• Wed, Aug 10 2011

STFU Parents: The TMI Pregnancy And Labor Report

One of the reasons I started STFU, Parents is because some of my new parent friends were posting updates related to their pregnancy and labor that contained a little too much information. I wasn’t sure if others felt the same way I did because it seemed rude to ask mutual friends, “ZOMG did you see so-and-so’s update about her incontinence? Did we really need to know that?!” (Answer: No.)

But as it turns out, other people did feel the same way. Lots of people did! Which is why I now receive so many submissions that deal with pregnancy and labor. So today I wanted to give a few examples of things that people don’t want to know about this new chapter in their friends’ lives, but will never tell them to their face. (Note: It was hard to narrow down examples because I have so many. I may need to follow up this column with a part 2!)

1. Morning Sickness

This one is tricky. Most moms I know who have suffered through morning sickness are quick to say that their non-parent friends always talk about being hungover, so why can’t they talk about feeling sick? I understand that perspective, but my feeling on the subject is that no one should talk about barf on Facebook. Just because you might have a few immature friends in your feed who post about drinking too many Jägerbombs doesn’t give you an excuse to talk about puking all over Taco Bell. Taco Bell is gross enough without the (added) barf.

2. Ways to Induce Labor

I know we’re all adults on Facebook (or at least over the age of 13, ideally), but I still don’t want to read about you and your partner sexin’ it up to expedite the labor process. And I really don’t want to think about your cervix “softening.” There’s nothing ‘lol’-worthy about that.

3. Crowning

If reading my Facebook feed makes me feel like I’m in the delivery room with a friend and watching her give birth, my mouse arrow heads toward the de-friend button. The whole “live-blogging my birth” thing is a little freaky. While I think it makes sense for women in labor to to hang out on the internet if they’re bored, I still believe that some things are better left unsaid. Sure, you can post up-to-the-minute updates about your cervical dilation, but should you?

4. Labor and Birth Photos

No one is disputing the fact that becoming a parent is an amazing experience. But do this woman’s friends need to be this much a part of that experience? On a personal blog, maybe, but on Facebook? Honey, please. Whether you give birth in an illegal birth tub, in a hospital bed or on top of Mount Kilimanjaro, I do not need to see the “during” pictures.

5. The Brutal Truth

Don’t bombard your friends with the truth, especially if the truth involves an exploding butt sensation. No one logs into Facebook to read a quick birth story or catch a dose of parenting reality. Don’t mention how much pain you felt during labor, and don’t talk about your vaginal rejuvenation. These are not things that people want to know, whether they plan on having kids or not. Trust me.

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  • ALS

    I so agree with this! My due date is today and while I’ve kept people updated on my pregnancy, I’ve tried not to go overboard. The past couple of weeks, because I was getting close to my due date I’ve had a ton of people sending me messages on FB and posting to my status that my husband and I need to have sex to induce labor. Seriously, it’s like weird FB voyeurism. No one would be telling me to sleep with my husband if I wasn’t pregnant and almost due, why now. I don’t understand why pregnancy gives people the license to be inappropriate with their boundaries. After getting so many messages, I got fed up and finally posted this as my status last night:

    “Hey everyone, I’ve gotten about 4000000000000 private messages and messages on my status telling me to “get busy” to induce labor. Thanks, I got the tip, can you all stop now?!”

    • STFU Parents

      That’s hilarious! Congrats on hitting your due date and best wishes :)

    • Jenn

      The information people think they are entitled to shocks me…people have asked me if I’m having “leaking” issues or other things like hemorrhoids that I find a little embarrassing to discuss. They also want to know if I’m going to breastfeed…I know we are all adults, but can we not talk about my boobs on FB?

      I do appreciate when an almost due (or overdue) friend keeps people posted via FB…as long as the messages are appropriate (yep, still no baby). It’s nice to know where they are at rather than make assumptions since they haven’t posted in 3 days.

    • MissRed

      Ugh, that is kind of horrible of them to do that. That would mean they get unfriended by me, personally….

  • Laurie

    I find the name Penelope Earthside to be slightly more disturbing than the illegal birthing tub picture, honestly.

    • Me

      Earthside isn’t part of the name, they’re saying they welcomed their daughter Penelope to earth. Hippies

    • PK

      It looks like earthside is just a reference to her giving birth.

