Social Media and Mediation of Childbirth: So, What for Mothers, Maternity, and Midwifery Practice?

Tizard, Hannah Rachel and Pezaro, Sally (2019) Social Media and Mediation of Childbirth: So, What for Mothers, Maternity, and Midwifery Practice? International Journal of Childbirth, 9 (2). pp. 69-79. ISSN 2156-5287

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Social media is fast becoming a global phenomenon with recent research providing insight into the complex inter-weaving relationship between the media and women and families over the childbirth continuum. Additionally, a growing body of evidence demonstrates a major cultural shift in the agency and information-seeking practices of women through social media. This perhaps suggests that services fall short of providing real and lived value to the women navigating through maternity systems in the United Kingdom, due to changes in culture and society. A deeper understanding of this phenomenon may help providers and practitioners offer care which better supports women's needs and enable them to develop innovative new approaches for future service provision. The aim of this article is to examine the literature and develop a deeper understanding of how social media may impact upon women, childbearing and midwifery practice via six domains. In conclusion, informational, experimental, and relational needs of women could be enhanced with funding and investment into the role of new expert tech-midwives using social media initiatives within maternity systems. Thus, supporting the demands of modern technology use by woman to elevate midwifery care provision and satisfaction and protect against the technocratic and patriarchal influence of childbirth. This synthesis of the literature through a western cultural lens may also be relevant to an international audience.

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