The Pregnets Team would like to share our season’s greetings with everyone in the Pregnets community! We hope everyone enjoys a peaceful and smoke-free holiday season with loved ones.
We also would like to extend our deepest gratitude for your incredible support in our blog, website, Facebook page, and Discussion Board. This past year, we have shared our results on our blog from the survey we conducted last year. We learned what health care providers think of Pregnets and what they have been saying about the blog in particular! Nurses – being our primary audience – have been especially supportive. Overall, our resources have been found to be reliable, useful, and relevant!
This would not have been possible without the support of the entire Pregnets community. So, thank you! Stay tuned for more Pregnets-related posts in the new year!
In our last post, we talked about what exactly health care practitioners are saying about the Pregnets blog. They recognize it as a rich source of knowledge to learn about women’s lived experiences with pregnancy and smoking, and they understand its value to their patients. Nurses, who are an integral part of a health care practice, are usually the first primary care practitioner that patients interact with. Nearly 50% of Pregnets survey responders were nurses; in each type of organization surveyed, nurses were the predominant respondents:
- 50% of survey takers in community health centers were nurses
- 75% of survey takers in family health teams were nurses
- 69% of survey takers in public health units were nurses
Why do nurses use Pregnets?
- 73% of nurses reported using Pregnets – the website, discussion board, and blog – to learn more information on pregnancy/post-pregnancy and smoking
- 53% of nurses said they use Pregnets to find tools/evidence to apply to their practice
- 46% of nurses enjoy learning what Pregnets offers so that they can recommend it to their clients
What kind of tools do nurses use to apply to their practice?
- 44% of nurses listed using resources as their primary tool from Pregnets. Resources include BEST START brochures, literature reviews, webinar series, etc.
- 33% of nurses used clinical practice guidelines such as CAN-ADAPTT (Canadian Action Network for the Advancement, Dissemination and Adoption of Practice-informed Tobacco Treatment). CAN-ADAPTT is a smoking cessation clinical practice guideline and knowledge exchange network for health care practitioners, researchers and policymakers across Canada.
We are thrilled to learn that nurses are also spreading the word about Pregnets! Nearly 63% disclosed that they recommend Pregnets to their clients and 68% of nurses recommend it to colleagues and other health care practitioners. We are very grateful for your support and hope to keep serving your information needs for years to come.
Hello again readers!
As we shared in our last post, we’ve received feedback from 120 health care practitioners about their experience with Pregnets. Overall, they find our website to be shareable, reliable, useful and relevant!
We already know that women find blogging for Pregnets beneficial as it provides them with an opportunity for self-reflection, connection with peers, and a boost in social support. But health care practitioners can also benefit from reading the Pregnets blog! From their responses to our feedback survey, we learned that one out of six health care practitioners use Pregnets to read our blog. Why?
The Pregnets blog is a rich source of knowledge for health care practitioners to learn about women’s lived experiences with smoking or being smoke-free before, during and after pregnancy. A dietician from a public health unit in central west Ontario reported liking “hearing others’ stories” from the blog; a nurse at a central east public health unit also read the blog to learn “what other women are experiencing.” We are pleased to know that health care practitioners can use the Pregnets blog to better understand their patients, which hopefully translates to more appropriate, empathetic, and supportive care. Beyond being a source of information, the Pregnets blog can be used as a tool for informing practice and relating to patients. As one family health team nurse expressed: “insights that are shared through the blog are ones that are often difficult to share face to face in a group situation. They provide great ideas of topics to raise with our groups.”
Health care practitioners are also using the Pregnets blog because they recognize its value to their patients. One nurse respondent believes “participating in the blog has been very empowering for [her clinic’s] clients.” Over half of practitioners reported recommending Pregnets to their clients, including one nurse who specifically recommends the blog to her patients because “it helps them to not feel alone in the process and helps decrease feelings of guilt related to their smoking.”
