Do you provide care for women aged 18 to 29 years in your practice? If so, you should know about Bedsider.org.
Founded in 2011, the Bedsider website is a joint effort from the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and the Ad Council. It uses an untraditional approach — a free, hip and non-preachy multimedia public service campaign — to reduce the rates of unplanned pregnancy in young unmarried U.S. women.
The goal of Bedsider is to help young women find effective contraception that works for their lifestyle, and then stick with it. The website is slightly racy, visually appealing and very informative. Interactive tools, videos and animated clips enable women to learn about different types of birth control, as well as the myths and realities of each method. There are even videos of real men, and their perspectives on birth control.
Bedsider allows users to find clinics, make appointments, and have birth control reminders sent to their cell phones. The website’s catch phrase is: “You didn’t give up on sex. Don’t give up on birth control either.”
According to the Guttmacher Institute, a non-profit reproductive health organization, 49% of pregnancies in the US each year are unintended. In 2006, the highest rate of unintended pregnancy was in women aged 20 to 24 years. The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy believes that helping young people find and correctly use birth control is the key to reducing the growing rates of unintended pregnancy in single young women.
Along with traditional media like print, television and radio, Bedsider also reaches out using the social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Providers can join a partner network and receive free materials such as cheeky posters and informative birth control brochures that look more like high fashion catalogs. The Bedsider partner network also enables you to list your clinic’s information on the website.
Due to time constraints in the office, it is often difficult to give comprehensive contraception counseling. Bedsider can be a great tool to help augment birth control education, as well as to assist patients in finding and correctly using the method that best fits their needs. There is so much unbiased, medically sound and age-appropriate information on Bedsider.org. I encourage all providers to explore the site and refer patients.
Robyn Carlisle, MSN, CNM, WHNP, works as a full-scope midwife at University Doctors and Kennedy University Hospital in Sewell, N.J.