit]

Netmums joined the Energy Bill Revolution in 2012 to support reduce energy waste and increase energy efficiency in the home. The Energy Bill Revolution was designed to recycle the energy saved and filter it into an energy efficiency programme with the aim to bring 9 out of 10 homes out of fuel poverty.[13] In 2011, the three co-founders sold their company to European group but retain control over the Netmums brand. The website was featured in the Independent’s ‘Top 50 Websites and Blogs for Parents’ and the business is now estimated to be at £50 million.[14][15][16] In 2013, Netmums announced advertising sign-ups with Oilatum and Aquafresh Kids as they reveal a 46% increase occurred on ad spend on the site from April 2012 to April 2013.[17]


Netmums is a network of 151 local sites that cover the whole UK providing information on places to go, things to do, education, childcare, and community, social and employment issues.[citation needed]

It lists crafts and activities for families in the school holidays and weekends.[18]

Birthday parties for children are covered from planning to making invitations and party themes. There are recipe and food ideas as well as details of local caterers, venues, entertainers and cake makers.[19]

The pregnancy section contains support, advice and tips, plus listing local hospitals, birth centres and pregnancy classes in each area.[20] Members can also subscribe to a weekly pregnancy email and a short email antenatal course.[21][22]

It sends monthly emails and gives support and advice for parents of children under 1. It covers sleep support, baby development, health and support for parents, plus enabling discussions with health professionals.[citation needed]

Netmums provides support and advice for mothers with postnatal depression. It lists local support groups, information and live support from Parent Supporters in its coffeehouse.[23]

There is childcare information for mothers going back to work after having a baby. This includes listings for childminders, nurseries and other services.[24][25]

The Netmums Parent Bloggers Network was launched in June 2011 and had over 500 members within 5 months.[26]

Parent supporters[edit]

Netmums launched the Parent Supporters, PS, campaign on 8 2008 with money from the UK Government. Over 2,500 parents have been helped with nearly 4,000 different problems.[27]

Netmums campaigns[edit]

Netmums gives a voice to families where it matters in order to highlight collective opinions to decision makers.[citation needed]

Family and Childcare Trust and Netmums

In June 2014 the Family and Childcare Trust announced a partnership with Netmums to launch a new programme of activity looking into the essential issues affecting families across the UK. This includes how family friendly we are as a nation, holiday childcare, flexible working, parental leave and childcare in general.[28][29]


Netmums conducted a social survey which revealed just one in seven women describes themselves as 'feminist' [30][31]

The Real Parenting Revolution

Overarching all its work in 2011, the Real Parenting Revolution calls for a societal understanding and acknowledgement of the challenges facing parents. Throughout 2011, Netmums will be campaigning for support to be there where and when parents need it.[citation needed]

Save our Children's Centres

In 2011, Netmums supported local parents in preventing closures of 250 children's centres across the UK[32]

Netmums in politics

5,900 Netmums completed a survey to show what matters most to mothers and what issues are likely to affect their voting decisions in the 2010 general election[33][34] [35]

Maternity Matters

Netmums has been campaigning for improvements in maternity services for over two years.[36] This includes better support for postnatal depression and depression during pregnancy. Over the past three years Netmums have conducted studies looking at different aspects of postnatal depression and anxiety and has been cited across the UK media.[37][38][39][40] Other surveys have looked at how new mothers over 40 deal with bringing up a child.[41]

Families need Health Visitors

Netmums is calling upon the government and primary care trusts to take account of the concerns of parents, and the organisations that represent their needs and views, and to reverse this decline.[42]

Better Support for PostNatal Depression

Over the past three years netmums has conducted three studies which have looked at different aspects of postnatal depression and anxiety.[43]

Netmums books[edit]

Netmums has published eight books

  • Feeding Kids (2007),
  • How to Be a Happy Mum: The Netmums Guide to Stress-free Family Life (2007)
  • Toddling to Ten: Your common parenting problems solved (2008)
  • Your Pregnancy: The Netmums Guide to Having a Baby (2009)
  • Baby's First Year: The Netmums Guide to Being a New Mum (2009)
  • Baby Sleep Solutions (2010)
  • Getting Ready to Start School (2010)
  • You and Your Tween (2011)

In the media[edit]

Netmums founder Siobhan Freegard launches her own YouTube channel for mummy bloggers [44]

Netmums claims gives a voice to families and to highlight collective opinions to decision makers. In March 2012, Netmums partnered with 'Cint' to create a 4,000 strong panel and gain market insight into the ‘Mothers of Babies’ community.[45] Director Siobhan Freegard has appeared on GMTV, This Morning and BBC Breakfast, representing mothers. She has also written comment pieces for newspapers.[46][47][48][49][50][51][52][53][54][55]

In July 2014 a survey identified a trend in 40 somethings to start again with a second family [56][57]

Netmums has been cited as a place for mothers to seek support in desperate times, whereby social networking sites can save lives.[58]

Siobhan Freegard, was invited by The Independent, as the voice of mothers, to comment on the Gordon Brown/Piers Morgan interview.[59]

Freegard spoke about the 'power of petitions' on the Gabby Logan show, highlighting the top ten issues that mothers cared about in the '3 Men and a Baby' survey.[citation needed]


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  27. ^ Netmums provide online support as part of Families Information Direct
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  35. ^ Netmums politics survey quoted in The Sun
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  42. ^ "Cutting back on health visitors is a false economy" says Netmums Sally Russell in The Guardian
  43. ^ Netmums director Sally Russell comments in the Daily Mail
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  58. ^ 'Social media can save lives', The Guardian
  59. ^ 'Gordon Brown on TV' The Independent

External links[edit]