Overall, we are thrilled about the value that health care practitioners believe the Pregnets blog brings to their practice. If you are not familiar with the Pregnets blog, we recommend trying out some approaches from your peers for applying the blog in a health care setting. Are you using the Pregnets blog in a different way? Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments section below!
We appreciate your continued interest and support,
Although the Pregnets blog has now come to an end, we are still dedicated to providing resources and information on our website, Discussion Board, Facebook Page, Twitter, and here on our blog. In June 2015, we conducted a survey with Pregnets users to get feedback on how we’re doing. We were happy to learn we have a large audience of health care practitioners from across Ontario who were kind enough to share their thoughts and feedback on how Pregnets has been useful for them!
Out of the 120 health care practitioners that responded to our survey, the largest concentration – nearly 71% – were based at public health units or family health teams across Ontario. Here are some interesting results we found:
Nurses are our main audience: Nearly half of our survey respondents were nurses. Other users included health promoters, educators and pharmacists.
Pregnets is a shareable resource: 65% of respondents have recommended Pregnets as a resource to other health care providers.
Pregnets is a reliable source of evidence-based guidance: Over half of health care practitioners use Pregnets to:
- Find information on pregnancy/post-pregnancy and smoking
- Learn what it offers so that they can recommend Pregnets to clients
- Find tools/evidence to apply to their practice
Pregnets is useful! 85% of respondents reported that Pregnets provided them with useful information, and with the information they were looking for.
Pregnets is relevant: Almost half of health care practitioners reported visiting the Pregnets website at least once within 6 months of completing the survey. This tells us that Pregnets is still relevant to health care practitioners looking for information on pregnancy and smoking.
If you want to share any other thoughts or feedback, please comment below and let us know how Pregnets has been useful for you! You can also contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to the final post in our series of blog posts highlighting some of the major lessons we learned from our conversations with Pregnets bloggers.
Lesson #4: Blogging can increase your sense of support from people in your life
In our last post, we began talking about the social benefits of blogging. Bloggers appreciated feeling a connection with their peers in the Pregnets community, including fellow bloggers. In this final post on the benefits of blogging, we will discuss the support that Pregnets bloggers received from the people in their lives – a partner, family members, friends, and/or Pregnets staff. Most bloggers shared that they had at least one form of support in their life throughout the blogging process. This support came in the form of encouraging the blogger throughout the writing process, offering her constructive feedback on blog posts before they were published, and offering praise as she made progress in her quit journey.
One blogger shared a positive experience from her interactive writing process with her partner: “I had a lot of input from him…he has a lot to say about what should be put in my blogs and he has read over a few of them and he said that they were good.” Similarly, another blogger expressed how the writing process helped strengthen her relationship with her partner because it provided an opportunity for bonding: “I think it helped my relationship with my partner. Because he was able to, you know, read the blogs with me and you know, give me some ideas – it had created an environment for us to have a more open discussion about it.” Other bloggers felt support from their family members and friends during the writing process. Bloggers’ family members were asking for a link to each written post and expressed enjoyment (and pride!) with reading the blog. One blogger shared, “My mum was really happy to see that I was [blogging].”
Bloggers with a smaller support network valued the feedback they received from Pregnets staff during the writing process: “…everything that was being told you know, ‘oh we’re so proud of you that you’ve come this far and that you’re still writing and that you’re still doing everything that you said you will do in the first blog’. And it was – it was great. [The staff] even had suggestions for things to help. It was – it was amazing.” They appreciated the non-judgmental nature of Pregnets staff and felt a boost in confidence after connecting with staff about each blog post.
Social support is one of the most important ingredients to quitting smoking for good. Personal support networks, public support groups, and even supportive blogging communities can all be wonderful sources of inspiration and encouragement during and beyond your quit journey.
We hope our last few posts about the experiences of Pregnets bloggers were useful and motivated our readers to consider a creative outlet for your thoughts during your quit journey. This outlet could be in the form of a personal journal, written letters/emails to your future self, a public blog, or something else! If you have other suggestions for creative outlets, please share them in the comments section 🙂
However you choose to express yourself, we hope you have a positive experience! Best of luck and feel free to share your progress with us here or on the Pregnets discussion board!
