by SHAUNA ANDERSON
Here’s a birth announcement that you haven’t read lately on Facebook:
““Introducing baby Emme born 2.4kg and covered in my bodily fluids and lots of goopy white stuff that looks a lot like Perkins Paste. Resembles an angry, red potato. Eventually pushed her out with a f*ck load of pain during a 45 minute session of protracted agony after 14 hours of hideous labour, lots of drugs and more swearing than you’ve ever heard in your life.”
Would you prefer that level of honesty to the usual, happy-clappy version?
Would you prefer to have heard details of an agonising labour and difficulty breast-feeding?
Would you rather social media updates of cracked nipples and haemorrhoids…I’m happy to share. Would it make you feel better about your parenting choices?
A recent debate has broken out over mums bragging on social media, where pregnant and new mothers post updates of their birth, their breastfeeding, and their baby.
Updates which are (shock horror) positive.
Updates which are (again wait for it…) about a mother’s feelings of accomplishment.
Updates which (oh no…don’t do it mums) are actually about sense of pride and joy.
This seemingly awful turn of events where social media is used for good is being branded “shaming”.
The term JUDGING has even been used.
Oh come on.
SERIOUSLY. Let’s all get over the outrage and stop thinking every little thing is slighting us.
Since when is it shaming to tell your friends and family about something you are proud of? The mood against the happy-posts was summed up by an article on the weekend that said:
As a slightly nervous and excited mum-to-be (is there any other kind?), my thoughts are focused on bringing my baby into the world safely. It never crossed my mind that anything else mattered.
But if my friend’s text is anything to go by, it seems people aren’t just waiting to hear that I’ve given birth, but also how I’ve given birth — and judging me for the choices I’ve made along the way.
Really? Judging you? Are you sure? Or are you feeling just a little bit sensitive?
You see, I think lately we are all being conditioned to think that “Mums judge”. All we hear about is how much we snip and snipe at each other, that the thought we could be proud of each other is unconscionable. Why does the fact that another woman had a natural birth mean you are any less of a mother?
I had three completely different births.
Number one was a C-section (do you want to know the reason why? Do you need to know the reason why? I’m happy to tell you. Because I was f-ing terrified of giving birth).
Then a delightful high-as-a-kite-on-drugs vaginal birth.