By Jennifer Thomas, MD, MPH, IBCLC, FAAP, FABM
The internet has increasingly become a tool for people seeking health By Jennifer Thomas, MD, MPH, IBCLC, FAAP, FABM
information. A Pew Internet and American Life survey in 2011 showed that 80% of internet users have visited a website for information or support for a specific health problem, 19% of whom searched for information on pregnancy and childbirth.
Social media has increasingly become a tool for organizations, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), to share information pertinent to the goals, mission, vision, publications and achievements. It has become a way to promote new products. It increases awareness about current issues, and can, unfortunately, generate misinformation which can be quickly disseminated widely. As the AAP is the recognized authority on the care of children, in addition to provide accurate information to physicians and breastfeeding mothers, we see this misinformation as a problem which needs to be addressed.
The American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Breastfeeding recently launched a new Facebook page. It was created to:
- Raise awareness of activities, products, and resources produced by the Section on Breastfeeding.
- Highlight our members achievements.
- Recruit new pediatricians to our membership.
- Highlight pertinent evidence-based practices and publications.
- Present evidence-based information in response to trends on social media which may be detrimental to the experience of new breastfeeding mothers.
- Join in the discussions, currently occurring in social media about breastfeeding.
The Facebook page has the potential to be many things but it will not be a place for our section’s members to offer clinical advice. It will be for the dissemination of information only.
We invite IBCLCs and other breastfeeding professionals and volunteers to come “like” our page and engage in the conversation with us. A strong collaboration between pediatricians and other members of a baby and their family’s health care team is vital to their breastfeeding success.