Royal College of General Practitioners
United Kingdom

We are calling on RCGP to end its association with the publication Emma's Diary, which is distributed widely to pregnant women in the UK.

RCGP has a long history of endorsing Emma's Diary. Initially universally acclaimed by professionals and mothers-to-be alike, its current incarnation is coming under increased criticism.

If you have not seen Emma's Diary recently, you may get a flavour from this Twitter thread by GP Dr Heather Ryan:


Dear Professor Stokes-Lampard,

We, the undersigned, ask you to end RCGP’s relationship with the publication “Emma’s Diary”. Emma’s Diary is a magazine which is distributed to pregnant women. It is published by a commercial organisation, and its content is heavily focused on advertising various products and services to prospective parents. Emma’s Diary promotes old-fashioned, unhealthy attitudes towards pregnancy and parenting:

1. Emma’s Diary normalises unhealthy attitudes towards weight gain and body image. The eponymous character, Emma, repeatedly expresses concern about normal pregnancy weight gain and breast growth and the impact that it has on her attractiveness, and this is presented unchallenged as a legitimate concern.
2. Emma’s Diary promotes traditional gender roles, with Emma stating that she cannot buy baby clothes without knowing the gender of her unborn child, as her husband will not allow her to dress a son in pink. The relationship between Emma and her husband Nick is old-fashioned – Emma earns less than Nick, and dismisses the idea of shared parental leave as Nick earns more than her.
3. Emma’s Diary portrays pregnancy as causing intellectual impairment: Emma becomes forgetful and starts performing poorly at work.
4. The medical information provided is alarmist and is presented in terms of absolutes, rather than providing the evidence in a balanced way to allow mothers-to-be to make decisions for themselves.

For these reasons, we feel that the association between RCGP and Emma’s Diary risks bringing RCGP into disrepute, and we respectfully ask RCGP to end their relationship with Emma’s Diary.

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The Stop RCGP endorsing Emma’s Diary petition to Royal College of General Practitioners was written by Heather Ryan and is in the category Health at GoPetition.