Social Media Policy for Labor and Birth

When Ali was born nearly four years ago, I felt like a Social Media Pioneer (even though it would be a couple more years before the term “Social Media” was coined), because I was the first person I knew to nearly-real-time publish birthing information and baby photos on Facebook.

And, really, it wasn’t a big deal back then, because it was basically just me and Mark Zuckerberg that were even using Facebook, anyway.

But now I find myself a heavy social media user, which presents quite the complications and issues when it comes to big events.

I have been analyzing and pondering the specifics of how I plan to use social media for this birth, and who’s going to complain or be offended.

  • Who’s most likely to get upset if they find out via Facebook that I had a baby, rather than a personal call?
  • Who’s going to say, “Ewwwwww! TMI!” when I post a Twitter status about the birthing process?

And so, to attempt to solve all of the world’s deep problems in one document, I offer to you, my official…

Social Media Policy for Labor and Birth.

Section 1: Use of Social Media during Labor:

1.a: Updates will be provided via Twitter, Facebook, and my blog in that order in the amount of updates provided. In other words, I will have the most real-time updates on Twitter, less frequent updates on Facebook, and even less frequent updates on my blog.

1.b: Updates may be provided by me personally, my husband, or Ali, if I can teach her to tweet in the next few weeks. Updates are not promised to be witty, dramatic, or otherwise riveting, depending on how much medication is in my system, how much puking I’m doing, and whether or not I’m sliced open at the time.

1.c: If you do not wish to receive these updates for fear of too much information, you are welcome to unfollow, unfriend, or ignore me for the duration of the birthing process. No complaints will be accepted regarding these updates (See section 4 for Petition options and rights). However, there are some guarantees of things that you will NOT see in said updates, which are covered in Section 2:

Section 2: In the interest of not providing too much gory, disgusting, or otherwise undesirable information, these are contractually guaranteed words and phrases that I will not use on Social Media updates regarding my birth. These are:

  • Meconium
  • Mucous Plug
  • Episiotomy, Rippage, or Perineal Tissue Issues.
  • Blowing Chunks (Although puking and vomit are approved verbage to describe aforementioned action)
  • Bloody Nasty Mess
  • The Smell of Burning Flesh Due to Cauterization

Section 2 Addendum: Visual Updates:

Addendum 2.a: No pictures that contain blood, gore, or any other undesirable substances will be posted on Twitter or Facebook. However, one of our favorite pictures of Ali’s birth is the first photo taken as the doctor lifted her up after cutting the cord – and yes, it was a slightly gory view of the miracle of life. If this sort of photo is taken, it will only be available on my blog, where you must voluntarily enter to be subjected to my updates.

Addendum 2.b: Despite my wishes, my overly-excited-new-Dad-of-a-husband posted a very unattractive, swollen, and worn-out-from-12-hours-of-labor-and-a-C-section photo of me after giving birth to Ali. It has been made very clear to him (via our Internal Birthing Policies and Contracts) that no unapproved photos of me shall be posted on any form of social media this time. If any such photos are seen of me in this state, please report them immediately.

Section 3: Notification Privileges beyond Social Media.

The following people are guaranteed two (2) personal notifications, consisting of a) the beginning of labor and b) the birth of our child (but not all of the details in between which will be available to them on Social Media) in the following manner:

3.a: Phone Calls: Noah’s Grandparents only will receive phone calls, regardless of the time of day or night that labor begins.

3.b: Text Messages: a small group of people will receive text messages, assuming that the time of day that labor begins is during an acceptable texting period. This group includes Noah’s Aunts and Uncles, Noah’s future Godparents (sorry, Becca, not Noah’s Godsiblings), our Small Group, and a very limited number of other friends.

Section 4: Petitions, Complaints, and other various forms of whining.

4.a: If you are not sure that you are included in a group in Section 3 but desire to be, you have five (5) days to file a petition. Your petition will be reviewed by the Parental Committee for Viable Communication, and you will be notified as to whether you are approved to be personally notified, or you really just need to quit complaining and be happy with finding out via social media.

4.b: No complaints about anything covered or not covered in this policy will be accepted during or after the birth of our child. If there are any disagreements, objections, or clarifications needed they must be filed before the beginning of the birthing process and reviewed for exceptions. If an acceptable term cannot be reached, mediation and arbitration will be available.

4.c: Whining to other people, if discovered, will result in us saying nasty things about you to Noah for the rest of his life. So don’t do it.

This concludes the Labor and Birthing Social Media Policies. The floor is now open for questions and clarifications.

Leave your comment below!

Comments

  1. 1
    Ann Marie says:

    Bahahahaha! Nicely done Rach!

    Wait, do I need to put in a petition for labor notification?? Or do I have the Exempt Clause of OB-GYN South?

  2. 2
    Ann Marie says:

    Whoa 1st comment!

  3. 3
    Melanie says:

    Hysterical Post!!!

  4. 4
    Sarah says:

    VERY WELL SAID! I love it all!

  5. 5
    Jessica says:

    Lol – hilarious. I think I’ll settle for checking your blog, since you don’t even really know me. I hope you have a wonderful labour and that nobody whines at you about how they found out your beautiful baby was born. Because, really? When Beege was born, in the beginning of December, I may have forgotten to mention it to anyone who wasn’t in person in front of me until… Christmas? New Years? We were busy, people!!

  6. 6
    Lindsey says:

    * I will not display any photos of myself, before, during, or after the birthing process, portraying any anatomy that you would not otherwise see sitting next to me on the beach or at the pool.

    Because, really, I trust your modesty and decency, but there are some that cross THE line on this issue.

    :) And I’m adopting this policy as well. Especially Section 3. You should add “Any complaints will be immediately removed from the official baby announcement mailing list. Because if you can’t wait 24 hours, you most certainly will be unable to wait two weeks for a snail mail announcement.”

    • 6.1
      Rachel says:

      Oh wow yes. That goes without saying. It’ll have to be a stinkin’ easy birth to even warrant a picture of my FACE. I guarantee nothing else will EVER be photographed and posted.

  7. 7
    ABDMama says:

    I find your policies to be incredibly complete, generous, and charitable. I ignored social media completely for a week after my son was born and only dealt with the people mentioned in section 3a and 3b. Though I did have the husband post news of the birth after we were in the recovery room. Here’s hoping that it’s an easy birth (We’ll know it went well if we see that picture of you!).

  8. 8
    tracy b says:

    obgyn south – my doctors too. Dr. McK delivered my sweet little boy some seven years ago. Dr. Mck is the greatest. all the dr’s there are great.

  9. 9
    Becca says:

    Oh, come on. I at least deserve a text. I have to put up with ALL of those god-sisterly duties. Like, well, er…
    Still. I deserve a text.

  10. 10
    Cheri says:

    I will read all about Noah’s birth via your blog or FB and I have to say, “Blowing chunks” made me laugh, I haven’t heard that phrase in some time. Still laughing.

  11. 11
    Michelle says:

    I wish I had thought of this!! I pray for a safe delivery, and that everyone will be satisfied with the facebook/twitter/blog. Can’t wait to see pics of Noah and you AFTER you rest and get all pretty again!

  12. 12

    Love it.

    Also be wary of reflections in any mirrors, wall decor or stainless steel objects in the birthing room. I recently saw a photo posted on facebook that totally showed the chick’s entire hooha to the world in the reflection from the artwork.

    I’ll email you the pic but since six degrees of separation is all too real on the internet I won’t post the link here. :D

    YIKES!!!!!!

  13. 13
    Nanci Scarpulla says:

    Brillant! Will you be presenting this at the next Mom Blog convention/conference?
    :)

  14. 14

    I will be anxiously awaiting the updates!

  15. 15
    Rachel says:

    Lol, how do you come up with this stuff?? You are so funny. Just make sure that Chris knows what “approval” means for the pictures. Maybe a double approval policy. T took a pic of S and me and then showed it to me and I just looked at her and said cute…this was like 3 minutes after she was born. He took that to mean he could text it, which he did…to his co-workers, who printed it out as an 8×10 and posted it on doors in the office AND in the lunchroom so pretty much everyone in the hospital saw it. Yeah, not so great a picture of me. Grr.

  16. 16
    Kitty Engle says:

    I wish I could remember that picture of you after you had Ali. I do not remember a bad picture. We will pray this will be a much easier childbirth, not 12 hours of labor. Maybe he will just decide to pop on out and be sweet.

  17. 17
    Bekah says:

    So, if I shared this with my very long list of prego friends who may be tempted to share TMI, they’d get the hint? Cuz some of them in the past definitely should have followed this protocol. :)

  18. 18
    @LaureeAshcom says:

    awesome! you do know that other women who have had children live all the gory details…. mom bonding :-)

    this is so exciting

  19. 19
    Stephanie says:

    I was actually thinking about this not long ago because I am complete addicted to Facebook (twitter I only use for my witty, yet offending, thoughts)…I wonder how long I can get away with updates before everyone gets tired of them?

    This was cute!

  20. 20
    Leanna says:

    Funny post, I am amazed that you will be doing any updating not that I have ever been through childbirth but I can’t imagine doing anything until the next day at least. I definitely wouldn’t want my picture taken at any point.

    I am suprised that the Grandparents won’t be there. I know if my family it was a requirement that at least one representative ( my Mom) be there when my nephew was born.

  21. 21
    Stephy_B says:

    As I near my due date, I have thought just as extensively about all these topics — I have threatened my husband’s life if he took the camera anywhere below my shoulders in the delivery room, have assigned my sister to beauty-duty as the photos start snapping (reflections ?! Who’d a thunk it! Genius! Thanks Beth!) – she is to make sure I look my absolute best :), and I have been giving serious thought as to who/how I will update everyone. While this post was hilarious, I still kept a straight face and may have taken notes… :)

  22. 22
    Sarah Lockhart says:

    Love the post! As I near my due date, I’m also thinking about how I will inform people. I definitely don’t want any gory pictures, and I’m not sure I want any pictures of my face. I at least want to be able to take a shower and put on some makeup before any pictures of me are taken. This is my first, so I’m not sure when I’ll be allowed to take a shower. There may not be pictures of my face until I get home. :)

  23. 23
    Leslie says:

    Love, love this post. I may need go adopted this. I gave my husband a list of specific pictures that he was required to take with my first one and then he was only allowed to post pictures after I had posted the pic. This way no yucky pictures could be seen.

  24. 24
    Mary@ parenthood says:

    Lol! We let the moms come to the hospital and hang out waiting (planned c section). They were our official “communications team” in charge of phoning our list of people to notify. And actually we had a bit of a telephone tree going; moms called family and a couple of friends who called a list of other friends.

    We prewrote a Facebook status and when Brendan went home for a shower he updated it with weight and actual time of birth and one picture.

    I figure if anyone wants more, they can visit…

  25. 25
    Marie says:

    Fabulous! I wasn’t on Facebook before Jack was born so I was communicating via email to a HUGE group of people who probably got a little bored with the waiting and waiting for the contractions to settle into a nice pattern.

    Somebody told me to make sure that I had a blue pillowcase on my pillow because it makes you look better in your pictures. I had my blue pillowcase!

    Here’s hoping that Noah is very ready and you are ready and everything goes quickly and safely! :D

  26. 26
    Jae-Breezy says:

    Yup, still making my way through that Welcome post haha. This post reminded me of something I did for my wedding last year. As a part of my ceremony I had a friend sitting fairly close to the front and aisle so that at the appropriate time the officiant would invite her to come up with my phone and I’d update my Facebook status to “Married”. She was to keep my FB page open to that section the entire ceremony. I bet people thought she was being rude while constantly checking to make sure it didn’t time out. haha. By the way, who needs 50 Shades of Grey to read to their hubbies when I could read “Party Friends” to him. Which is what I did last night while also showing him the photos. I didn’t get “lucky” as a result but we had some good laughs :D

    • 26.1
      Rachel says:

      Ha! The Party Friends were one of my favorite discoveries ever.

      And I LOVE that you updated your FB status during your wedding — brilliant!!

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