• Fri, Dec 14 2012

STFU Parents: Are Ultrasound Photos Still Even Considered Facebook Overshare?

Last week, superstar and mom-to-be Shakira shared, along with her boyfriend, an ultrasound photo of their son, calling it his “first pic” alongside the hashtags #excited and #cute. My first thought was that I wasn’t surprised. Ultrasound photos on social media have become as common as pictures of newborns. But back when I started STFU, Parents in March 2009, they were just starting to become ubiquitous on social media.

I posted a few submissions, and people agreed that the images fell into the overshare category. It wasn’t because the photos were bothersome or gross, especially since most people who have friends who are procreating are old enough to have seen a sonogram before. What threw people was that suddenly, out of nowhere, they were catching a glimpse into their friend’s (or their friend’s wife’s) uterus. Put plainly like that, it starts to sound a little off-putting. And although it’s hard to believe now, just a few years later, in 2009 the attitude was less “Is it a boy or a girl?!” and more “Why are you showing hundreds of friends your uterus?”

Of course, on some level it seems immature to be reserved, if judgmental, about something so innocent. Ultrasound pictures excite new parents for obvious reasons, and those parents want to share their excitement with their friends. Some even want to share it with the world, like Shakira and her boyfriend. But I’ve noticed that the more people post things like ultrasound photos on Facebook, the more their friends feel they’ve been granted “permission” to do the same. Which brings us to where we are today.

Today, parents who share information about their pregnancies online are inclined to post an ultrasound picture. It’s just what you do. You announce the pregnancy, maybe post a few updates about eating (or getting sick) for two, and then upload the sonogram — the pièce de résistance — in an effort to get your friends as psyched about your pregnancy as you are. It’s a formula (no pun intended), and it seems to be working.

Facebook has paid attention and launched the “Expecting-A-Baby” bio option in August. And we’ve all seen the profiles parents create for their babies despite age restrictions for account holders. This week The New Yorker even ran this cartoon. Things have progressed (or deteriorated) to the point that sonograms on social media are completely, totally benign, and if you express surprise about that then you’re the anomaly, not the parents-to-be. Plus, let’s face it: Facebook’s target user base is having lots of babies, so it makes sense that more people seem to be talking and posting about babies.

That said, even though I knew that was the current climate, I was still a little surprised when I posted a Salon column by Mary Elizabeth Williams on the STFU, Parents Facebook Page earlier this week and received a dose of criticism. Not only did people think the image was perfectly fine to share, they also accused me and the Salon writer of being too critical. Gradually, I’m watching examples of what used to be considered overshare fade into normalcy. For instance, it’s currently still considered overshare when a couple gives a play-by-play of a woman’s dilated cervix after she goes into labor, but I think that’s going to be the next thing that’s considered “normal.” And soon, we’re all going to be staring at turds floating in bathtubs and wondering where the path went off-course.

I’m not saying that I am personally weirded out by ultrasound photos, and neither is Mary Elizabeth, I’m guessing, who has two children. What she was saying, and what I continue to say even as I swim against the current (no pun intended, again), is that once an ultrasound photo becomes “normal” to share with the world, what comes next? And why do people suddenly feel the urge to share private information online simply because they/we can? As social media racks up users, I think we’re going to see much more overshare, and a much larger audience defending it. In the meantime, I’ve put together a collection of sonogram submissions to showcase the progression (or regression) of updates over the last few years.

First, let’s take a look at a “classic” ultrasound photo update. Just a black and white image with a simple, loving statement. Times were so much simpler then, weren’t they?

Face

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  • Ellie

    I usually agree with you, but this time I think you need to chill. It’s not someone snapping pictures of their vagina, it’s just a baby. And while parental excitement is one reason to post, let me tell you – the sheer convenience of this is HUGE! You don’t have to keep repeating the same details or privately email the pictures to the eleventybillion people that keep asking you about it, you just post it once. Then eat something questionably healthy and take a damn nap. :)

    • Melissa B

      Honestly… eleventybillion people don’t really care about what gender the baby is before it’s born. It’s probably something that a few folks may be curious about, but nothing to hold a press conference over. I think that new parents-to-be use this an excuse to post pictures, because of course they’re excited about getting baby news. But really it’s just something that is news for the family and maybe their closest friends and family. This kind of overshare is not disgusting like most of the stuff I see on STFUP, but it is still overshare to me – sorry to burst the bubble! :-)

    • lawcat

      Seriously. I’m going to guess your entire friends list does NOT want to see an ultrasound picture nor care what the sex of the baby is.

      You could probably privately email the picture to the amount of people that actually want to see it.

      I wasn’t all that excited about my own ultrasound picture….and I certainly don’t care to see the inside of anyone else’s uterus.

