CafeMom Website Offers Digital Community for Mothers

Andrew Shue is best known as the actor who played the lovable Billy Campbell on the nighttime soap opera "Melrose Place," but the he's gone from sex symbol to founder of the hottest social networking website for mothers in all of cyberspace.

The site is, and it connects more than 6 million mothers, providing them a virtual meeting place where they can find each other for conversation and support about motherhood and life.

So how exactly does a hunky actor become co-founder of a mommy website?

"Well, you know, I became a dad, and I saw firsthand how moms rule the universe," he told "Good Morning America," adding that he also learned how much mothers depend on each other.

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CafeMom offers more than 70,000 separate groups on topics ranging from astrology to gardening. There's even a group for fans of Harry Potter, the boy wizard protagonist of author J.K. Rowling's blockbuster bestselling series of books.

Understanding, Support and Friendship

Mothers flock to the site for the sense of companionship, community and practical advice. One mother asks whether she should allow her 7-year-old to go to a pool party by himself. Another mother offers some words of wisdom: She tells the uncertain mother that if her gut tells her it's not all right, then her child shouldn't go.

"CafeMom ... really is all about moms serving each other," Shue said. "Moms form their own groups around hundreds and hundreds of topics. It could be moms trying to quit smoking. Moms raising an ADHD kid. It could be a mom who's into recipes. It could be a mom who's trying to get tips, and deals, and steals."

CafeMom was a lifeline for New York mother Evani Sanabria, whose husband was serving in Iraq when her first child was born.

"It was hard ... not having him around," she said. "It made a huge difference to have, you know, to have this online community of women that I could talk to."

Her new friends gave her tips on everything from breastfeeding to diaper rash, and their support helped her through some tough nights. Four years and one more baby later, Sanabria is still friends with those moms.

Moms Helping Moms

When New York stay-at-home mom Jennifer Morais told her online friends about her love of photography, they encouraged her to follow her dream. Today, Morais has a successful photo studio.

Amy Rafanello turned to the moms of CafeMom when she found out she had an abnormal pap smear.

"I just immediately started talking to other moms. Getting their experience. Finding out what the next steps were. And finding out if I should worry, if I shouldn't worry," the New Jersey mother of four said.

Rafanello now runs her own group on the site, offering the same support she received.

That level of connectedness demonstrates why CafeMom is so powerful, Shue said.

"I think the thing is moms feel empowered when they come and they help each other," he said. "And I think that's the huge deal, is that moms come and really participate. They pour themselves into it ... and they get so much out of it. Whether they're giving or taking, they're really getting something. And so many times, you ... want to feel like you're not in it alone."

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