Who is the person attending childbirth education classes now?
Gen X and Gen Y - the two most tech savvy generations, who also
media and online learning to expand their knowledge base. They are no strangers to social media and are
now being called Digital Natives, due to them growing up with smart phones and
tablets like many of us grew up with teddy bears and bicycles.
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
According to Dr. Julia Kish-Doto, women of childbearing age rely
heavily on social networks for health including childbirth knowledge. By
using social media to expose Gen X/Y to physiologic birth concepts, we may
increase awareness of physiologic birth and decrease the fear factor.
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. To do this, we must have a robust and consistent voice on places such as
Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. And
while consistency is primary, having a tag line or recognizable logo or phrases
also helps to catch the eye and draw the reader into the message.
Additionally, our message must contain something that
millennials want to share. They share
often, and are 3 times more likely to share content they see on social networks
and 2.3 times more likely to click back on content shared by peers. They will cross-share over the various
ecosystems (such as Facebook or Instagram) – which will take the message
75% of millennials want news
62% are interested in food
50% of millennials rely on video sharing websites
59% said their favorite websites are visually appealing,
57% said the best websites have content that is brief,
well-written and easy to understand
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.