    • http://www.facebook.com/helen.donovan.31 Helen Donovan

      Agree – most of us as because that is what you are “supposed” to ask, along with when is it due. I’d be perfectly happy with Congratulations, I hope it is going well for you” and that’s that. but parents are usually excited and I’m happy to share the excitement by asking a few “how’s the weather” questions. However, lack of said info would be A – O.K.

    • STFUParents

      I don’t think I’m “worked up” or “need to chill.” I write a weekly column and bring up different topics. This is just one of them.

    • Ellie

      Ha ha! You guys are totally not my family and friends. Posting on FB stopped the flood of emails. It was lovely. :)
      But I say to each his own. Nobody is forcing you to do it, or read it.

  • Michelle

    I think there’s a fine line. I’m 16 weeks and I posted an ultrasound picture along with the announcement for friends. Just a plain old 2d picture that is the outline of a baby. That’s all I’ve posted about my pregnancy. There will be no pictures of my child’s genitals or freaky 3d pictures/video online (I don’t even think I want those done anyway). I’ll take your word for it if the child is a boy or girl and I’ll wait til the baby is born to see what it looks like.

    • STFUParents

      To me, this is the most reasonable approach. I think a single 2d picture is explanatory and I wouldn’t personally call that “oversharing.” I still see why some people (myself included) might think that the picture doesn’t need to be shared or can be shared privately in email, but I understand why people post the 20-week (when the baby is looking like a baby) and I get excited for my parent friends.

    • Powers

      Nope. One pic is too many. I don’t need to see what my friends’ uteri look like.

    • Ashley

      I get why some people do, for instance, my brother and his girlfriend are posting ultrasound pictures/video on their facebooks, and, as his sister, I love being able to see it, even from across the country. If your whole family lives within 5 minutes of you, though, just gather everyone around. Lol

      If/when I get pregnant, I plan on sharing at least a couple stills of the ultrasound on Facebook, mainly for my mom and to ‘check in’ with my family about how the baby is progressing.

  • Vivi’s Mom

    When my husband and I found out we were having a baby I refused to even talk about it on facebook… I felt whoever mattered we would tell so why did I need to post it on facebook… That all changed after we found out the sex and my hubby emailed ultrasound pics to his mom (she was living in another state) and SHE posted them on facebook… I reported her and had them taken down… Then changed all of my (and my husband’s) privacy settings and posted 1 ultrasound pic (2D, I thought the 3D ones were creepy so I never had one done) of our daughter’s face with an ETA and her name…

    I think facebook is a slippery slope… One of my girlfriends from school updated her facebook throughout her entire labor… No thank you…

    • STFUParents

      Interesting! I’ve heard from several people about that phenom — your family or friends posting updates or photos without asking. I might write a column about that!

    • Vivi’s Mom

      I think you totally should… My MIL is the WORST! She didn’t understand why I was upset about the ultrasound pictures (“it’s just her little ginny what’s the big deal” her exact words!) It only got worse after Vivi was born… I had to report tons of pics she posted because I’m very specific about what I deem “facebook-able” in regards to pictures of my child and she thought I was overreacting… Gives me a headache just thinking about it…

    • Leigha7

      Ginny?! I…that’s…I assume that’s her baby-talk way of saying ‘vagina’? First of all, creepy, especially since it’s also a name. Second, I’d want to be like, “What do you mean, ‘what’s the big deal’? How would you feel if there was a picture of *your* ‘ginny’ on Facebook for everyone to see?” (Not that I have a problem with it in the context of ultrasound pictures, since it doesn’t really look like anything, but what she said just sounds absurd. And I am still cringing at ‘ginny.’)

    • k

      in that vein, last week i saw a post of a friend’s daughter in laws contraction monitor with the caption “one hard long contraction”. WHile it was a picture of a machine, and no body parts etc., it still seemed overly intimate for the couple in question to have mom posting to her 200 friends

    • STFUParents

      Oh man. :/ Any interest in sending me a screenshot (and I’ll cover all names)?

    • Chloe

      Before I went into labour I made my partner and my family swear they would not put anything on facebook until they had my clear and drug free consent to do so.. thankfully they listened

    • zeisel

      I have a blog for my baby, because our families and friends don’t get to see her that often. I bypass the whole facebook and up-date photos of her on the blog. My Aunt will constantly put the link to my blog on facebook and it drove me crazy to begin with and I started to wonder if I should suck-it up because it is the internet and her photos are already out there?? I wonder if I’m making a big deal about it. I would love to see you put a column out there on this, just to see what reactions people have!

