Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Is Sharing Caring? Thoughts on Birth Photographs on Facebook

I almost wrote this post a few weeks ago when Emma Bond's photograph of her breastfeeding her premature baby was banned from Facebook, but stopped myself. This is a controversial topic and I know there will be a big divide on this one, I just felt the need to discuss the issue of what we share online. I was scrolling through my Facebook fed this morning when I happened upon this article written by Buzzfeed. The headline reads "A Woman Says She Was Banned From Facebook For Sharing A Natural Birth Photo"

At 30 weeks pregnant myself my initial thoughts were, why in god's name would you want to share that on Facebook? Is nothing private anymore? Whats next natural photographs of the conception? I must say that I felt the same about the breastfeeding photograph. I fully understand that it was a special time for Emma to feed her premature baby for the first time and even why you would want to capture that moment, but to then put it on Facebook for all to see? When I review my own Facebook profile I find that I have 352 'friends' some are very close friends, family, ex colleagues, school mates and people who I have met throughout my life. I generally don't post too much on there and never put anything too personal on my news feed. I would never in a million years want to post a picture of my baby crowing, coming out of me or feeding from me. Who wants to see it? I really do not get it, at all. Yes it is the most natural thing in the world but so going to the toilet, is that whats coming next?

However strong my personal opinion is on this matter I do believe Facebook are wrong in banning this photograph. It was originally posted onto the group Positive Birth Movement a place for women to share positivity about childbirth. Fair enough, if you want to see these images you join the group. If you don't, you do not join the group. Just as if you want to see pictures of women's arses you join the 'thigh gap group'. I however do not want to see either of these groups on my timeline.

In the article written by Buzzfeed the birth images are compared to Kim Kardashian's latest photography shoot involving her naked bum. Milli Hill who posted the image said in the article "At the end of the day, they are just two women’s bottoms! But one is OK, and the other not, so it is interesting to think about why that might be." Personally I do not want to see either photograph nor am I deeply offended by them. I don't see why they can't both have a place on Facebook in private groups where they can not be accessed by everybody, children or shared en masse to other profiles.

I know I am not the only one with this opinion, during a recent Parent Craft class the midwife suggested filming the birth to which every single woman gasped in horror at the thought. So in 10 weeks time when I am giving birth, I will not be sharing, but that doesn't mean I don't care. I believe that some moments are best lived in and shared with your partner. I want my partner to be concentrating on the birth of his son and experiencing it live instead of behind a screen trying to get a good shot.

If you shared action shots of your birth or breastfeeding please feel free to comment why you wanted to share these moments on Facebook, it might give me a better understanding of the reasonings behind this.