You have been waiting for this moment for over nine months.

 

You log on to share the biggest announcement of your life but wait, what's this? Your feed is jam-packed full of messages of congratulations and there are over 150 comments about the 'sweetest little guy' ever. The picture that you sent to one of your private WhatsApp groups is everywhere. And is that your nipple in the corner that you have only noticed now that the morphine has worn off? 

 

Everybody has a friend like this - a friend who is so excited for your news that they want to jump on and tell the world before you can say 'placenta'.

 

A thread on Reddit was started by a new dad who's baby thunder was stolen recently by a family friend who also happened to work in the hospital where the couple had their baby. The friend told all the family in the waiting room at the hospital before the couple shared their news. And even though it wasn't through social media - the dad said he felt robbed and that a line had most definitely been crossed. 

 

 

It begs the question if in an increasingly less private world is nothing sacred? The move towards this open sharing of private information has prompted more and more couples to take to social media ahead of their baby's birth and posting privacy plea's.

 

I came across a Facebook status update recently from a couple that said: Our baby will be soon here. Please allow us the joy of announcing our baby's arrival. We have waited nine months for this special moment.

 

 

And before you proclaim how horrified you are that this poor couple had to basically BEG people not to encroach on their privacy, take a moment to consider that it is not only happy announcements that are being shouted from the social media rooftops. 

 

 

We have heard from a number of people about occasions where people have found out about the death of a relative or friend from Facebook. And while it is a fantastic tool to keep in touch and keep track of far-flung family - may we kindly point out that there is a private message feature on most of these platforms. 

 

Last year 47-year-old Deborah Byrne was scrolling through Facebook when she saw messages posted on her daughter, Brogan's wall saying "gone too soon" and "Rest in peace". She told the Sun Newspaper:

 

"Then a friend of Brogan’s wrote to me “I’m so sorry” in a private message, so I asked what the hell she was talking about. She said there had been a horrific crash the night before, on May 22, and she would be there for me. That’s when I started screaming. The penny had dropped – Brogan was dead. At that moment my heart shattered.”

 

Imagine the horror. 

 

We live in a world of confusing messages - Some women live stream their births while others refuse to post a single picture of their child in any public forum. Our love-hate relationship with social media isn't going anywhere fast. 

 

 

And as far as I am concerned, every major life event comes with various levels of etiquette. And when it comes to something as precious as announcing your baby's birth - trust me...mum's the word.

 

 

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