    • Olivia

      Yes, “earthside” refers to Penelope being born. I’m not sure what they refer to her as when she’s in the womb….”moonside”? “wombside”?

  • Nat

    I hope they burned that pool afterwards! Thanks for the nightmaresauce, B!

  • The Judgemental Mom

    I hate birth photos. Nobody wants to see your “Go Go Gadget Vagina”.

  • Z

    A friend of mine’s Facebook status, as of today: “Mucus plug passed earlier today. Anytime now! Still no real contractions or water. Will keep everyone posted ♥”

    I nearly threw up. Not even lying. If there was a way to post a screen shot in the comments here, I’d do it.

  • silent Bee

    Seriously? In today’s society you get all icky about these things? They aren’t even TMI posts, it’s not like they are talking about the size of their blood show, or the clots that slip out. They aren’t talking about cervical mucous and how viscous it is.. nor are they releasing or talking about their private parts..

    Defriending? Sounds like a good thing for them. Apparently you have not a care in the world that your friends are going through something special.

    • Famke Stewart

      You’re the kind of person who overshares, aren’t you. Nice passive aggressive “I’m still going to say gross stuff just to show them” move, talking about clots and whatnot. You sure showed us.
      Don’t get defensive because no one needs to know every detail of childbirth. People can be excited about a special event and not have to hear every little thing about it, especially if some of those details are gross. For example, I may want to hear about someone’s wedding, but that doesn’t mean I want to hear about the names of every bellhop at the hotel, or the quantity of sperm the husband produced during the honeymoon.
      So chill.

  • Shannon

    1) You can mention you have morning sickness and that it sucks. That’s all you need to say. Everyone in the world knows what it entails. No one needs a play-by-play. I say this as someone who had more than my share — and the shares of everyone else I know — and who has never posted about a hangover in my life.

    Besides, a little compassion for your fellow pregnant and morning sick people please… your overshare may cause symptoms to flare in us from disgust. Isn’t it bad enough without others adding to it?

    3) How is this even possible?!? I couldn’t type while in labor! No one I know could type while in labor! If I ever saw a status like that, my only question would be, “What kind of drugs did you get and how can I lay hands on them?!?”

    4) I didn’t watch my OWN CHILDREN’S BIRTHS. In fact, I threatened the doctor with grievous bodily harm if I caught so much as a glimpse of delivery in reflection on his instruments. I don’t want to watch other people. And anyone who subjected me to see such a thing when I have worked very hard to reach this point in my life without having done so, would not only be off my friends list, but have emails and phone calls blocked as well. Granted, I’m a bit crazy about it, but… ew.

  • Catlady13

    Umm can we add writing letter to your unborn child on your facebook status… littering my fb feed with things I don’t really care about… unfortunately I don’t know the person well enough to tell her to STFU her kid can’t read her FB status… write it in a book like my mom did… maybe she’s not that smart

    Examples of the crap that has taken up my FB feed:

    26wks today♥ April is getting closer. K mommy and daddy are ready to meet you. Same with your grandparents, aunts and uncles cousins and family friends. Your room is almost done. I keep adding to it all the time you need to get here before you can’t see your wall color any more. Xoxo baby K

    Tonight baby K, mommy is going to play you your lullibies that you love to move too♥ pretty soon you will be here with me and I can hold you in my arms and play them for you. I can’t wait for you to be here so I can tell you how beautiful you are and how perfect you are. Mommy loves you very much♥

    Miss K;) I want April to get here its sometimes hard to believe I’m going to be your mommy. Its the best gift ever. You will meet J when u get home from hospital, he’s your doggie. He will probably just smell your little feet. You already have a nice, warm,cozy room waiting for you. Make sure u smile on Feb 2, we are all going to see your beautiful face in 4D. XOXO mommy loves you

    AHHHH I WANNA SCREAM!! figured out how to hit unsubscribe since I can’t delete her! Lets add on to this pictures of EVERYTHING she buys for the child! I have other friends that have just had babies or are going to… the didn’t do this crap… PLEASE stop the madness!

  • Emily

    I had an extremely long labor, and I found out after my son was born that my sister-in-law had been posting regular updates on my cervical dilation for all to see. I mean, I understand wanting to keep the distant aunts and cousins informed, but wouldn’t something along the lines of, “Things are still progressing slowly, but everyone is fine,” have been sufficient?

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