I am giving a short talk to student midwives tomorrow about the effect of social media on childbirth choices and midwifery practice. I have put together a short slide show but to be honest, I am not sure I have really dealt to the questions because I don't think we know if and how social media impacts on childbirth. This is an area that needs a lot more research.
I do know that women look for information on the internet and I feel it is my responsibility to provide quality information about birth online that women can refer to. Social media gives me an opportunity to listen to what women say about birth and maybe align my practice more with what they are saying. I also think social media can bring midwives and women together giving us one voice which in itself gives us an ability to work together to achieve mutual aims. Whether this is impacting on the provision of maternity care, especially in a global way, remains to be seen.
I'd love to hear from anyone who is researching this area, or has ideas about the impact of social media on maternity care. If you are a parent, how much do you rely on social media for information and ability to communicate with other parents? If you are a midwife, how is social media impacting on your practice?