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Facebook us mums - government

Women are increasingly chatting and sharing information with friends and strangers about their pregnancies on social media, surveys suggest.

Now the British  government says it backs women using sites such as Facebook to share their questions and experience - but wants them to link to its advice site.

A new survey shows the extent to which pregnant women are using social networks to discuss childbirth.
This includes sharing photos of body-painted bumps and ultrasound scans together with professionally taken photos.

A survey, conducted by a social media site for mothers, found 90% of women reporting having seen friends' scans and 28% having seen pictures of body-painted bumps.

More than 77% said they were keen to help others on-line.

The Department of Health urged women to include its own site Start4Life in their discussions.

GP Dr Dawn Harper, who backs the site, said: “Many think of Facebook as a place to share pictures of bumps and tales of cravings, so it’s encouraging to see that many mothers think it would be better used to discuss matters such as health, and are keen to offer support to other mothers.

“However to do the best job at this, it’s important we’re well informed, and Start4Life is a brilliant one stop shop that can answer all the questions on pregnancy you, or your Facebook friends, may have.”

And health minister Dr Dan Poulter said there was now new material on the site with advice on how to keep healthy during pregnancy.

He said: "The sheer volume of information available to pregnant women – on Facebook and elsewhere – can make it hard to find the best advice. Start4Life will help them to take simple steps to stay healthy for themselves and their baby."

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