Australia’s Maternity Consumer Network is run by providers and supported by industry


The Australian Maternity Consumer Network is mad at me!

Well, we know we’re really getting somewhere when the birth world equivalent of Woman’s Day jumps on our viral media on Birth Trauma!!

Yeah, nah thanks. The credibility of an American OB that fails to raise serious concerns about their own maternity system, is limited- American women are 50% more likely to die in childbirth than their mothers were, and black and women of colour are 4 x more likely to die.

Ignore Cochrane review into midwifery continuity of carer + WHO recommendations- polarize women by playing on their vulnerabilities. This fear based approach is to keep hoodwinking women so we won’t demand system reforms.


What does any of this have to do with birth trauma? Nothing! It’s just pathetic ad hominems from an organization that can’t rebut my claims.

Is Australia’s Maternity Consumer Network an example of astroturfing?

Apparently they were stung by my recent piece accusing them of leveraging birth trauma to promote industry interests.

What do I mean?

Imagine a “Breastfeeding Consumer Network” organized and run by Similac and Enfamil and supported by money from Tommee Tippee and Dr. Brown’s.

Who’s interests do you think it would represent?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the organization has little to do with breastfeeding, less to do with consumers and everything to do with the sponsors promoting their own products.

Now consider Australia’s Maternity Consumer Network. It is sponsored by MyMidwives and Australian Doula College with money from a wipes manufacturer and the Mum Collective.


Whose interests do you think it represents?

Let me help you out with images from their websites:

My Midwives, motto “Midwifery Continuity of Care for Every Woman”:


Australian Doula College:


The Mum Collective, “Connecting brands with our community of influencers …”:


Do you see anything here about consumers? Me, neither!

I see a midwifery organization, a doula organization and a public relations organization that wants access to new mothers.

I see astro-turfing.

According to Merriam Webster, astro-turfing is:

organized activity that is intended to create a false impression of a widespread, spontaneously arising, grassroots movement in support of or in opposition to something (such as a political policy) but that is in reality initiated and controlled by a concealed group or organization (such as a corporation).

The folks at MCN, like any other industry representatives, are free to create an organization that pretends to represent consumers while actually representing themselves.

Hopefully, journalists will keep the MCN’s industry affiliations in mind in future articles involving them or pitched by them. If they want to hear from maternity consumers battling birth trauma, they should turn to the Australasian Birth Trauma Association (ABTA). ABTA was started by consumers, serves consumers and has a homepage that isn’t decorated with plugs for providers and industry.

That’s what a real consumer organization looks like.