How Social Media is Giving My Pregnancy Anxiety

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pregnancy and social mediaAround midnight the other night I rose out of bed with tears streaming down my face. My feet shuffled through a pile of tissues on the ground, searching for my slippers. I wandered downstairs to the kitchen, opening a jar of pickles.

My husband appeared moments later to give me a hug, and reassure me that everything will be okay. The problem is, it won’t.

The moment I discovered I was pregnant with my first child was both exhilarating and traumatic. Our pregnancy was unplanned so my husband and I are grateful that so far we’ve had no issues or complications. That is, until I discovered pregnancy and social media.

These days, women don’t just tell family and friends they’re pregnant. They plot out a pregnancy and social media strategy for announcing such news on Facebook. Will we hire a professional photographer? Will we venture to Etsy for the latest prop to use in our photographed announcement?

Next comes the gender reveal. On one hand, finding out the gender means people will stop analyzing my stomach, face shape and skin, or forcing me to play gender-predicting games.

On the other hand, revealing the gender comes with another set of social media problems. What will be our special operative strategy? Will it involve our doctor, an envelope and the sales clerk at Nordstrom? In other words, how will we turn this simple pregnancy milestone into an ordeal worth shouting through the top of my Facebook news feed?

Beware what’s next—the baby shower. It isn’t just a small gathering of close friends. No, it’s the most traumatizing of all pregnancy ventures [aside from labor, of course].

The baby shower comes with only one question—is it Pinterest-worthy? A Pinterest-worthy shower is one in which the theme of the shower coordinates, most likely, with the theme of the nursery. A successful shower must include a slew of harmonizing details ranging from downright ridiculous to over-the-top. This means my nursery must also be Pinterest-worthy.

And people wonder why I’m not excited to be pregnant? As special as this time is in my life, I’m overwhelmed by the non-stop, unsolicited advice I receive daily—sometimes hourly. Facebook “friends” are constantly reaching out, waiting for me to ask about pregnancy, labor, and postpartum.

2 COMMENTS

  1. You do realize that you are privileged for these to be the “anxieties” of your pregnancy, right? There are women who hope they and their baby both survive pregnancy. Social media is the last things on their minds. There are also women who worry how they will feed, clothe, and provide for their babies.

    Concerned your baby shower won’t be worthy of Pinterest? I can tell you, I survived the horrors of a baby shower not worthy of Pinterest. It’s because my baby shower didn’t exist because my baby was delivered via emergency c section in the second trimester. My baby and I almost died.

    I wake up in the middle of the night having nightmares that I’m pregnant again. If I got pregnant again, I would focus on a healthy pregnancy and certainly not think for a second about my appearance on social media. If women enjoy celebrating their pregnancy in that way, let them… I’m happy and excited for them. I’m entertained by their creativity. But, to feel inferior or anxious over such nonsense and comes from a place of privilege.

    Remember, no one scrutinizes you as much as you scrutinize you. Most people probably won’t miss the baby shower pics that don’t make it to Pinterest or the pictures on Facebook or Instagram you choose not to share.

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