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Facebook's New 'I'm Expecting' Option — Proceed with Caution

Facebook fertility.jpg

Here at FertilityAuthority we love Facebook. For many, the social networking site is a way to reach out and find others coping with infertility and share knowledge, emotions, failures and successes. And yes, we admit that it's fascinating to watch friends go from "single" to "in a relationship" to "single" again and share the details of their daily lives.

By now you have probably heard about Facebook's new "I'm Expecting" option, which is creating quite a stir. Facebook has become the place to share your status to a wide network of "friends," and many feel that the news of pregnancy is no different. Under the same section where you can list family members, moms-to-be can add "Expected: Child" to their profiles, as well as the due date and chosen name.

Yes, it's cool that Facebook has become so customizable. But if you are newly pregnant, we advise you to proceed with caution.

Often, when women become pregnant for the first time, they have no concept of what a miracle it really is or that miscarriages occur in 15 to 20 percent or pregnancies.

There is a reason that many women wait to tell others about a pregnancy until they are 12 weeks along — or even later. "With my first first pregnancy — way before Facebook was even invented — I told all my friends and family way too soon with no thought that anything bad could ever happen," says Ann*. "If Facebook had been around, I probably would have checked the expecting option. When I miscarried at 11 weeks, it was devastating. I definitely received a lot of support because so many people knew, but I also had to talk about it with A LOT of people."

Talking about a personal situation over the phone or in person is different than unchecking the "Expected: Child" status on Facebook and then getting the "What happened?!!" queries on your wall. If you are a person who doesn't mind talking about any situation in a public setting, you may be fine. If you are more private, think carefully before you announce it in your status update.

What do you think about Facebook's new feature? Please share your comments below.

*Ann has asked that her last name be withheld.

Comments (2)

I lost my pregnancy at 20 weeks from a missed miscarriage and a friend of mine lost her baby at 8 months gestation. It's not super uncommon to have something like that happen. So in the future I would think long and hard before announcing a pregnancy at all on Facebook, especially if you have a lot of "friends" that are just acquaintances. It was horrible trying to explain to EVERYONE on there what happened, and I never want to go through that in addition to a devastating loss ever again. Just wanted to share my experience with others to maybe save someone from a similar circumstance.

I thought it would never happen to me...

I think that Facebook should recommend that people consider not posting a pregnancy until after 12 weeks when the likelihood of miscarriage goes down. They should let people know that this is due to 15-20% of pregnancies ending in miscarriage. And they should tell people to also consider how many people will be asking them tons of questions and making well-meaning (but often hurtful) comments about the pregnancy ending, such as "Oh, you can try again" or "I guess it just wasn't meant to be right now" or "You know dear, the baby may have had something wrong with it". As a woman who has been through 3 miscarriages, I can honestly say it's better to wait to share the good news rather than go through hearing those kinds of comments when you are in so much emotional pain.

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