Baby Announcements – Social Media Etiquette

Baby AnnouncementOften I find out that my facebook friends have had their babies because one of their family members posts a congratulatory post on their wall or posts a photo of themselves holding the new baby. This comes before the new mother or father has a chance to announce name, birth date, weight, etc in their own time. I have also heard of family members finding out from the mother’s facebook friends instead of their own family that a baby was born because the parents were busy learning how to change diapers, breastfeed, and handle their baby that they hadn’t had a chance to make it down the list to call everyone before someone jumped the gun to publicly congratulate the new family. If it is important to you to make the announcement of your baby’s birth, make sure to talk to your family BEFORE you have your baby in hand.

Here are some tips that I’ve discussed with my clients when they have concerns about their child’s birth announcement being posted before they have taken a breath to realize that they are a family of 3.

  1. Make it about your excitement, not about them. Use words like “We want to post the first photo” or “It’s very important to me that we make our own announcement when we are ready” instead of “We don’t want you to post any pictures” Make sure that they know this is important to you.
  2. Make it about someone else. “Aunt Judy would be really upset if she didn’t hear it directly from me, so please don’t post anything publicly until we have a chance to tell our family personally.” If your family will react negatively to number 1, it’s hard to get mad at someone for thinking of other’s feelings.
  3. If you know that someone will post on your social media account even though you’ve laid down the ground rules, make sure they are one of the last to know. That may sound mean, but you’ve just had a baby, so your needs are more important than theirs.
  4. Inform people if they can share the news via text or phone. Do you want to be the one to tell every single person, or do you want to set up a phone tree? Can your mother call your aunts and uncles, or do you need to?

Your social media preferences will differ from family to family, and even from mother to father, so make sure you are both on the same page as each other before talking to family members and friends about when and what you’d prefer they do or don’t post.

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My own birth story

Baby TylerWhen we found out we were expecting another baby, we were so excited! Our third boy! Below is my birth story, as remembered by me.

While being 39 weeks pregnant, I won tickets for my son’s hockey team to attend the Canucks’ Heritage Classic game on March 2. This was a big deal! The boys hadn’t been to a Canuck’s game in a few years, and what a bigger event than the Heritage Classic?! It was all set that Gary (my husband) would take the boys over and I would stay home and not have a baby.

Fast forward to 1am on March 2, when my water breaks. Right, no heritage classic after all. I called my wonderful midwife who came over to administer my antibiotics – because I was GBS+. I went back to sleep with tiny twinges. At 5am, we woke up to the alarm to take the boys over to Vancouver. I convinced Gary that he should still go, and things may not get started soon anyway. Previously, my water had broken with both boys and both times took 8+ hours to begin labour. Gary left at 5:30 to pick up another player on his way to the ferry. Contractions began as they left at 5:30am (of course they did). At 6:30 when Gary arrived at the ferry, he called and let me know that he was going to send the boys over on the ferry with the team, and his mom would meet them on the other end to take them to the game, and he would come home. He got back to the house around 7am.

While he was gone, contractions were coming every minute-minute and a half. They were about 45-60 seconds long. I was managing pretty well on my own. I kept doulaing myself through the whole thing! Relax the shoulders, bend the knees, use gravity, drink water. We called Michele back at 7:30 to come back to the house as things were picking up rapidly. Gary was being helpful making sure everything was in order, and pushing on the right spot on my back during contractions. Michele arrived close to 8am, did a quick check and happily said I was 7cm dilated! (If she said 3cm I was going to FREAK OUT!) Contractions kept coming every minute with not much rest in between. They were hard and fast. I kept repeating out loud, as I was bending my knees rhythmically, “I’m ok, I’m ok, I’m ok”. 20 minutes later, we checked again and I was almost 10cm dilated with a little cervical lip left. I knew that the only way to get the lip out of the way was to completely relax my body and ride the contraction. I relaxed and went to a place I’d never been before. I was calm, I was rested, I was riding the wave. Then for the last half of the contraction, I lost it! I needed to move, and I needed to do it now. The lip was gone, and I could start pushing my baby boy out!