    • STFUParents

      That’s another good point. So you feel like you wouldn’t necessarily want to make the blog private, but you don’t really want it advertised either, right? Have you ever asked her to please stop sharing the links? I think she would understand. Either way, good luck! I’ll be sure to include this perspective in the column. :)

    • pipster

      when i had my daughter, my mother was in the delivery room and took some extremely unflattering photos, i mean it was all out there nothing spared…she then thought it was perfectly ok and normal to take those photos in to work with her the next day – which was MY place of work also! even the guys in the lab who i’d barely said hello to in 2 years have now seen my vagina up close and personal. WTactualF?! thankfully that was before facebook (my daughter is now 10) but it still drives me insane and makes me cringe with embarassment when i think of it!!

    • PraireCoast

      Just to add another experience like this: my sister-in-law posted my son’s name and a photo of him on Facebook within an hour of him being born. We hadn’t even had a chance to call everyone we wanted to yet to make the announcement ourselves. I can not even fathom why she thought that was okay to do. A year later I still get upset when I think about it.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/Y43G2GBLYWFPOIKU76DGRXPOSQ Parvati Lynn

      My aunt did that to me! I was still in the hospital and she had posted a picture she took of my son and his first and last name on her Facebook page full of weirdos that I do not know. She didn’t even tag me in it to make it look like I mattered in this at all. Rude.

    • STFUParents

      I posted a submission about that once. It really sucks when that happens. I’m noting your story, thanks!

    • http://www.facebook.com/helen.donovan.31 Helen Donovan

      You credit her with thinking – you are too kind.

    • kirsten

      My husband and I talked about sharing protocol and I made him promise that we’d wait to send out a mass email until after baby was born… not “in labor”, and no “delivery room” shots. FAIL! He notified only the agreed upon people (our moms), who broadcast it massively. People flocked to the waiting room hours before baby actually arrived. My husband briefly showed them a photo on our camera, which was apparently then photographed by my brother on his Iphone. I fell asleep after my evening birth, and by the time I awoke the next morning and first opened my phone (innocently thinking no one knows yet), everyone and their neighbors had heard our news and seen the grainy photo-of-a-photo of my son covered in goo. Worse, visiting relatives had somehow been allowed into the nursery to see my son whom (due to medical needs) I hadn’t even yet seen!

      Fortunately, I’m not devastated – the ridiculousness of it all was kinda amusing – but definitely a bit disappointed nonetheless. I never saw that coming.

    • Mikhari

      I’m an enthusiast photographer, and I’ve always asked my sister-in-law if she’d mind me posting the portraits I take of her kids. I just know how weird I would feel if someone posted pics of me without asking. I can’t fathom someone doing that.

      … But my mother-in-law has shared my pictures with her whole network without asking, come to think of it. Must be MILs! (Wait… my husband’s MIL does it too…)

    • AP

      I just burned my mother-in-law a disc of our wedding pictures this morning. As I was burning it, I started worrying that she’d do something inappropriate with the pictures and make my tech-phobic parents feel violated. I dismissed it as being paranoid and finished off the disk. Then, I read this page.

      I now fully expect to find creepy photo collages of my mom’s best friend’s husband all over Facebook.

  • salemthegoddess

    More of a rhetorical question than anything but regarding ‘sexualizing fetuses’ why is posting ultrasound pictures of fetus genitals acceptable on Facebook but breastfeeding pictures are controversial?

    • http://www.cafepress.com/ladycrim ladycrim

      I’m guessing because it’s impossible to tell you’re looking at genitals from the sonogram pic.

      A friend excitedly showed me a printout of a sonogram: “Look, it’s a boy!” I swear, to me it looked like a crescent moon with a nose. (Actually, I guess it was kind of a moon. *rim shot*)

  • Babee

    I agree with Ellie. I live distantly from my family and some of my friends, and rather then send a million emails, phone calls etc. I just set up one folder on my page that says everything baby. If people dont want to see what i post in that album they can hide it. I havent posted pictures of my ultrasound but i would if i could. It is NOT a picture of a vagina, it IS a picture of a baby. but more importantly its a picture of the expectant couples excitement. Should that really be dampered by ones person immaturity at looking at someones “vagina”….i surelly hope not. I do how ever agree with you whole heartedly that there is over sharing. One of my friends is due around the same time as me and every status is about barfing, puking and cravings. I dont care. Really i dont. She has two kids already as well and i have seen everything posted from poop in the toilet to other random stuff that should just be kept quiet. Facebook is a slipperly slope as someone already mentioned but i think we have to realize that ones excitement (with an ultrasound pic or baby announcement) is MUCH different then someones stupidity (of posting their babys first poo etc.)

    • ipsedixit010

      Why are you sending a million emails? Send one to an email list and bcc everyone. You don’t have to individually email everyone.

