Viral Birth Sensation | April the Giraffe

Guest Blog by Marie Lang, Postpartum & Infant Care Doula and Placenta Specialist

Picture this.

You are pregnant with your fourth child.  Your body has been preparing for this for some time.  You are under the watchful eye of trusted and trained medical professionals. You are comfortably and safely in your own private space – or so you thought.

Next thing you know, you are live streamed and your birth becomes a viral sensation.

While this isn’t a typical reality for most birthing individuals today, it is happening right now to April the Giraffe at the Animal Adventure Park in New York.

surveillanceOf course, watching a giraffe give birth online can be an educational event for humans, and it can be argued that since she isn’t aware of anyone watching her or the magnitude of the live stream, that it doesn’t really affect her.  But what if it did?

In our current times, we have so many modes of social media and so many ways to get information out to the public.  Today, everyone is a celebrity.  We have Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, and more!  It is easier now more than ever to announce your news (or someone else’s news) to the world.  Typically the intentions are good.

Of course your family and friends are so excited about the new arrival that they want to be a part of the celebration!  So they post a pic, or tweet some birth stats, before you even have a chance to give your baby a name!  This can feel very violating and it takes away from something that is meant to be a very special and intimate time.

New parents today should feel empowered to say no.

It is ok to keep your birth space private. It is ok to ask for no details on social media. It is ok to want to be the one to make whatever kind of special announcement on social media that you want to – first.

Here are a few tips for family and friends to gently remind them that this is a special and private moment for you.

  1. Do not pester an overdue mother – she is definitely more anxious than you!  She has heard the, “Did you have that baby yet??”…5,000 times already today.
  2. Do not mention the baby’s name before she publicly announces it – if you are lucky enough to be privy to this information, keep it to yourself!
  3. The pregnancy and birth announcements should come directly from the parents – this should be self explanatory, but it bears repeating!
  4. Ask the parents how they feel about you posting their photos – every parent has a different philosophy when it comes to their children on social media.  Some parents love the attention!  Some are more private.  Even if you think you know – ASK anyways!
  5. Don’t ask when they plan to have another – there are a lot of factors that come into play when a family is planning to add to their family.  These are all private decisions that they may not necessarily want to discuss in public.
our-baby-will-be-here-soon

Parents, feel free to use this picture on your social media to help!

Whether its a baby giraffe, or a baby human, that is welcomed into the world, we can be sure that there will be lots of excitement surrounding it all.  With some support and respect, we can do our best to make sure they enter the world in a respectful way for everyone.

Congrats to April the Giraffe and all other birthing individuals out there!

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