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Maternal Perinatal Wellbeing and the Role of Digital Technologies

Ranjana Das (@DrRanjanaDas)

3. Findings
1. Funders Uneven contexts of access and use
• British Academy (Perinatality + Digital Tech)
• Wellcome Trust (Migrant mothers + challenges in communicating PNMH issues) • On-the-ground support networks are not always ‘supportive’
• Many turn to the online, but significant digital divide
• Migrant mothers seem to depend heavily on telephony/apps
2. Context/Scope • Key role of ‘intersectionality’ within easy groupings – e.g. not
all “migrant mothers” have similar struggles
• Increasing hope around use of digital tech in health– not enough bottom-up evidence
• Austerity related cuts to PNMH services – many mothers seeking (online) peer support The case for optimism
• Specific challenges for migrant mothers, those on other side of digital divide • Online peer-support key for ‘bridging’ gaps in NHS support ,
• What role can tech play in PNMH support? for intimate queries, and open sharing in anonymous areas
• Twitter #hashtag support spaces significant
• Camaraderie, understanding, solidarity v key for those
4. Recommendations struggling
The case for caution

• Morally-heavy, intense discussions on ‘contentious’ perinatal

issues (infant feeding/childbirth) can create exclusive cliques
• Commercial companies stealing mothers/baby data through
tacit surveillance
• Online experiences can be uneven – and mothers’ digital
literacies, resilience and skills uneven too
• Placing too much responsibility on ‘peer support’
responsibilises struggling mothers as communities

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Related Interests