#impatient: The Pressure of Social Media in Birth

When I was a child, my fascination sprouted for pregnancy & the female body. When my mother breastfed my brother, I breastfed my baby dolls & I still remember a moment (I was 3) rubbing my mother's pregnant belly with lotion.

If anyone knows this side of me, they know the fire & relentless passion I have for advocating awareness & broadening my knowledge when it comes to pregnancy, birth & postpartum. Nope, I'm not a raging, "natural birth is for everyone, if you don't do it you're terrible!". HOWEVER, I strongly feel that labor-related interventions often compromise a woman's body & our mismanaged healthcare system generally disregards a woman's power to birth (however birth feels right for her). The female body, during every stage, from conception to birth is sacred & transcendental. From the uterus to nipples, each system works in synchronicity to nourish & help an infant thrive, while healing itself & balancing a slew of hormones. When someone refers to someone with meek character as a "pussy" or "vagina" I think it's terribly hilarious. A vagina (& the other components) is one of the most physically powerful (if not most powerful) systems someone could have.

We should all aim to be vaginas.

There are so many topics that will organically surface when it comes to birth & pregnancy, but this one is calling me to be called out.

Recently, I was scrolling through a friends Facebook page, who is 9 months pregnant. Although we're not close, the energy I have picked up from being around her is she is somewhat private, lives a mindful life & has embraced this energy with her pregnancy. So it's no surprise she hasn't posted a million photos or updates during her pregnancy, no redundant "my baby is the size of an pear/mango/pineapple!" photos or daily rants about what she's craving or how the nursery looks. With no recent posts from her, these wall posts from her friends were glaring back at me (& everyone else, for all the world to see):

To the woman in the first comment: If mamma needed Red Raspberry, evening primrose, acupuncture, castor oil, etc. she'd probably reach out to you in the first place.

To the woman in the first comment: If mamma needed Red Raspberry, evening primrose, acupuncture, castor oil, etc. she'd probably reach out to you in the first place.

Many people would not see an issue with these comments, many simply seeing friends or family with loving intention anxious to meet the new arrival. I get it, I get it. Babies are awesome, but these cascade of comments, whether folks realize it, creates a spectator sports-like agenda filled with unnecessary pressure or unwelcome (& often overbearing) help. You have no idea what mamma is going through when these notifications ping her phone during the last (usually uncomfortable & emotional) 8 or 9 months of her pregnancy. She could have just been induced against her wishes, sitting on the toilet trying her damnest to take a poop despite a week of constipation or riding a roller coaster of emotions just thinking about her baby leaving the quiet & intimate womb they've shared together for almost a year.

If you really need a pregnancy or labor update, private message or text. Much more genuine than public posting.

Secondly, it's selfish. You are impatient? You are anxious? You are tired of waiting in the hospital waiting room for their scheduled c-section? We're not the one who has made compact space in our body for the baby, you're not the one know the specific cascade of emotions & hormones as mom nor are you a fly on the wall of the birthing room/space to entitle yourself to feel #impatient. I recently got a text from someone (whom I love & respect) complain about waiting in the hospital waiting room for a family friend's child to be born, I cringed.

The concept of backing off is simple, but emotionally challenging for some to understand. Pointing out this growing problem (among many when it comes to birth) only advocates deserved privacy & reclaims the sacred process birth can be... should be, or what a mamma or partner desires. It's time to become accountable to our social media posts, check-ins & updates in this spectrum, but really everywhere. Someone's birth, even if it is your child's, should be free (verbally & energetically) from your expectation, pushy excitement, questions or how you wish it to unfold.

Creating sacred space (physically, mentally & spiritually) for a new soul to emerge is overwhelming in itself, publicly posting on her wall, for everyone to see, "when are you due again? I'm waiting!" doesn't offer any form of support or energetic love.

Part of this is my opinion & intuition, but also the education I've received from a seasoned doula, midwives & moreso from the beautiful women in my life who have shared how just a few words or too many questions during their own experience made them feel inadequate, pressured & disrespected.

Numerous studies have proven stress during a woman's labor actually slows the process down. The magical uterus expands, contracts & rests functionally similar to the rectum. Would it be easy to take large bowel movement knowing that you have a room full of antsy people posting questions, tweeting, checking in & posting how #impatient they are for your poop? Nope, didn't think so. A woman's laboring body is no different.

Friends & families overstepping their bounds with the #impatient mentality (& addiction for social media validation) is something that has become a norm. I nosedived into it all (to confirm my thoughts above) with each point above relevant. Time to raise the vibration that this is not okay, give this process the space it deserve. Simple as that.

This is only scratching the surface. Posting about your new grandson, niece or best friends birth before they post is not okay either. Other amazing resources that couldn't say it any better. Sharing is a glorious catalyst for awareness:

A Guide to Birth Announcement Etiquette
Dear Everyone, Childbirth Isn't a Spectator Sport
Don't Insta my newborn: 5 rules for posting about a friend's baby