Crowd birthing. The type of birth more and more mums want.

For many of us, social media has become so engrained in our lives that it’s almost second nature.

Hands up who checks their Facebook account and Instagram before the kettle has even gone on in the morning?

(Yeah, me too.)

But a new trend is emerging in birthing suites worldwide which has me questioning exactly where the line should be drawn when it comes to over-sharing on social media.

For some women, having a lot of support during birth can be hugely beneficial. Image: istock

Welcome to crowd birthing.

It's a trend where social media obsessed mums are so keen to keep friends and family up to date with the pregnancy and birthing progress that they invite extended family and friends to be present and to take part in the main event it self.

Many of these mums also actively encourage their guests to share updates and even pictures of their progress on social media channels.

Read more: Are there any benefits to a lotus birth?

According to a survey conducted by website Channel Mum, some labouring women are inviting up to eight other people into the delivery suite in addition to their partners and medical staff.

The same survey also found that of the 8,000 new mothers included in the study, over a quarter elected to post birthing experience updates themselves throughout labour and delivery.

Read more: Photographer captures her friend's water birth beautifully.


However, the downside to sharing such a personal journey is that a lot of the same mums said they felt they failed (publicly) if their labour and birth did not proceed as they had planned.

In fact, 1/5 women said they believed a c-section birth was a failure which had been witnessed by those they are connected with on social media.

Increasingly, extended family are being invited to share in the first moments of a baby's life. Image: Istock

Surprisingly, a lot of women are not just asking for trusted females to attend as support as I originally would have guessed, but as many as one in twenty elect to also have their fathers by their sides.

I've personally heard of people live tweeting their birth experiences and I have also seen family members 'tagging' expectant mothers at various hospitals and maternity wards presumably with the aim to let social networks know of bub's impending arrival.

However for me, this is one birth trend that I'll leave well alone.

Of course, every birth is different and I firmly believe that every woman should be given the opportunity to have the birth she desires. If that means she has eight other people in the room with her than that's her choice so long as they don't interfere with her medical care or that of the baby.

Likewise, if another mum wants to share her journey through social media and is comfortable doing that then that's her decision too. But checking people in by tagging people in a manner which alludes to an impending birth is an invasion of privacy if done without the consent of mum. I guess that's one of the risks of having more people attend the hospital with you.

It's true, birth can be gory and gruesome. It's worth considering whether everyone on your social media necessarily wants to take part in it. Image: istock

I guess we also need to consider the willingness of the audience to receive updates when it comes to situations like live tweeting a birth. Not everyone on your twitter or Facebook necessarily wants to flick through their news feed during their lunch break to see blow by blow accounts (with or without pictures) or a woman's labour journey.

As anyone that's had a baby will tell you, it's gory, it's gruesome and it's not really something you want accompanying your morning latte.

Personally, it's not for me. Despite being a writer and putting aspects of my personal life out there in the public domain, I feel that the birth of my children is off limits. It's personal and it's private.

Each of my children have been born with c-section and I have another c-section booked for my third child in three weeks. I am not ashamed by the fact that I've had c-section births despite that being as far from my original birth plan as possible.

It's actually no one's business what happened during my labour except mine and my husband's. In each case, I was forced to make a decision that was in the best interests of myself and my baby and I won't have someone sitting behind a keyboard following my journey feeling as though they have the right to comment.

I guess if it's out there for the public to see, it's out there for opinion.

Would you ever consider a crowd birth?