His head was way down already, and he was easily seen. After several pushes, he was almost out! The second midwife, Joanne, arrived as the ears were coming out. A casual “Hey! I’m having a baby, come join the party!” from me, and a few more pushes and his head came out! I remember thinking, just get the head out and then everything else will be easy! Right, I forgot about the shoulders! Once the shoulders were out, I was holding my squishy new baby. 9lbs 13oz of pure love was born at 8:33am at home – only 3 hours after contractions began. His head was said to be that of a 6 week old baby, and not one tear for me. Yay perineum!

Being my own doula has really shown me how if you can relax, give in to the process, and embrace labour, miracles can happen exactly as you intend for them to. There is a difference between pain and suffering, hence my mantra “I’m ok”. I was in pain with the contractions, but I knew that I was ok. Pain is just a side effect to receiving an amazing gift, and it was all worth it. (again)IMG_2469

One of the first things I said to my husband was “You can still make it to the game!” To his credit, he didn’t go. 😉

 

 

*Each of my births have been completely different. The first one was a natural hospital birth 13 hours. The second one was an induction in hospital with an epidural, 6 hours after contractions began baby was born. This time was a natural home birth, 3 hours. Each one happened perfectly for the time I was in and for what I needed. I wouldn’t change any of them.

The Birth House

I just finished reading a good book called “The Birth House” about a woman in Nova Scotia. Based during the times of WWI, it follows a young midwife and the struggles her town has to ensure that women can say how they want to birth their babies. A hot shot doctor comes into town and sets up a maternity care hospital and “cares” for the women. Some of the things he does to help them have an easier birth is give them chloroform so that they do not have to endure the pain of labour, and then he pulls the babies out with forceps. When a woman was so swollen – head to foot – he said she was suffering from “hysterics” and that it was “normal” and she should exercise more and eat less meat. He relied on books and “modern technology” instead of the woman standing in front of him explaining what ails her.

The book is set in a time where a woman has little value. A woman was meant to obey her husband’s every word, absorb any beating, take care of the children (and sometimes there were 10 or more), keep house, tend to the farm animals, and more. Women were not in control of their own bodies. Husbands made decisions on where their wives would give birth. Doctors would shoo husbands out of the room and made decisions for the patient without any input by anyone. Women’s bodies were simply taken over.

What upset me when reading this book is that we are still seeing these things today. Women are still being told what to do, what not to do, how to birth, what to eat, what to drink, when their time is up, when they need pain medication, and sometimes are not being listened to.  Studies show that women benefit from having continuous care, supportive environments, and doctors who they trust.  Our current modern technology includes electronic fetal monitoring, IV’s, epidurals, and of course, cesarean sections. Each has their own place in certain situations, the problem is when interventions are used in births which don’t warrant any of them. How can we enable women to know that they are in charge of their bodies, and that they can say yes or no to the “modern technology” we have now?

Women need to be given all of the information they need to decide for themselves of how to have their babies. If a woman wants to have a vaginal birth with no interventions, then let her have it. If a woman wants to choose to have a cesarean birth, then let her have it. If a woman is given all of the information for and against both sides, then, and only then she is then able to make an informed decision. Let women choose what they want for their birth and have a doctor who will support them and help them achieve this way of meeting their new baby.

*I say the word doctor a lot during this piece, but in fact, some midwives are the same as the doctors that I depict above. In the profession of midwives and doctors, the care you receive will depend on your individual doctor or midwife.

Luisa Isabella – June 2012

ImageI had the privilege of attending the birth of Luisa Isabella to two amazing laid-back parents, and one smart big brother! It was my second birth in 3 days, so I was really excited to see how everything was going to unfold going off the high I had from the previous birth. Mom was a rock star during the contractions, and I loved the way that dad knew how to support her in every way. They were an extremely efficient team. Luisa is a lucky little girl! Congratulations M & J!

Also, how cute is this picture!?!?

Noah David – June 2012

 

I love when couples become parents for the first time! Everything is new, the tiny toes, the sweet faces babies make, and the things said to the new baby. This is the case when little Noah came into this world. Noah was born surrounded by friends and family. I’m sure that he will be loved his whole life!