Impact of social media on women's choices in pregnancy and birth


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Presentation I gave at the 2012 Breathing New Life maternity conference:

Published in: Health & Medicine, Sports
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  • Slide 31 'Use social media to share evidence-based, quality information with women'
    Yes, and to provide a moderated platform for eliciting tacit knowledge transfer.

    Martin-Niemi, F. & Greatbanks, R. 2011. The ba of blogs: Enabling conditions for knowledge conversion in blog communities. VINE, 40 (1), 7 - 23.
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  • Private Opinion
    I agree, Gr8 presso. Yes, we need more information but we have enough to start to make changes in response to what we already know. Midwives need to respond to the opportunities that new information and communication technologies provide.

    Just look at the moderated Facebook page for breastfeeding women and you can decide for yourself if this is an effective conduit for tacit knowledge transfer.

    You mention the potential of smartphones. Most Generation Z communicate via their mobiles and nearly all pregnant women have mobile devices.
    There is also huge opportunity for them to use smartphone apps, and there are already hundreds out there.
    How is sponsorship going to be managed?

    New ways of knowledge transfer and communication do not replace the valuable face-to-face time women spend with midwives but they could serve to augment, provide effciencies and more timely choices.
    Thanks Sarah for posting your presentation on a topic which holds huge interest for me.
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  • Slide 28 'Keep up to date with communication changes'
    Yes, midwives need to learn new ways to facilitate knowledge transfer and new ways to communicate with women. New digital channels provide many different options. Channel choice should suit personal preferences and the situation. Mobile channels suit Generation Z women who are more likely to be having their first baby, and more likely to be transient.
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  • Slide 22
    Reiterated by Lagan et al. (2011)
    'Most women attributed their motivation to search for online information because health professionals did not provide enough information to meet their needs' p. 339.
    Lagan, B. M., Sinclair, M. & Kernohan, W. G. 2011. What is the impact of the internet on decision-making in pregnancy? A global study. Birth, Issues in Perinatal Care, 38 (4), 336-345.
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  • Quite agree, Private Opinion. But our research needs to go beyond stats...we also need to understand how parents are using information they find online to make decisions...we need to know what the outcomes are.
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Impact of social media on women's choices in pregnancy and birth

  2. 2. 8 out of 10 people have looked uphealth information on the internet Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2011
  3. 3. 96% Australians look on the Internet for information on their symptoms before they go to a doctor Bendall 2012
  4. 4. 83% women go online to look for health information Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2011
  5. 5. 19% of internet users look online for information about pregnancy and childbirth Pew Internet and American Life Project, 2011
  6. 6. Canada 37% babies have digital identity before they are born Dawson, 2010 0
  7. 7. Australia/NZ 41% newborns on the net Dawson, 2010 2
  8. 8. USA 92% children have online presence by 2 years old Dawson, 2010
  9. 9. What is social media? “web-based and mobile technologies that turn communication into interactive dialogue” Wikipedia:
  10. 10. 33% American use social media in relation to health issues PwC Health Research Institute 2012
  11. 11. Parents talk about childbirth
  12. 12. They broadcast their births
  13. 13. They share information and advice
  14. 14. They support each other
  15. 15. They build communities of interest g
  16. 16. They have virtual births
  17. 17. They become activists
  18. 18. They talk about health care professionals
  19. 19. What are the implications for health professionals?
  20. 20. Women want flexible communication, but arent getting it with health professionals Dallas Knight 2012
  21. 21. Women want to feel their communicationneeds are being met, but healthprofessionals are ignoring this Dallas Knight 2012 5
  22. 22. Women feeling uninformed by health professionals, which affects theirability to make choices & decisions about their care Dallas Kinght 2012 0
  23. 23. Challenge:Did you know there is no mention ofAustralian midwifery on Wikipedia?Did you know most informationabout obstetrics is from Americanperspective?
  24. 24. Infrequent antenatal visits & constant need for informationtriggered use of Internet Lagan, Sinclair & Kernohan 2011 7
  25. 25. Women are a lot more informed & wish to be treated as partners indecision-making process Lagan, Sinclair & Kernohan 2011 4
  26. 26. Balance of power between healthprofessional and “patient” is shifting Lagan, Sinclair & Kernohan 2011 5
  27. 27. What should healthprofessionals do?
  28. 28. Keep up to date with thecommunication changes 3
  29. 29. Listen to what women are saying
  30. 30. Join the conversation
  31. 31. Use social media to share evidence- based, quality information with women
  32. 32. Support women to make sense ofinformation they find on the internet
  33. 33. Work in partnership with women to support decision-making
  34. 34. Sarah Stewartsarahstewart07@gmail.comTwitter: @SarahStewarthttp://sarah-stewart.blogspot.com