Feeling pressured by friends to announce her impending bump online Nicki Newton-Plater dared to buck the trend. Guess what? It’s NOT compulsory to share your pregnancy online…
Social media has changed the way we announce that we are expecting. Its also changed the way we document the nine months leading up to that miraculous day when a brand new life comes into this world. Pregnancy announcements have become as much about creativity as they have about the message itself and now our friends and family around the world can see our belly growing in real time, online. The question of “When are you going to announce it on Facebook?” has all but become part of the adventure itself.
Having Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter as part of the pregnancy experience can be a lot of fun for some. From gender reveals to baby shower planning, bikini belly shots to endless ultrasound pictures if you want to share you can really fill your feed! However, for others this relatively new and intense relationship between social media and pregnancy can be intimidating and stressful, especially for those who are not comfortable with all 383 Facebook friends knowing their personal biz. Let alone seeing a picture of them in their bra and knickers with a burgeoning belly. (Hello old male boss from 2007? Remember me, see this picture of me almost naked!?) So, there’s that.
Personally, I never really felt at ease with sharing my pregnancy journey on Facebook and even dreaded announcing it. Not because of the pregnancy itself, but for two separate reasons.
I couldn’t stand the thought of hearing all the dumb but well-meaning comments. Firstly, when I fell pregnant with my daughter, I already had a three-year-old son and I was not looking forward to once again hearing the irritating and inevitable things people would ask and say during those nine months. We all know the ones…. “Get as much sleep as you can now, because you won’t get any soon!” (Sure! I will store some sleep away now because as a pregnant woman I get so much sleep anyway!) and “Have as much fun as you can now because that will end when the baby arrives!” (Wow… thank you for that incredible burst of positivity!) Social media just seems to provide another channel of communication for people to say these ridiculous things. I wanted to avoid dealing with ‘stupid’ at all costs!
The more pressure I felt to do it – the less I liked the idea!
Secondly and more importantly, the thing that didn’t sit well with me was the fact that I felt that making an announcement on Facebook was expected of me and that it was something that HAD to be done. Almost like when you are in a relationship these days you have to make it “Facebook Official” or for some crazy reason it isn’t real. Of course, you are single or in a relationship whether Facebook says it’s so or not. Facebook also doesn’t dictate whether you are having a baby or not. Surprise! And being made to feel like I ‘have’ to do something for more is always reason to just not.
Guess what ladies? There is no need to feel any pressure when it comes to sharing your pregnancy on social media. If you don’t want to make an official announcement on Facebook, then don’t. If you don’t want to share belly photos, don’t. You shouldn’t feel as though you have to do these things because it is expected of you. Of course if you want to nude up, have belly pics and share them with the world that’s cool too. The thing that’s most important is making it your own deliberate, educated and calculated choice.
It might feel expected of you but – reality – nobody should make you feel any obligation to do so. This is a personal decision and it’s your news to share. For me that was without Facebook – for you? Good Luck!