Welcome to part 3 in our series of blog posts highlighting some of the major lessons we learned from our conversations with Pregnets bloggers.
Lesson #3: Blogging provides a sense of community with your peers
As we’ve discussed in our last two posts, the process of blogging provides some personal benefits including acting as a distraction from cravings, and offering a chance for self-reflection. What about the social benefits of blogging?
In the wider blogging community, there is a chance there are others who are thinking about/experiencing/wanting to talk about the very thing you are writing about. This was certainly the case for Pregnets bloggers. Our bloggers expressed enjoying reading each other’s posts. One of our bloggers shared, “It was really reassuring to know that I wasn’t the only one struggling to deal with quitting.” Many bloggers appreciated how the blog made them feel like they were “not alone” in their feelings during their quitting journeys.
We also received comments from readers about how useful Pregnets posts have been for them. Sometimes they thank our bloggers for a helpful post, or wish them luck in their quit journeys. Our bloggers appreciated the support and the feeling of reassurance that they have a network of peers rooting for them. As one blogger expressed, “You got a whole community that you never knew existed before that you can talk to about the things that you’re feeling and like it’s hard to quit smoking and that other people are going through it as well so you know you’re not alone.”
If you would like to add some of your own experiences with blogging or reading others’ blogs, please share them in the Comments section below!
Welcome to part 2 in our series of blog posts highlighting some of the major lessons we learned from our conversations with Pregnets bloggers.
Lesson #2: The physical writing process can be beneficial
All five bloggers we spoke to expressed that they found the process of writing to be beneficial for different reasons. One blogger liked writing because it kept her hands busy. Sometimes cravings can be so strong that it is difficult to think of anything but smoking…that’s why Pregnets recommends doing something that keeps your mind and body busy to distract yourself when you have a craving. Writing is a great way to not only keep your mind and hands occupied, it’s also a great way to self-reflect (see our last blog post!) and express yourself.
Most women we spoke to said they found the writing process to be “therapeutic.” For example, one blogger shared “Blogging was something that was so therapeutic … I had to get myself to write down my emotions. I kinda made some personal commitments where I’m going to have my own goals and objectives and what I’m going to do to help myself and my husband, and to have a healthy smoke- free household and family.” She appreciated the structure that blogging provided and liked how writing down her thoughts and plans helped her work through her “little challenges instead of ignoring them.”
Whatever reason you choose for writing, whatever you choose to write about, and whatever you choose to do with your writings, Pregnets hopes you will gain the same benefits from writing as our bloggers did. One great place to get started is the Pregnets Discussion Board, where you can join discussions with women from the Pregnets community. Happy writing everyone!
Here at Pregnets, we want to make sure we are helping our users – including pregnant women, postpartum mothers, families and support networks, and health care providers – as best as we can. Since we wrapped up the Pregnets blog in July, we took some time to speak with 5 women about their experiences blogging for Pregnets. The following is the first in a series of blog posts highlighting some of the major lessons we learned from our conversations with our bloggers.
Lesson #1: Blogging is a great way to self-reflect!
All women we spoke to expressed how blogging provided them with an opportunity to reflect on their lives, their personal smoking histories, their motivations for smoking, and their goals for being smoke-free. Bloggers explained how blogging pushed them to physically write down their thoughts and feelings, instead of keeping them bottled up. One blogger shared: “The blogging helped me a lot. Just writing down my emotions, writing down what I’m thinking instead of ignoring it. It’s actually the first time in my life that I actually had to face it.”
All the women we spoke to believed that seeking out opportunities to self-reflect, through blogging or other approaches, is a great way to learn more about oneself: “I learned that I am stronger than I thought I was. I learned who my helps are…like everyone who helps me” or reinforce what you already know: “It reminded me of the things that I may have forgotten about, and the things that I’m capable of doing…It just kind of reinforces the things that I can do to be successful in this journey.”
