I’m about to have baby number two. I’m excited (ok, excited and scared!) and can’t wait to share the happy news with my nearest and dearest come the day of his or her arrival. As any proud mum would, I’ll probably eventually share a pic or two on Facebook. Maybe a couple on Instagram. And as it is with social media, not all the people who see the pic of bub will be close friends and family.
Old work colleagues, the group I travelled through Europe with 10 years ago, primary school friends and ex boyfriends will all know when I have this precious babe, what sex it is, its name. I’m ok with that. But it’s not ok if you spill the beans first.
Social media is a funny beast. It’s kind of nice when someone from your past messages to say hello, you share pleasantries about what you’re both up to, how things are going. But do I want these people to know as soon as I’ve had my bub at the same time as the new grandparents are finding out? No way.
Keeping the initial happy news to a text message and only sending it to a handful of people will keep the lid on things a bit – but you better hope they don’t go trumpeting your happy news on Facebook before you are happy to have it revealed.
Decide your timing
While you might be in a joyous splendour and want all and sundry to know your news now, think about if it would hurt if you and your partner waited to soak in your new arrival first. Just the three of you. For a little while. No beeping phones, no ringing, no overzealous grandparents sweeping in and scooping up the baby you’ve hardly had the chance to hold. Baby isn’t going anywhere, let it be your little secret for an hour or so (even overnight) to help the feelings of bombardment – and ensuring there’ll be no way anyone can spill your beans while you’re still in a post-birth haze.
Wait for the parents to post before you do (if you really have to)
Please, please, wait until the parents of the bub have posted their announcement on social media before you go and sprout the news on your page. Understandably you just want to share in the happy occasion, but you can almost bet someone will see the post and get their nose out of joint that they weren’t told directly by the baby’s mum or dad.
Do not share someone else’s baby photo
When someone posts a message or a pic, it’s usually somewhat controlled by security settings meaning it will only be seen by that person’s group of friends. By you sharing their pic, you are showing off their baby to a bunch of people they don’t know. Be considerate.
Ask before you post pics
You visit the new family and take a lot of happy snaps. Lovely. But don’t go uploading them to social media – it’s not your baby (or moment) to share. Ask first if you’re keen as mustard to get some snaps up. I’m pretty sure the pics of my friend in her nightgown trying to establish baby’s first breastfeed wouldn’t have made it to Facebook had she been able to veto the pics before the proud grandma posted them online. Same advice goes to the new mum’s own mother/aunty/sister/best friend if they’re lucky enough to be invited into the birth suite to witness the birth – no pictures please. Just NO.
The Office of the Children’s eSafety Comissioner says uploading photos and videos onto social media and websites can be a great way to share memorable moments with friends and family, but there can be risks associated with posting photos and videos of children online.
Some parents may choose not to have pics of their children posted online at all for their own safety.
The eSafety Commissioner suggests people should “think before they post” because once posted online any photo or video can be shared, copied and/or manipulated and you have no control how a photo or video is used by others.
Check your privacy settings on the social media services you use as well as on the device and turn off your geo-location so strangers can’t identify your location.
If you decide to share photos it should be on your terms – like blogger Constance Hall, whose honest, raw and often hilarious Facebook posts go viral for all the right reasons.