Do virtual communities in cyberspace foster social capital and social support? Using participant observation and discourse analysis, we examine a mothering board on a parent's website and investigate whether social capital was present, and if so, how it was developed and used. We find three main types of communication emerge from our analysis: emotional support, instrumental support - both formal and informal, and community building/protection, all of which contribute to the creation and maintenance of social capital. Additionally, using sampling with replacement, we created a final data set of 180 mothers and report descriptive statistics to identify characteristics of those on the board. © Blackwell Publishing Ltd/Foundation for the Sociology of Health & Illness 2005.