The internet as a source of information used by women after childbirth to meet their need for information: A web-based survey

Authors:  Slomian, P, Bruyère, O, Reginster,  J.Y. & Emonts, P.

Source: Midwifery Journal
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.midw.2017.03.005
May 2017Volume 48, Pages 46–52

Objective

the aims of this survey were: (a) to evaluate the need of information after childbirth and what questions do ‘new’ mothers ask themselves; (b) to assess why and how women use the Internet to meet their need of information; (c) to describe how the respondents evaluate the reliability of the information found; (d) to understand how the information found on the Internet affects women’s decision-making; and (e) to appreciate how health professionals react to the information found by the women.

Findings

There were various reasons for seeking information on the Internet, but the most frequent reason the women expressed was to find information ‘on their own’ (88.1%). The most searched for topic was breastfeeding. The women believed that the information was quite useful (82.7%) but they assigned an average score of 5.3 out of 10 for the quality of the information they found on the Internet. Approximately 80% of the women felt that the Internet helped them control a decision that they made ‘a little’, ‘often’ or ‘very often’. Professionals are not always willing to talk about information found on the Internet with mothers. Therefore, many women believed that health professionals should suggest reliable Internet websites for new mothers.

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