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Feature Medicine and the Media

Learning from birthing stories on Twitter

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 12 March 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l1090
  1. Sally Howard, journalist
  1. London, UK
  1. sal{at}

Some stories about giving birth that women share on social media criticise doctors. However, hashtags such as #metoointhebirthroom and #positivebirthing could help improve obstetric care, finds Sally Howard

Good outcomes from an obstetric point of view can sometimes be experienced as trauma by new mothers. To help junior doctors reflect on this, Andrew Heeps, chief operating officer at North Middlesex University Hospital NHS Trust, refers them to women’s stories on the website and social media feeds of the charity the Birth Trauma Association (BTA).

Heeps gives the example of a birth in which the baby was distressed. The incident resulted in a successful delivery by emergency caesarean section. “The baby was delivered quickly and safely, but the mother was left thinking she had had no control over the process,” Heeps tells The BMJ.

Social media are rife with such accounts of women’s experiences of childbirth: search Twitter for #birthingtrauma, #metoointhebirthroom, and #positivebirthing, and look at groups such as

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