Breathing New Life maternity conference in Melbourne at the end of the week about how social media influences the choices women make about maternity care and birth.
Here's my abstract.
Here's my abstract.
The Internet has become ubiquitous and social networking is out-growing any other form of communication. Health professionals cannot afford to ignore the social networking phenomenon because it is the way that maternity consumers are engaging with the world. Women are using social media tools to find and pass on health information, support each other and share experiences. They are becoming online activists, running campaigns for change and developing communities of interest. They are broadcasting their births as political statements. They are talking about health professionals and rating the care midwives and doctors provide. All these activities are influencing the decisions women make about their care, which in turn is changing the relationship between women and health professionals. Health professionals need to keep up to date with the communication changes that are going on so they do not miss vital opportunities to connect with the women they work with. For all the changes that are happening, health professionals still play a vital role in supporting women to make sense of the information and relationships they find online.
I'd be really interested in hearing what you think about this.
How have you seen social media influencing the choices women make about birth options and maternity care?
If you are a pregnant woman or new mum, how have you used Twitter, Facebook etc to find information and make decisions about your care.
If you are a health professional, what are you experiencing? How do you use social media to communicate with your patients and clients?
The other thing I am looking for is research that supports (or disproves) the contention that women are engaging with social media to find information and make decisions about care. If you know of any good research or resources about this topic, I'd love to hear about them. Thank you.
Image: 'You're the nicest thing I've seen.'