Myself and Rachel Checkland attend Canterbury Christ Church University. In October 2014, during our second year of Midwifery, we attended a normalising birth conference chaired by Sheena Byrom (@SageFemmeSB). She talked about the importance of Social Media to all healthcare professionals and the women we care for. She opened our minds to the world of twitter. After the conference Rachel and I began to build our twitter profile, loving its non-hierarchal status, tweeting to Sheena and our Royal College of Midwives’ president Lesley Page (who tweeted us back!!!!).
We then decided that we wanted to start a page/campaign to be physiological birth protectors, so we began “Normal Birth for Lone Nuts”. Our ethos is that midwives need to believe in positivity to facilitate women and their families to have positive, physiological birth.
We sought approval from our university and our lead educator gave us the go ahead, and we began our group.
We have created a lovely page, building beautiful affirmations , art and links to research. It has much potential to be a place for positivity. We are building the followers (440 so far). I personally have built my twitter profile to be a positivity believer - encouraging midwives and student midwives to be positive.
So why Normal Birth for Lone Nuts? Yes, it is a crazy name, but it was inspired by the leadership clip that we were shown at the conference by Sheena; the premise being that people follow lone nuts; the key is not the lone nut but the people that follow her.
We aim to develop our own logo with help from an artist and in the next year to build our twitter profile. We are women-centred and love the art of midwifery, and we feel privileged to be training to become midwives. #thefuturemidwives.
Our page is for everybody: midwives, students, mums-to-be, dads-to-be and people that want to be positive about birth.
From a personal perspective, when starting this idea I did not know what effect it would have on my midwifery identity. My confidence grew and I even put myself forward to join the Royal College of Midwives’ student midwives forum (RCM SMF).
The forum has four members from England, two from Scotland, two from Northern Ireland and two from Wales. Members are elected for a period of two years or until qualification – whichever comes first – and the group elects one member to chair on a six-month basis. There was an election for the SMF in January and then I was offered a seat. I will be representing England on the forum (this is an absolute honour!).
The SMF helps midwifery societies, so I hope to bring the societies to my ‘positivity’ campaign on Twitter with support from @wemidwives. On twitter I champion positivity with #globalvillagemidwives, #onelineaday, #challenge2015positivity. I hope to bring my positivity drive to the SMF and help midwifery societies to be positive with self-care, self-compassion and to build resilience with positivity for each other.
I know that joining twitter and linking in the wider midwifery community is developing my midwifery identity, raising my self-esteem and self-belief. I am very hopeful for a great 2015.
Obviously we are a very young campaign and know we have a long journey ahead but we are believers: from little acorns do big oaks grow - “Normal Birth for Lone Nuts”