Moms Use Social Media To Prevent Closure of Birthing Center

According to an article by Kay Lazar published in the Boston Globe today, moms have banded together to stop Beverly Hospital from closing their birthing center.

Per Ms. Lazar, “in a four-sentence statement from Northeast Health System, which owns Beverly Hospital, officials noted that the intense grass-roots campaign to save the North Shore Birth Center had ‘not gone unnoticed.’ But the statement also made it clear that the center’s future is still very much in question.

‘The Board of Trustees is diligently weighing the impact that the closure of the Birth Center would have on the community,’ the statement read. ‘The board intends to leave the Birth Center services unchanged while it continues to examine and discuss this important issue.’ Officials declined to elaborate.

Last week, the hospital released a statement that said the birth center’s future was being scrutinized because the facility was ‘experiencing a significant rise in the cost of malpractice insurance premiums.’ That prompted a barrage of letters, fliers, pickets, and an Internet campaign to save the center. Organizers say they are very much continuing the fight.

‘It sounds like we have a stay of execution here,’ said Rebecca Hains, a 32-year-old Peabody mother who brought her 8-week-old son to join about 100 protesters outside Beverly Hospital during the trustees’ meeting.

Hains said campaign organizers would probably continue to push for a meeting with hospital officials and offer to work with them to revamp the state’s malpractice system.

The hospital’s dilemma is occurring amid a high-stakes debate across the country about soaring malpractice insurance and proposals to overhaul the system.

A survey released Monday by the state’s medical society found that obstetricians were among the most likely caregivers to say that fear of lawsuits prompted them to order medically unnecessary imaging tests and to reduce high-risk services.

North Shore Birth Center offers women with low-risk pregnancies an option of delivering their babies without drugs to induce labor and control pain or machines to monitor the process.

It is run out of a cottage on the grounds of Beverly Hospital and features a whirlpool bath or tub for labor and delivery and holistic approaches for pain management. The only other such facility in the state is at Cambridge Hospital.”

The grass-roots effort is really a campaign that used eblasts and social marketing to get the word out, and traditional media to spread the word to others in order to build their communication base.

So see? As I wrote in an earlier post about mom’s using blogs, social media is a great tool for building relationships and increasing your communication base.


  1. LBK
    November 20, 2008

    It’s amazing how influential consumers can be through the internet. Creating buzz and providing information to others is no longer (or quickly fading) exchanged by face to face or phone communications. E-blasting and social marketing have become powerful forces in building your brand and reputation with consumers!

  2. wben
    November 20, 2008

    Interesting, Social Media as a form of picketing.

  3. DLM622
    November 21, 2008

    Very interesting how Social Media can influence all different aspects of life.