    • Babee

      sorry, maybe a a bad use of words. I did send out ONE email to all my close family with the ultrasound picture. But i post “bump” pictures online etc. When i announced we were preganant i recieved over 150 comments on facebook…i would dread getting 150 emails in response to one email announcing our pregnancy

    • ipsedixit010

      I don’t that many people would send emails, honestly. It’s easier to “like” or to “comment” on a picture or status update on Facebook than it is to send an email. I’d like an old sorority sister’s picture, but I’m not going to send her an email about it.

  • http://twitter.com/miss_zeebee laura rae

    I use Facebook to keep in touch with family and friends I don’t get to see every day. I see nothing wrong with an ultrasound picture or two; people have been showing them for years. Facebook isn’t really any different. I think this whole “OMG IT’S HER UTERUS EW!” reaction is kind of problematic. I agree with most of B.’s positions, but I do think that just a bit of the critique on STFU Parents (often in the comments, not in the actual posts) spills into some “women are gross” category. I also think that this self-righteous, sniffy “*I* would never share such a thing on *Facebook*” attitude is getting kind of old. Facebook isn’t an open chat room where everyone and their grandmother can access your information. Many people–like myself–only friend people they know fairly well, and they keep their photos and information set so that only those people (and sometimes not even all of *them*) can access it. I don’t get this judgmental, “I NEVER talked about my pregnancy on Facebook–dear me, how classless!” attitude that comes from so many people. Maybe it’s a generational thing; I don’t know. Basic points: I’m not ashamed to have a uterus, and I don’t see anything wrong with sharing personal information with your friends–be it on the phone, in person, or on Facebook.

    • STFUParents

      I don’t think anyone said “OMG IT’S HER UTERUS EW!”, and I don’t think my attitude in the column reflected that either. At least I hope not, because that’s not how I feel about the female body. (Speaking as a woman.)

    • Ellie

      Sing it, sister!

    • http://www.facebook.com/helen.donovan.31 Helen Donovan

      If you really only friend close friends one can share more but many people are very “generous” with their friendship. The old writing rule “know your audience” is even more true with this modern medium.

    • Madison

      I don’t think it’s a case of, “OMG, it’s her UTERUS!” so much as you’re changing the nature of the social interaction. When I go to work or see my girlfriends, they don’t usually start by handing me a picture of their latest ultrasounds. They ask me if I want to see them or tell me they got them, both of which give me the opportunity to decline. When you put the ultrasound picture on facebook, particularly as your profile picture, you’ve made it so everyone you are friends with will see it regardless of whether or not they want the viewing pleasure. I have x-ray pictures of the screw that goes all the way through my knee, but I feel fairly confident that most people would not want me to put that up and force them to see it without fair warning and an opt-out option.

      Honestly, I’m a little tired of how much attention people want for their kids, and I feel like it starts with social media. I have a friend who has a blog about her kids, and she posts a thousand pictures on her blog. If you have a conversation with her about anything remotely related to their most recent activity, she wants to know if you’ve looked at her blog and seen her pictures. Then she pulls out her phone and shows more pictures. Twenty years ago mothers would not take three hundred pictures of each papier mache project and then carry the Polaroids around for all and sundry. Then she updates a calender of all her children’s activities. Again, I’m grateful for the ability to show my long-distance mother many pictures of my daughter and her life, but do my extended relatives really need to know when she has volleyball practice? And if the answer is no, then why is it online? Why is it linked to facebook? Trust me when I say that i know my friend, and I know what her expectations are with these sites.

      It gets a little exhausting after a while, and the ultrasound picture is only the beginning.

    • pictureadayjulie

      Ha. I love when people think that by switching their FB settings to “private,” they are somehow immune from their photos/information being spread far and wide. There’s nothing private about the Internet, no matter what your settings are. And if you think that a FREE social website that you CHOOSE to use is not taking full advantage of every piece of information you share, you are sadly mistaken.

  • Faye

    I think the sexualizing ones are creep-tastic, and the 3D ones are just soo bizarre looking. But I can understand a person wanting to put up their ultrasound pictures so all their friends can see and wanting to share their excitement. I, personally, do not get excited when my friends post/have posted theirs, I still do think it’s kind of weird. To them, it’s their baby, so I understand wanting to share with the world, but I’m not a fan.

  • Kate

    I don’t think ultrasound pictures are something I view as private. I think most people see a weird black/white image and usually can’t make out the baby anyway but it’s not some personal or private picture. I know a few people who have theirs framed and hanging on the wall. I don’t think they would ever frame a turd (or placenta) and hang it on the wall…hence why one is an over share and the other isn’t, imo.

