When Kayleigh Summers gave birth to her baby boy in 2020, she died. Literally — she was dead for 6 minutes, including when doctors delivered her son, before they resuscitated her. She spent days on the highest form of life support, coding more than once, before she stabilized.  

Summers suffered from an amniotic fluid embolism, an extremely rare and often fatal occurrence that happens without warning in only 1 in 50,000 births. Summers and her son Callahan, now 2, are both happy and healthy. But the experience still lingers. She started sharing her story publicly – first on Instagram, then later on TikTok under the handle @thebirthtrauma_mama – in January 2020.

“I wanted to raise awareness for my and other women’s experiences,” she says. 

Kayleigh has some tips for anyone who wants to become an advocate on social media. 

Be Authentic

If there is an issue or cause that means enough for you to start posting publicly about it, go all-in, says Summers. 

“Share what you have in your heart in a way that feels good to you,” she says. “That doesn’t mean you have to show up perfectly every time — you just have to show up as yourself.” 

Take a Step Back

Before you post anything, take a moment to walk away from the post, then come back with fresh eyes to make sure you’re getting your message across in the best way possible. 

“If you’re talking about a very sensitive topic, know what that means for your audience and keep in mind how your words may affect them,” she says. 

But that doesn’t mean you have to sugar-coat your message — not everyone is going to like everything you say all the time.

“There are a lot of times when I get comments that someone doesn’t feel good because I said X, Y, or Z, and that’s sometimes okay because I know I write about things isn’t going to make people feel amazing,” says Summers. “But I want to do it in a way that isn’t harmful.” 

Remember, she says — impact is more important than intent. 

Kayleigh Summers with her son, Callahan, and husband while on life support.

Be prepared for pushback.

People will leave comments, she says, no matter what you post, and they won’t always be positive. 

“You have to be open to people pushing back,” says Summers. “You have to own that impact will always be different for different people with different experiences.”

She says it’s an opportunity to learn and grow when it does happen.

“People come to my page all the time to leave angry comments. I always think anger is an interesting response to someone who experienced trauma, but I know it’s likely coming from a place of their own unhealed trauma,” says Summers. “I can empathize with that. I can meet them and say, ‘Here’s why it’s helpful for us in this community to talk about these things.’”

Know how to reach your audience best. 

Depending on the message you’re trying to spread, you may find your audience in different places. For Summers, she’s found a lot of success on Instagram and TikTok. 

“Within Instagram, I think reels are a great entertainment tool to spice up education,” she says. “I do a live Q&A every week through my stories, which helps me get out a lot of information that people are wondering about birth trauma. I also try to inject my stories and reels with humor and sarcasm.” 

On TikTok, she’s found a way to reach a community of people like her. 

“When I talk about birth trauma, I know there are so many women who have experienced the same thing,” she says. “They find my TikTok page and feel validated in their experiences through hearing mine.” 

Keep an eye on the analytics.

The algorithms change all the time, so keeping up with your likes, impressions, views and the platform’s best practices can give you the insight you need to continue reaching and growing your community. 

“Over time, for example, I’ve looked at the numbers and found that videos were great for reaching new audiences, but static posts, which may not have gotten the same amount of likes or views, are good because they keep the audience I already have engaged,” says Summer. 

She says that numbers will grow and dip — and that’s just part of being on social media. The key is knowing how to minimize the analytics drops. 

“You have to know what a platform does and does not want to see,” says Summers. “On Instagram and TikTok, I was Shadowbanned, which is when the algorithm ‘unofficially’ stops showing your content to your followers, because I used the same hashtags too many times in a row, and they flagged me as a bot. On TikTok, I accidentally said the word ‘die,’ which they don’t let you say, and I watched my numbers plummet. Almost immediately, I went from several thousand views on all my videos to 200 to 10.” 

It happens to every creator, she says, but time, consistency and quality will help. 

“If you keep creating good content and engaging with your community to get your message out, eventually you will bounce back,” she says. “Remember, it’s not about ‘going viral.’ It’s about spreading the message you came to social media to tell.” 



View this profile on Instagram


Kayleigh Summers LCSW | Birth Trauma (@thebirthtrauma_mama) • Instagram photos and videos

Want to hear more from Kayleigh Summers? Join her and 3 other South Jersey social media influencers and experts at our first Women’s Empowerment Series panel of the season: “Algorithms, Haters & You: How to conquer social media.” 

Grab your ticket today 

Related Articles

Comments are closed.


Get SJ Mag in Your Inbox

Subscribe for the latest on South Jersey dining, weekend entertainment, the Shore and much more - sent directly to your inbox.

* indicates required
Email Format
WATCH NOW: Millennials looking for Mentors