Skip to main content

The perfect birth: A content analysis of midwives' posts about birth on lnstagram.

Marsh, A., 2023. The perfect birth: A content analysis of midwives' posts about birth on lnstagram. BU.

Full text available as:

s12884-023-05706-2.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

[img] PDF
chapter 5 article.pdf
Restricted to Repository staff only



Background There is limited research into how midwives use social media. Two small pilot studies have explored its introduction into maternity practice and teaching but there is little evidence around how midwives use social media professionally. This is important as 89% of pregnant women turn to social media for advice during pregnancy. Aim To analyse how midwives portray birth on the social media platform lnstagram . Methods This is an observational study using content analysis. Five midwives from each country (UK, New Zealand, USA and Australia) were identified and their posts about birth collated from a one-year period (2020-21). Images/videos were then coded. Descriptive statistics enabled comparison of the posts by country. Categorisation was used to analyse and understand the content. Findings The study identified 917 posts, containing 1216 images/videos, with most coming from USA (n=466), and UK (n=239), Australia (n=205) and New Zealand (n=?) respectively. Posts were categorised into 'Birth Positivity', 'Humour', 'Education', 'Birth Story' and 'Advertisement'. Midwives' portrayals of birth over-represented vaginal births, waterbirths and homebirths compared to national birth statistics. The 'Midwifery influencers' were mainly midwives with private businesses (n=17). Both the midwifery influencers and women portrayed in images were primarily white, demonstrating a disproportionate representation. Conclusion There is a small midwifery presence on lnstagram that is not representative of the broader profession, or the current picture of midwifery care. Further research is recommended to explore midwives' motivation behind their posts, and how pregnant and postnatal women engage with social media.

Item Type:Other
ID Code:38258
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:15 Feb 2023 12:22
Last Modified:13 Oct 2023 15:52


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -