health

I'm sorry, but I don't want to follow your pregnancy on Facebook.

Anyone with a Facebook profile will know newsfeeds are fertile grounds for pregnancy updates. Not a day goes by without an excited mum-to-be posting an ultrasound, a bump shot, or a status asking for baby shower advice – and can you blame them? Facebook, Instagram, etc. are a fast, easy way to keep loved ones in the loop without long phone calls or house visits.

Plus, who doesn’t love watching those little ‘like’ notifications flow in after sharing some exciting news?

But in recent months I’ve been bombarded by posts that take pregnancy sharing from totally sweet to TMI. Not content with the occasional status about swollen feet or a kicking baby, several future mamas in my news feed have decided to keep me, and everyone else, updated on exactly what bodily processes and fluids are at work in their womb. Every week. For the entire nine months.

"Guess what - he's developing his first poo as we speak!" Yep - TMI.

These expectant mums have subscribed to online apps that provide up-to-the-minute commentary on pregnancy. This includes useful, scientific, in-depth information, which is, I imagine, very interesting when you’ve got a bun in the oven and you want to know what on earth is going on in there.

But the app doesn’t just keep mum up to date. It posts on the newsfeed of all of her Facebook friends at the start of every week, too, detailing exactly what that week of pregnancy involves so they can all experience the fun together.

On Monday I discovered an ex-colleague is currently in the “fetal fat collection” phase and is producing lots of "lard" right now. One mum-to-be's growing foetus is now coated in vernix, while another’s bub is currently cultivating its first fecal matter. Who doesn’t want to read about vernix first thing in the morning - especially that of a baby you’ll possibly never even meet?

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Again, I can imagine this is fascinating for the women in question, and perhaps their doctors, partners and more strong-stomached family members too. There's an obvious appeal to (privately) using these apps to learn as much about pregnancy as possible, because it’s a very unique and scary thing to experience.

But since when is this level of detail necessary to share with the world on a regular basis? In the pre-social media days, did pregnant women ring all their friends, relatives, ex boyfriend’s parents, old workmates and long-lost schoolmates every Monday to update them on the contents of their growing baby’s intestines? Hmm... probably not.

It seems we’re so used to sharing every aspect of our lives these days that nothing, and nobody, can possibly be spared. I can’t figure out whether public pregnancy tracking is self-absorbed or just lacking in boundaries – or maybe I just have a low “ick” threshold? Undoubtedly it's a very intimate thing to share on a such a huge forum of people.

Pregnancy is incredibly exciting, life-changing news, and for the most part one's Facebook friends are more than happy to share in the joy. I love seeing the bump selfies and pregnancy updates here and there, and when my closest friends fall pregnant I’ll listen to them talk about vernix if they really want to bring it up in person.

But please, mums-to-be – when it comes to social media, maybe save the gory details for your inner circle.

Do you or any of your friends use pregnancy trackers? Do you think the updates are an overshare?