    • STFUParents

      Actually, people make placenta prints and hang them on the wall. I wouldn’t be surprised if parents framed a poop picture, either. And several of the examples in the column weren’t 2d B&W, but that’s beside the point.

    • Tinyfaeri

      I’m pretty sure at least one of the folks featured in your blog has a picture a turd hanging on their wall, too.

    • Kate

      Oh, from reading your blog it doesn’t surprise me that there ARE people who frame placenta pics or poop pictures or whatever other shocking image they oddly find endearing. I just don’t happen to think an u/s pic is all that shocking or strange…mostly dull (if it’s not yours).

  • Anika

    I posted a single 2D ultrasound along with the due date as an announcement, and that’s all I’ve posted about the pregnancy. I don’t think one post in 8 months, even with an ultrasound pic, is overshare.

    • Vivi’s Mom

      This sounds like my pregnancy… lol I posted one ultrasound pic and then one huge COVERED belly shot right before my daughter was born because everyone wanted to see how big the bump got…

  • Mo

    I don’t see a problem with two or three sonograms, 3-d or otherwise, at different points in the pregnancy, little profile shots or maybe of the feet or hands, but when I think it’s overshare is when they’re posting pictures of the fetus’ nether-regions (whether there’s a bad pun involved or not,) or when they’re posting an entire album of the same thing. I mean 76 pictures? Who wouldn’t consider that overshare?

    • Ashley

      I agree. No genitals (especially with icky sexualizing jokes), and cut down the number! People post pictures on Facebook of stuff going on in their lives. And having a baby is a pretty big deal in most people’s lives, so of course there will be pictures. But just like you don’t need to dump Every. Single. Picture. from your vacation on Facebook (really 12 blurry pictures of the same iguana?) we don’t need every single ultrasound picture. Just a few (or one) will suffice. Pick the best and save the rest for a (real) photo album.

    • STFUParents

      That’s the answer I expected most people to say, but that’s probably just because it’s the same general feeling I have. I don’t know if that’s how most people feel, though.

  • pnutbrittle

    I still think this is weird and overshare, especially the 3D ones. It’s a photo of your uterus. Can you imagine any other example where posting a photo of your insides would be acceptable? Why is this acceptable?

    • RLS

      My friend had an idea for a website called “mycolonoscopy” that was suppose to be a youtube of colonoscopy videos. We quickly shot it down.

  • Justme

    I think the first one is fine because it shows “hey – there’s a baby in there” but doesn’t get real graphic. The 3D sonograms aren’t really my style but I just click past them. I think what was disturbing about the rest of the ones you showed weren’t necessarily the pictures themselves, but the commentary the parents provided.

    • STFUParents

      That’s definitely a big part of it. Whenever people say, “Posting an ultrasound photo on Facebook is NOT overshare,” I think, “Depends on the context!”

    • http://www.facebook.com/helen.donovan.31 Helen Donovan

      It was particularly annoying regard Jack because, even with the icktastic comment, I’m still not sure what end is what in that picture. I take the posters word that it is a kid and it’s “stalk” but I could have happily viewed the picture in complete ignorance if the comment had not been added.

  • MFI

    I don’t think ultrasound pictures are gross, but I do think they could qualify as overshare, depending on your personal definition of overshare. When I am considering what to post on Facebook, I ask myself, “Is this something people will actually be interested in, or am I about to post some minutiae of my life that no one will be interested in?” If it is the latter, then I consider it overshare. Some examples of this may be: what I ate for dinner (with or without a picture), the 14th post letting everyone know exactly how many weeks along I am today, or the baby’s heart-rate at my OB appointment today. Is anyone’s life really enriched by knowing that it was 148 beats per minute? I am 6 weeks out from giving birth to my 4th baby, and half the time I still have to pretend I see a baby on those glossy black and white printouts that could just as easily be a picture of the burrito I had for lunch. I can’t imagine everyone I know on Facebook would be looking at it going “Aww, look at that adorable cross-section of the brain!”

    The genital pictures, especially the ones with strange and creepy captions, are gross. I understand some people DO want to know the gender of your baby. I swear I was asked several times per day for weeks. I don’t see any reason why letting everyone know needs to come with photographic evidence. I mean, if you had your actual newborn baby out with you in a stroller, and someone asked you his/her gender, you would just tell them, right? You wouldn’t pull down their diaper and gush “It’s a girl – look at this little vagina!” God, I really hope not.

    • Famke Stewart

      Exactly. Most people are barely interested in sonogram pictures at all. They all look the same, but you expect to see the first sonogram and you should be polite of course.
      But to be either narcissistic enough, or baby brained enough (more understandable) to think that people want to see 30 blurry photos of your developing baby? That’s too much.
      I guess it’s because we’re in the age where everyone feels like a celebrity…

    • EPOC

      People do not share their x-rays, why should they share a sonic version?

