Gen X and Gen Y - the two most tech savvy generations, who also use social media and online learning to expand their knowledge base.
Unless guided to evidence based websites and blogs, even the most knowledgeable expectant Gen X or Y will still have a solid element of fear. Hard to believe, studies are showing that women are not exposed to normal, uncomplicated vaginal births in the media (Morris & McInerney, 2010). These same women may be unaware of childbirth education philosophies and practices that support low/no intervention births or physiologic births. This along with the rising cesarean rate, elective induction rate and high epidural rate, this makes for an evidence-based information dissemination nightmare.
According to Dr. Julia Kish-Doto, women of childbearing age rely heavily on social networks for health
It is also important to point out that women and especially mothers are the major influencers on their family units in regards to medical care. If they do, in fact, rely on social media for information about pregnancy, birth, infant feeding and other medical issues, as childbirth professionals, this has become a mandate for us to assimilate social media into our education/teaching strategies.
Childbirth education using social media has a major advantage to the typical childbirth education classes: information can be accessed at ANY time day or night. Information regarding newborns, breastfeeding and postpartum issues are available at 2 a.m. as well as 2 p.m.
We have a unique opportunity to wage a dynamic and comprehensive information campaign that can change the way our society looks at childbirth. May is coming up and contains Mother's Day (May 12) and International Week for Respecting Childbirth (May 20-27).
What if, for one week, we all joined together in one gigantic media campaign to set right the information about childbirth, physiologic birth, evidence based information?
Kish-Doto, J. RUprego? The Role of Social Media to Educate Young Women about Low Intervention Childbirth. Cases In Public Health, Communication & Marketing. Vol IV, Summer 2010.
Morris, T. and Mclnerney, K. Media representations of pregnancy and childbirth: an analysis of reality television programs in the US. Birth 2010; 37(2): 134-40.