Using social media to create social change
Social networking is changing the way we learn about and communicate with the world. In 2011 two MANA Board members, Tamara Taitt and Geradine Simkins, conceived a public education video series as a way to bring midwives and midwifery care to the attention of the public through social media. We know midwives and midwifery care makes a difference in people’s lives. This video series brings midwives and the work they do to life, one on one, in their own words. The video series is co-produced by filmmaker Nicolle Littrell of Woman in the Moon Films.
The I am a Midwife™ public education campaign was first launched on International Midwives Day 2012, as a series of short, informative interviews profiling midwives across the United States. It is an innovative way to present childbirth options, designed specifically to educate about midwifery as high-quality, high-value maternity care. I am a Midwife™ is a comprehensive and easily accessible tool available online for anyone seeking information about the midwifery model of care.
The next series of theme-based videos will be released as I am a Midwife 2.0™. It was launched on May 29, 2014 to coincide with the 30th triennial Congress of the International Confederation of Midwives to be held in Prague. I am a Midwife 2.0™ is being promoted through a variety of social media platforms, including mana.org/iaam, facebook.com/MidwivesAlliance, and youtube.com/user/Midwives Alliance.
One of the key goals of I am a Midwife™ is to use social networks to create social change. We know that maternity care in the U.S is suffering from increasing costs and high rates of cesarean sections and inductions, while falling farther and farther behind globally in maternal and infant mortality. At the same time families are looking for more personal, satisfying and safe care. Midwives are experts in normal physiologic birth, safest and best for mother and baby. We can change the culture of birth and bring it back to mothers and families, improve health, and reduce interventions and costs by giving all women access to midwives. Education about the midwifery model of care is critical and IAAM is an important resource for education.
Production team for I am a Midwife™ includes co-producers, Geradine Simkins and Nicolle Littrell; project manager Jill Breen; communications director, Jeanette McCulloch; webmaster, Tina Williams; and a cadre of dedicated volunteer Online Community Managers. The I am a Midwife™ public education initiative is primarily funded through grant awards from the Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery.