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My husband and I have been having a conversation that I think all parents-to-be need to have these days:
How do we intend to use, if at all, social media during the birth of our child?
When our son was born we didn’t have to talk about this. Facebook wasn’t open beyond the college scene, Twitter didn’t exist, blogs were not as prevalent as they are today. iPhones weren’t around. How did we survive??
I used to work for a NBC daytime television talk show. We were very big on integrating our online content with the live show every day. There was a chat room which opened up each day for people to talk among themselves as well as to send messages into the show and the hosts. It built quite a community of followers and was considered a leader in the industry.
One day, one of the women in the online community started talking about wanting to be online chatting during the birth of her baby. The people on the message boards loved the idea of participating in her big event with their new online friend.
Personally, I wondered why the mother was so willing to share her experience with so many in such an open forum. It had rarely been done before. This mom sent the TV show text messages every so often from the hospital, giving progress updates. We would update the message boards and monitor the conversation among the community, answering questions they had.
Once the baby was born the mother sent in a photo of her new family and we aired it on TV and posted it to the website. No gory details, just sharing her good news. It was a great experience for her and the community, but each mother (and father) needs to decide how much to share on social. And, you need to have this conversation before your baby’s birth day!
Social Media Rules from the Hospital
I’m not willing to share my birth story with the world like the mom on the TV show did, so here’s what my husband and I agreed to:
- No answering the phone during birth, for any reason.
- No checking email during or immediately after the birth.
- Can privately text message family as desired, during any down time. Text messages can only include non-personal information, such as: going well, baby should be here soon, etc. May not include specifics of the labor, such as: epidural coming, 5 CM dilated, pushing now, etc.
- If one feels the desire to post an update on Facebook, must ask the other person prior to posting.
- No use of Twitter, period. (It’s too public).
- After the baby is born and we’ve enjoyed some private time together, a photo can be posted to Facebook (and/or emailed to specific people), with the option that it only be shown to friends/family.
- Mother, that’s me, has final say on all rules and can implement new ones as needed at any time.