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.
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.