Robbie Williams became a daddy for the second time this week. And apparently the usual way of introducing the new arrival to the world with just a picture of the baby after they have had a wash and are snuggled into a cute baby grow wasn’t enough. He decided to document the whole affair, from labour to arrival and everything in between online. He popped videos on Youtube and tweeted throughout, of him ‘helping his wife’ Ayda Field along by singing and dancing to his own songs while his missus concentrates on her breathing and contractions!
But Robbie isn’t the first to document their birthing experiences and share them on social media for everyone to see. As I have reached the age where people I know are having children, my newsfeed is slowly starting to include photos of sweaty and exhausted ladies, statuses about dilating measurements and newborns with far too much birthing residue that I want to see.
Social media has pushed privacy boundaries, and people have decided to share their entire lives online, including such personal life experiences. But where should the line be drawn? Why are Facebook and Twitter on soon to be new mothers minds when they should be concentrating on getting their babies into the world safely? Especially when, let’s face it; most people who are your ‘friends’ on social media are more like acquaintances, which, without Facebook, probably wouldn’t even know you were pregnant.
And do the mother and father discuss what they are posting about labour with each other to make sure they both are happy with what is being put online? Personally, I would not want any documentation of me not looking my best and in extreme pain, not even for my own photo albums, never mind for other eyes to see.
Like Robbie, there are other photos floating around online of fathers having a laugh in the labour suite, claiming giving birth is easy, while they smile and sip and cup of tea and their partner is desperately clinging on to their gas and air pipe. Can you get any more gentlemanly? We have progressed from the days when men were made to wait outside in the corridor to let the doctors and midwives be supportive, to having stage by stage photos of the labour process.
Is it sad that we live our lives through social media at such a level where one of the most special and intimate days you can go through has to be updated every half an hour on your newsfeed?