HUNDREDS of local women have received pregnancy advice via social media since the Maternity Direct Plus service launched six months ago. The service, which is for women who plan to have their baby under the care of Basildon University Hospital, has proved so popular that it is now expanding to include questions about preparing for pregnancy.
Each day, at least 10 women use the Maternity Direct Plus Facebook page to directly contact a midwife with a non-urgent query regarding their pregnancy. Rebecca Tranter has been the midwife online, posting items of interest on the social media site and answering questions.
Rebecca, who is a midwife with more than 20 years’ experience, said: “The women, and their family members, who contact us want access to correct information from a source they can trust. By using social media, which is available via a smart phone or tablet device, the service is easily accessible. Being able to ask a question and get a quick response, sometimes within just a few minutes, can help alleviate some of the anxiety often experienced during pregnancy.
“We know that questions about pregnancy can start at the planning stage, when women are keen to ensure they are in the best health. We are now able to give advice on lifestyle choices such as not drinking alcohol and giving up smoking, as well as information about the best vitamin supplements to take, for example. Being able to contact a midwife at this very early stage can be a great support and helps lay the best possible foundations for a healthy pregnancy.”
If you are pregnant, or are planning for a baby and would like to contact a midwife with a non- urgent query, please search Maternity Direct on Facebook – www.facebook.com/maternitydirect.