    • EPOC

      People do not share their x-rays, why should they share a sonic version?

  • tammy

    it’s not neceserally over share just so long as it’s one or two. I’ve seen a few friends post over 50 of them from the same appointment including the 3D one! Post as you wish, but don’t expect people to automatically go all gaga for them saying how cute it is. Some people don’t see it that way and you should respect that.

  • SubterraneanHomesickAlien

    I photoshopped my 12-wk ultrasound in a way that I found hysterical and sent it to my family overseas without comment. My mom and my brother were baffled and couldn’t work out whether I was making a pregnancy announcement. My dad just laughed and sent it to the rest of his family. And NO, this did not go on social media, I was only trying to tell them in a way which amused me. Four of my male friends later posed with another ultrasound (we were at a bar, they were drunk and thought they were funny) and my BFF put it on facebook with the caption “who’s yo daddy?” but didn’t tag me, which just made her friends think SHE was the pregnant one. Ha!

  • MomOneDay

    I don’t have a problem with an ultrasound being posted here or there. What I find annoying are those people who make their ultrasound their profile picture. It’s doubly annoying if it is someone I know from highs school whom I don’t keep up with and they have also changed their last name and I have NO clue who they are without going through their profile. I always defriend those people…

    • STFUParents

      I did a post on that once. Didn’t go over well. A lot of people make their ultrasound pic their profile picture and got offended.

    • Mikhari

      Clearly, everybody should be able to recognise these people immediately by the amorphous blob of their uterus and cell clusters.

    • Marcie

      No matter whether I have kids or not, my profile picture will always be me. That’s a big pet peeve of mine.

    • Brikkz

      I have kids my profile picture is neither of my kids or of myself. Its actually of a saint….
      Not to sound super religious im just not a fan of my face lol

    • Brikkz

      I like my kid’s faces but if they want a profile pic of themselves they can open their own account….if Facebook is still cool in 10 years.

    • http://www.facebook.com/helen.donovan.31 Helen Donovan

      I REALLY hate that, a lot just for the reason you mention. Even worse than those who make their kids (not them AND their kids – just the kid) the profile because “my child is my life.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jill-Sampieri/14307220 Jill Sampieri

    One of the first things that my mom (who is actually a huge oversharer herself) said when she found out I was pregnant – after the initial excitement – was “promise that you won’t post any ultrasound pictures on Facebook!” I still think that it’s overshare. Pictures from inside your own body just feel to intimate for social media.

  • CK

    I don’t think sonogram photos are gross; I just think of them as over-share. I would one day like to get a colonoscopy video to post on someone’s wall in retaliation for their sonogram photo posting. But I’m a smart-a$$ like that.

  • Katherine

    I did post a number of ultrasound pictures (2D and 3D) on Facebook with both my pregnancies…mostly because I had lots of Facebook friends who were asking to see them. On the other hand, I took the 10 2D shots I had and the 70 3D shots I had and cut them down to 3 pictures and 12 pictures uploaded…so much of the pictures are pretty well the same, so just pick the ones you like best and leave the rest off.

    Oh, and I always made sure that my announcement when we found out the boy or girl question was separate from the album, for those who didn’t care to look at the pictures. And I saw no reason to include ultrasound evidence of the answer…I had faith that my friends would believe me without it :-)

  • Trish

    I like the ultrasound pics, if it’s just one or two. I HATE those 3D ones, they freak me out, and I can’t imagine getting one. I don’t know if that makes it an overshare, I’d probably just hide it. I don’t understand the people who make the ultrasound as their profile pic, or anyone who sexualizes a fetus. I never once discussed my sons genitalia on facebook, from conception to his 5 year old self now. Weird people.

  • Jenna

    I once had a FB friend that posted about five 3-D ultrasound penis pictures throughout her pregnancy. “It’s a boy”, “It’s really a boy”, “He’s definitely not shy!”, and so on. And on April Fool’s Day “It’s actually a girl!” I’d say she posted more pictures of her unborn child’s penis than it’s face. I finally called her out on it and was unfriended. Funny stuff. No one really cares if it’s a boy or a girl except for you, we are all happy for you regardless of the baby’s genitalia. And genitalia is OK in the womb, but once out it’s somewhat taboo. Weird.

  • Mikhari

    Because of you, B, I can’t wait to get pregnant for one reason: I plan on using my formidable Photoshopping skills to post a sonogram with a facehugger from Aliens in the shot.

    Nobody’d spot it, I’m sure.

  • KatDuck

    So those 3D image really look like those reverse molds of people from Pompeii. You know, the ones where the archaeologists kept finding “bubbles” in the rock and found, when they poured concrete in, the imprints of people appeared? That’s what those sonograms look like.

