by Cassandra R. Elias
In The News: Social Media Has Become a Place for Pregnancy and Miscarriage Announcements
Have you posted on your Facebook page about your pregnancy? If so, you undoubtedly received many "likes" and congratulatory comments. But if, heaven forbid, you had a pregnancy loss, would you post about it on Facebook? According to a recent USA Today article, the answer to that question has become "yes" in increasing numbers.
Once a loss was a private matter. Few couples would likely announce to all but those close to them. Social media has become a vehicle where women have found not only joy when they announce a pregnancy, but support and fellowship when they suffer a loss. Yet it's complicated to decide just how to post and how to comment about such news.
Sharing about being pregnant is also dicey. As in real life, the decision on when to announce the pregnancy is a personal decision which varies by couple and circumstance. Some yell it out the moment they suspect and others wait until the child is almost off to kindergarten.
USA Today spoke with several women who had posted about their miscarriage and they found that the consequences were not all bad.
For example, Ashley Webber of Holly Springs, North Carolina found that when she shared about her miscarriage two weeks after posting about her pregnancy, she says she was. "flooded with stories, encouragement, prayers and love."
When Ashley got pregnant again several months later, she shared her new pregnancy on Facebook and realized that some might find it odd that she would share at only four weeks.
Ashley said, "That was exactly the reason — I really believed everything would be fine and figured if something wasn't I would rather people know, so that I wouldn't have to go through it alone." At eight weeks, she found out she was carrying twins but only one would survive. Once again, her Facebook friends were supportive, "People still send me encouragement through Facebook. It has really been a blessing."
Of course, there are certainly those who cringe at the thought of sharing news of a miscarriage in such a public forum. It is a painful private loss and while well meaning, they are likely to be met with many cliches and advice.
USA Today spoke with Dr. Julianne Zweifel, a clinical psychologist in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Wisconsin, who said that women often feel like they are bing watched for a reactiion and pass judgment on how they are reacting. "Women don't want to appear as oversad or judged as melodramatic. But if they are doing okay, they wonder if they come off as cold or uncaring."
What about you? How much sharing is too much? Do you share about your pregnancy, your kids, your hubby? Let us know what you think!