I love social media as I've found midwives that I would never have had a relationship with otherwise.
Social progress is also pushed by excellent online platforms.
While I believe (perhaps controversially for a blogger) that true human connection doesn't happen online but in real life, I think Facebook and Twitter can be crucial starting places for communication, networking and information exchange.
I haven't seen research on this but I've read secondary sources suggesting that many of our discussions on hard midwifery issues take place online.
As someone who runs a large midwifery support group I have seen these discussions increase in number over the last few years.
Some great midwifery online places include:
The Midwife Diaries Facebook wall for inspiration and guidance towards research and resources
The MatExp Facebook group identifies and shares best practice across the nation’s maternity services
The Say No To Bullying In Midwifery Facebook group offers support for those experiencing hard cultures in midwifery
Joy Horner, an independent midwife, is so worth adding on Facebook, her 'Thoughtful Thursday' live posts have taught me so much!
To support you further in your application and career, you may want to come and join The Secret Community For Midwives In The Making on Facebook. This is a free group of 17,000 members at the time of writing which thrives on support for midwives at all stages of their training and experience. We’d love to see you there!
I'm biased, but I find Facebook a much more helpful place to have deep conversations than Twitter. You only get 140 character to post anything on Twitter which makes it more of a cocktail party, whereas Facebook is a long country walk.
However Twitter can be amazing at passing on information and some of the connections I've made there have gone on to real life.
There are amazing midwives and other professionals on Twitter who are very welcoming.
Search for the following:
These names will help get you started!
I don’t mean to make you paranoid as social media is a wonderful part of life and modern practice but make sure you’re in charge of social media rather than it being in charge of you.
There are a few sensible rules to bear in mind to protect yourself as a midwife or midwife to be:
- Keep within NMC social media guidelines
- Remember to keep all identifying features of trusts, clients and colleagues confidential
- Remember, anything you post, however privately, can get shared and then replicated because that’s the nature of the internet. If you’re having a debate with someone you’ll need to keep things calm and balanced. Think ‘would I be happy for this to be posted in my name on the front page of The Practising Midwife?’ – if it passes that test it’ll be ok
- Always fact check, just like in real life not everyone is going to have up to date information
I hope this helps! If you're struggling you can always post The Secret Community For Midwives In The Making and you'll get lots of advice from the midwifery social media experts of the world!