  • Kitty Kat

    Personally, I don’t want to see any type of image, photo, or video of anyone’s fetus or uterus and I seriously doubt anyone else does, either.

  • http://www.facebook.com/helen.donovan.31 Helen Donovan

    One or 2 B&W are OK by me. Unless you are family or very good friend I won’t open an album and I do not look at 75+ pics for anyone. The 3-D ones, particularly the one with the 70 pics, are grow, gross, gross and will get deleted as soon as I can hit the button. Why the F– do you want people looking at your child’s genitals?? Should you really be breeding? Probably will be the same parent who freaks if you smile at the kid once it becomes an air-breathing mammal instead of an alien.

  • Katye

    I posted a 2d one as well because it was a very exciting time for my husband and I, but that was it. Even now with baby pics, I do post but I try not to go overboard. My mother wants me to post new pics everyday as she is obsessed(hahah) but I told her that I can’t clog up the newsfeed…not everyone cares! See, you’ve taught so many people so many things B.- check yo’ self before you overpost yo’ self (or baby).

  • MySpoonIsTooBig

    I never even thought about it in terms of “looking inside your friends uterus”! Ultrasound pics only make me feel awkward in terms on not knowing what to say cause I can’t make heads or tails of what I’m supposed to be looking at (2D ones at least, the 3D ones are scary). Which is an advantage to FB ultrasound pics, I don’t HAVE to comment, but when a co-worker brought in ultrasound pics I was clumsily grasping for something to say. “Oh wow, thats, uhh… wow, that’s a baby!”

    A friend did post an ultrasound youtube, but again, at least there’s no obligation to watch it. I think “the line” is posting a gajillion photos, as well as creepy remarks about baby genitals. I’d rather have one scary 3D pic than a 2D with uncomfortable remarks about “LOL BABY PEEN!”

  • Heather

    I think it’s overshare if the person is making it public or posting it to every single one of their facebook friends, including coworkers, acquaintances they haven’t seen since high school, etc. and adding dumb captions. If it were me, I might post a link to one 2D ultrasound photo, hosted elsewhere, so that the person is warned before they click that it’s an ultrasound photo. I don’t personally think the 2D images are icky, but some people have a low threshold for anatomical stuff, and I would want to be sensitive to that. I think you’re right, B., that there is a huge uptick in the number of ultrasound photos being shared these days, and people are desensitized to it.

  • justhypatia

    I actually agonized over this yesterday. I had the picture and I knew family would be asking to see one, so I posted it with our pregnancy announcement. That however, will probably be the last one to make an FB appearance.

    I really dislike the 3D ones and I know people are not super interested. So i’m keeping it minimal. One to announce the pregnancy? More than enough but I don’t think it’s really a bad overshare until you start getting to the albums and the crotch shots.

  • http://twitter.com/HorridBabyNames Horrid Baby Names

    I’d much rather see ultrasound photos than some of the photos on STFU of newly born babies covered in goo or a close up of Mama’s oonie as baby is making her way out.

  • oxytoxin

    You are such a prude!

  • Rachel

    I have to say that I agree with pretty much everything you write on your blog, but was quite surprised to read a couple years ago that many people consider it oversharing to post ultrasound pictures. I got very nervous about who I might have offended! For as long as I can remember, pregnant woman have been passing ultrasound photos around the office, so I guess I just thought of it as a completely normal part of pregnancy and something that you shared and I had never questioned it. Now I have to decide what I’ll do next time!

  • Any Mouse

    When wondering whether posting your ultrasound pictures will count as overshare, ask yourself this: is there any other time you would feel that it’s OK to post images of the INSIDE of your body? No? Then why is it OK now?

  • lisa5201

    To me, they are private, just like birth photos, breastfeeding photos ect. I have no problem with people having a record of this time, but no one, no one at all, needs to or wants to see pictures of the inside of your uterus.

  • http://twitter.com/Zulkey Claire Zulkey

    I don’t think it’s ‘overshare’ so much as it is intensely boring. All ulrasounds look the same, let’s just be real.

  • Leslie M.

