Natural Childbirth Advocacy and Social Media

Thanks to Twitter and @PressReleasePR, I came across a wonderful brief post about engaging your audience through social media.  Author Lucio Ribeiro suggests:

1) Research your audience with Surveys, Analytics and Search Tools.

2) Find your audience – or “Fish Where the Fish Are

3) Let your customer know you’re there, answering questions, giving feedback and slowly building your authority

4) Reach out to them in a voice and channel in which they are holding the conversation

5) Understand that you don’t’ have more full control over your reputation, but you do have control over what you’ll be building, so be transparent!

dullhunk (flickr)

Atribution: dullhunk (flickr)

I’d like to ask a couple of questions related to points 2 & 4.  Where are the people who are interested in natural childbirth?  Especially, where are the women who are at risk of uninformed acceptance of evidence-lacking medicalized childbirth, an experience that may come back to haunt mother and child immediately and long term?

Where are childbirth advocates and moms conversing?  Is it in person, over the phone, on Facebook, on Twitter, on forums – where?  Wherever the bulk of that interaction may be – we need to be there too.  And how do we draw more “low tech” mamas to the internet – to Facebook and Twitter and blogs and on-line forums?

I look forward to reading your thoughts.


9 thoughts on “Natural Childbirth Advocacy and Social Media

  1. Surveys, Analytics and Search Tools help a lot but don’t give all the answers.
    In these 15 years working on marketing I learned we need to trust on our guts as well.
    Two levels of questions here.

    1) Are they online?
    Yes..keep reading.
    No, go to number 2

    Thats the place you need to be engage. There are someone represented as a thought leader? Entries on Wikipedia, or Onlive versions of newspapers/magazines will give you credibility against uninformed acceptance of evidence-lacking medicalized childbirth.
    Top down I’d start with research in mainstream points of touch
    Start point, setting up a Google alert for tags around the subject.

    2) They are not online, On this case is a great opportunity to start building your though leadership and online reputation for the time coming.
    They’ll come online, its juts a mttare of time, and when this happens you’ve already settled your way as a thought leader,.

    I hope I helped you
    all my best
    Feel free to drop by any time on

  2. Lucio, thank you for your detailed and thoughtful response!

    Here’s where I know “we” are:
    YouTube – lots of VBAC, HBAC, homebirth, and cesarean awareness videos and more being uploaded every month
    Flickr – haven’t really figured out how this is an useful SEO tool, but of course I have an account, so I can investigate how to use it more effectively
    Twitter – mombloggers and natural childbirth advocates who are more tech-oriented are there, and I hope the population will grow and grow!
    Facebook – a growing group of people there participate in natural childbirth awareness, education, and support
    Myspace – heh, someone else will have to take on that one. I deleted my account after a ratemyprofessor fiasco that was ignored.
    Google alerts – yep, on it!

    Hmm, I wonder if they really WILL come on-line. Supposedly I’m teaching “digital natives” at the University level. Not so much. If 18 year olds aren’t doing more than e-mail (infrequently), facebook, texting, then who exactly will be online in 5 to 20 years and beyond?

    Anyway, I hope lots of folks read what you’ve said here and take it to hard… and visit your site!

    Be well,

  3. I don’t know that it would be the best medium for it but I’ve found quite a few homebirthers and natural birthing mama’s on babycenter. It’s a scary place, I know. Hah. But most every birth month board has a certain thread for natural birthers. However, there is usually a little drama around that group (coming from the outside, I’ve never encountered drama within the group of women). I’m sure you know of the insecure condemnation that is involved there. But I have to think that for every thread that turns dramatic, there has to be someone in there that starts to think more about what they’re reading.

  4. Dude. The presentation I gave at Trust Birth, the classes I teach at Conscious Woman, and the presentation I’m giving at Birth Controversies, all cover this. The fact is, the birth community has a *dismal* online presence. Dismal. And if I manage nothing else, I will change that. I’m working on getting them blogging, getting their SEO improved, and increasing their awareness of the tools of social media. But man it’s an uphill slog.

    • Elementalmom, it’s great what you’re doing to get the natural birth community more tech savvy. Keep it up!

      Stassja, actually I was part of a due date club on BabyCenter back in 2004. Many of the moms from our group still keep in touch via a private forum. So, I don’t think it’s ALL bad. The info there is fairly “mainstream,” for better or worse. I have contacted them in the past about info I disagreed with, and they at least responded saying they would take it under consideration for revision. I don’t know if they did or not. But you’re right, they’re definitely a target audience…

      Lucio, thank you for sharing all of that information! I’ll see you on twitter!

  5. Elementalmom, I’m really interested in your efforts (and in everybody else’s comments here too!) because I’ve been enthusiastically blogging about low-intervention birth and related topics for about ten months … but can’t seem to find more than a very small (though, admittedly, delightful) readership for that work. Maybe the birth community is reluctant to blog because it feels like no one will freakin’ read it when we do take the time?

  6. @Molly – Molly, one of my blogs is about SEO (Search Engine optimization) the “science” behind optimizing result for Search Engines (p.g. Google, Yahoo)
    When I started no one would come to that blog. I spent months and months writing off for myself and nobody else. 3 years after its one of my most visited blogs. However more important, I got 3 things out of it:
    1) all the posts, files I’ve collected along this time are more than enoguh to produce a book, a guide or whatever i want.
    2) I learned – Yes I learned a lot
    3) I met people, not just one time visitors, but real people with real interested to express themselves, hear and been heard.

  7. продам Форд-Фокус 2008 года за 200 тр. торг возможет. срочно!!!
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  8. How ’bout good ‘ol espanol for the lovely latina ladies out there for starters. Not to mention images of Black, Hispanic and Asian families. If there are no photos drawings would do. Advocacy messages need to include all sorts. I’d like to see women with big old diamond earrings birthing upright, and girls with tattoos and piercings too. I’d like to see these images portrayed in hospital settings and at home. Maybe a short film (2 minutes) with either real scenarios or actors or even computer graphics. And write ups that include the meta tags “teen pregnancy”, “teen birth”, “sexual education” for those girls who are trying to negotiate the system.

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