Maybe, Baby? TLC Launches 'A Conception Story' Online Reality Series

Filed under: In The News, New In Pop Culture

Six women share their dreams of motherhood on A Conception Story. Credit: TLC

From the network that brought you "Jon and Kate Plus 8" and "19 Kids and Counting," pro-procreation TLC has now launched "A Conception Story," an online reality series that follows the journeys of six women as they try to get pregnant.

The Web videos, all of which are prefaced with a First Response ad, are actually quite touching and personal, highlighting the participants' struggles to get pregnant and the decisions that have led them to this point.

The women, who range in age from 25 to 34, are united in their desire to have a baby, but represent a variety of lifestyles and backgrounds. For example, 31-year-old Kristen is a marathoner and business analyst who just started trying to get pregnant with her first child with her husband of two years, while 28-year-old Amber is a stay-at-home mom and handbag entrepreneur who is trying to get pregnant with her second child, according to a TLC press release.

When casting the show -- names were drawn from Discovery's network of mom bloggers, talent resource centers and TLC.com's fan base -- "we were not looking for the friction or the wows that come up in the 'Jersey Shore' type show," Harold Morgenstern, senior vice president for advertising sales at Discovery Communications, TLC.com's parent company, tells The New York Times. "We are positive that these women will be able to relate to our viewers online."

Morgenstern tells The Times this was the network's first reality show initiated by an advertiser.

Stacey Feldman, vice president for marketing at First Response, tells The Times the brand first approached the website about six months ago.

"We have a goal of empowering women, and with this Web series we're not just products, we're a tested guide. We're holding these women's hands," Feldman says.

In addition to contributing to a blog on the site, the participants will record their progress with digital video cameras and send footage to TLC, which will edit the videos and upload them to the website within a couple days, The Times reports.

The average age for first-time mothers was 25 in 2006, up from 21.4 years old in 1970, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This translated into growth for home pregnancy and ovulation tests before the economic downturn, but now more women are postponing pregnancy, which has hampered sales, The Times reports. Market research firm Mintel reports that sales of pregnancy tests dropped 2.5 percent in 2008 and 3.4 percent in 2009.

As for desired test results, Feldman says half of the company's customers are "hopeful positives" and half are "hopeful negatives." While the hopeful negatives probably won't be interested in "A Conception Story," Feldman tells The Times that "hopeful positives buy more boxes and use more sticks."

Related: Pregnancy: Week by Week

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