    I fully read about half the comments but then gave up and just browsed the rest, so maybe someone has already mentioned this. However, I didn’t see it anywhere and thought it was worth noting. Several people have said that it’s weird to look at a picture of someone else’s uterus, even comparing it to posting photos of a colonoscopy. The thing is though, an ultrasound isn’t a photo of anyone’s uterus. It’s an image, yes, but it’s not a photograph. I would say it’s actually closer to an x-ray than a photo. There’s a big difference between someone posting a picture of their actual broken leg and a picture of the x-ray of their broken leg. Sure, you may not want to see either of them, which is definitely part of the discussion here as well, but you still wouldn’t respond to them in exactly the same way. I understand why some people may still consider posting an ultrasound image to be overshare, even though I personally disagree, but it shouldn’t be on the grounds that you don’t want to see a picture of your friend’s uterus. If they literally had a photograph of their uterus, yes, that would absolutely be a really terrifying form of overshare, but that would be because you could actually see one of their organs. In an ultrasound though, there’s no shape, no color, no discernible details. You might as well be looking at static on a tv because that’s how much it actually looks like any part of a human body, so I just don’t get it being overshare on that particular basis.

    All that being said, those 3D ultrasounds scare the hell out of me. They look like weird, lumpy, alien potatoes.

  • EB

    I used an ultrasound picture to announce my pregnancy (on Facebook). It never occurred to me that anyone would consider that offensive. I guess I don’t get te comments about “not wanting to see anyone’s uterus.” I mean, you can’t actually see the uterus at all, just the baby. If you had a baby in your colon, well them I could understand the comparison to a colonoscopy. Anyway, I didn’t worry too much about what people thought about the picture – I figured they were distracted by the news that went along with it. This is an example, though, of why I have a love/hate relationship with STFU Parents – I love laughing at some of the silly things people post but it also makes me anxious about posting just about anything on Facebook!

  • Kim

    Ultrasound pics don’t bother me, although I never posted any of mine. I would’ve thought making dodgy remarks about your unborn baby’s genitalia would be a line most people wouldn’t cross? That part I cannot understand….

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  • Miranda

    I do post my ultrasound pictures, but in my defense, my Facebook friends list is 99% made up of people who actually want to see them – even the gender shots. I do think it’s ridiculous when people post them who have several hundred friends, because there’s NO WAY all of those people want to see your insides. Fortunately, I limit my friends to family members and people I actually converse with on a regular basis, mostly close friends. So I probably don’t have quite as much to worry about there.

    Still, I don’t post anything else that might be considered too much. “I’m in labor,” sure. “I’m x centimeters dilated,” not so much.

  • Miranda

    I said in a previous comment that I did indeed post a couple of ultrasound photos on Facebook – because 99% of my friends do actually want to see them, so it’s more a supply on-demand thing. I will say that I posted the gender photo at 18 weeks because it was so unclear I wanted someone to tell me what I was even looking at. However, I flatly refused to post the 20-week, “definitely a penis” one this time. I did share my previous ones from my other two sons, but STFUParents definitely convinced me that I really shouldn’t have.

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  • Brikkz

    I don’t think its overshare until the parents put a creepy caption to describe their kids’ sex.
    I quitel ike seeing ultrasounds of all the different new babies. But do not need to see “Check it out my boy is hung like a horse” under the penis pic. I can tell its a penis don’t need that caption

  • http://twitter.com/playinwlightnin Lady J

    It depends really on the person. . . if this is someone who shares everything right down to their bowl movement the yes that is over sharing but if its like it was for a couple from my church who suffered several miscarriages and one child having to come early because of High blood pressure and they up date it every couple of scans (like 2d to 3d) then thats kind of another reason.

  • Anne Audia

    THANK YOU for sharing this. It is my personal pet peeve to see ultrasounds on Facebook. And I want children someday, I love kids, I am always super happy for my friends who are having babies and wish them nothing but the best. It just feels really weird, invasive, and gross, and it makes me deeply uncomfortable. I am glad to know that even if I’m in the minority, that I’m not the only one who feels this way.

  • Ri

    I’m an extremely private, reserved person. But I’ve never once looked at an ultrasound and thought, ‘that’s so-and-so’s uterus.’ That’s not what ultrasounds focus on. Now, I think people do over-share on FB, and posting 500 pics of their ultrasounds is kinda lame. But a few don’t bother me. The only thing I’ve ever thought (both before my pregnancy and now) is that unborn children can look like little aliens…and that’s not exactly the kind of comment I feel I should post on a pic, but what else can you say sometimes? But I’m probably biased in my opinion in that my FB account (when I had one) was only for close friends and relatives. I didn’t do much in the way of networking with my co-workers or blog-friends with it.

  • Ri

    P.S. What I think is worse is the constant updates via FB and Twitter re labor. What are you supposed to say to them? “That’s great, you’re still in labor. Congrats on not stopping halfway through”? As far as the gender re ultrasounds, I can’t really tell any of that…but if I could, overtly “sexualized” shots would make me uncomfortable. The very thought does. It’s just as bad as posting naked pics of your born children. Sure, some parents let their toddlers run around naked…but you don’t post those on the web, do you? (I sure hope not, you creepers.)

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