Our Pregnets bloggers signed up to blog as a way to share their stories with other women in their shoes. Over time, they appreciated the chance to learn more about themselves and we hope they (and you!) will continue to explore their journeys to live healthy, smoke-free lives.
We are so proud of the incredible year we’ve had with the Pregnets blog! As the first phase of the blog wraps up, we wanted to express our gratitude for the incredible support we’ve received over the past year.
Thank you bloggers!
We want to thank our bloggers, Deborah, Llew, Lucy, Melissa, Nathalie, Ruma, and Tracie, for sharing their heartfelt reflections with the Pregnets community. The camhx\pregnets was thrilled to learn that the writing process helped our bloggers in their quit journeys and that they may continue to share their stories with Pregnets from time to time to update us on the new successes and challenges they face along the way.
Thank you supporters!
The Pregnets blog is an initiative by the
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and was made possible with funding from
Shoppers Drug Mart Women’s Health Fund and
Canadian Institutes of Health Research in collaboration with the
Ontario Women’s Health Network. We appreciate their generous support of Pregnets!
Most of all, thank YOU!
Our sincere thanks to you, our readers, for following along in our bloggers’ journeys as they work to become or remain smoke-free. We appreciate your dedication to providing a non-judgmental place for bloggers and readers to share their experiences. We hope the blog posts have been as beneficial for you to read as they were for our bloggers to write them!
We encourage you to continue using the blog as a safe space to reflect on your experiences and to get inspired by the stories of our bloggers. We also invite you to explore the Pregnets
discussion board and
Facebook page to contribute questions and comments of your own.
The Pregnets website will continue to get updated with helpful resources and guidance about pregnancy, post-pregnancy and smoking for women and their support networks (including partners, friends, and health care providers). Please visit us at
www.pregnets.org for more information! Hope to see you again soon!
p.s. We are asking our readers to complete a quick survey about your experiences with Pregnets. If you haven’t already, please complete our survey for a chance to win a $25 gift card!
Well everyone who has been following my posts, I thank you very much for the support! This will be my final post 🙂
What has it been like blogging for Pregnets?
My experience being a blogger for Pregnets has been wonderful. I have thoroughly enjoyed every step of the way. It has made me realize how much I like to write, but also how much I like to read as well. It has made me dig deeper into some of my own thoughts about my smoking/my quitting. It has also brought me closer with my husband after we had a chance to discuss how he has been feeling through this process. It was interesting for me to discuss with so many other people their experiences, and the methods that they chose to use/try.
How does it feel to discuss my experiences on a blog?
Personally, I have felt great being able to openly discuss my experience with people. Not just my friends or family, but people all over. I feel that writing this blog has helped me to remain smoke free, and to remember why I wanted to, and became smoke free in the first place. I have grown, and experienced a lot through this process, and as much as I say I will never have another cigarette again, some very stressful & tragic issues lately made me realize that the craving/habit can still come up. I fought through, just like I will any other time I am faced with those feelings. Nothing is worth becoming a smoker again. Nothing is worth my health and happiness, nor my children’s. Being an ex-smoker is one of my biggest accomplishments in life. In discussing my experience through this blog, I hope that maybe I have reached even just one person, and made them stop and think that yes they can do it too. It will not be easy, there will always be challenges, but it is so worth it in the end.
Would I recommend this opportunity to other women with similar experiences?
I would definitely recommend this opportunity to other women. I feel that it has almost been like a form of therapy for me to help deal with a more mental aspect of quitting smoking. I have had to think about so many things, why I started, why I shouldn’t have started. Affects it may have on my children, and why I need to stay smoke free. Those are just a very few things I have had to analyze while doing this, there are so many more.
I would like to thank Pregnets very much for the opportunity to take part in this blog, I would also like to wish good luck to everyone out there who is pregnant and trying to quit, has quit or even still just trying to figure out how! 🙂