Widespread use of the internet has fundamentally altered the way people access health information and communicate with health providers. Pregnant women are highly motivated to seek out information online. However, where mothers actually obtain their information, who they trust to supply it, and whether or not it actually fulfils their needs is often unclear. Facemums is a professionally moderated, evidenced base social media environment for pregnant women; providing expectant mothers in England with access to additional support from both qualified NHS midwives and other pregnant women through moderated private Facebook groups. It responds to the national Department of Health drive to achieve continuity of care.
Facemums was piloted via a small-scale Facebook group-based intervention involving (n=31) users of maternity care services and 4 midwives in 2 NHS Trusts. After demonstrating that the community of practice created met the information and support needs of pregnant women as well as providing relational continuity, a scaled-up intervention including 600 women and 66 midwives, across 13 NHS Trusts was established to provide maternity care within NHS service provision.
- examines the development of midwife/mother relational continuity at scale, using Facebook;
- explores the information and support shared amongst Facebook groups to generate a deeper understanding of the needs of pregnant women and new mothers;
- explores the experiences of midwives engaging with social media in a professional context and the impact of this on their continuing professional development
- Early results and impact.
- Early impacts of the project include that engaging with the Facebook group contributes to
- Improved understanding and awareness of pregnancy
- Improved care, health and well-being outcomes
- Improved physical, emotional, and social health and wellbeing during pregnancy
- Changed professional attitudes and new services
- The new services have been reported as particularly valuable during the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic
Funder: Health Education England
Team: Dr Rose McCarthy, Dr Lesley Choucri, Professor Alison Brettle, Professor Ben Light, Jude Jones, Stacey Lee, Laura James, John Chatwin, Danielle Butler