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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Vital Information for Your Everyday Life

You Can Now Announce Your Pregnancy on Facebook. If You Really Want To.


Back in ye olden tymes of 2008 when I was deciding to make the transition from MySpace to Facebook, the biggest selling point turned out to be the optional relationship status. On the ‘Space, it was mandatory, so you had to proclaim your singlehood, then have “the talk” with your new significant other about changing your status to “In a Relationship.” And then when that tanked, you had to crawl back to the computer, and humbly make the change back after noticing that the person who just dumped you is now “In a Relationship” with someone else. But Facebook let you avoid that! You didn’t have to say a thing! And that was great! But still, some people really feel the need to keep everyone posted on how their relationships are going. And now, those relationships include those with a woman’s fetus. Um, thank you?

Oh, yes: Now you, too, can announce the goings-on of your uterus or the uterus you love by adding “Expecting: Child” to your list of family members and friends. (Unless you are expecting an alien, dinosaur, or mythical fairy zygote. Those are not currently options.) And now, in addition to all those wonderful, darling fetus updates, there is an official recognition on Facebook for feti!

Apparently, what was happening was that people were creating new profiles for their fetus and then maintaining those profiles once the babies were born. And that violates the Facebook rule that only those over the age of 13 can have a profile. (Because babies can’t type! Silly babies.) So instead, this option was created to allow expectant parents (both mothers and fathers) have the legitimization they so deeply desire. In this culture of massive oversharing, this isn’t a surprising addition to Facebook, but it is a potentially awkward one.

At the risk of sounding like a Debbie Downer, let me harken back to the relationship status thing. The moral of that story was that it didn’t work out. And as sad as the thought is, it’s something that’s happened to a lot of expectant parents. And a pregnancy that doesn’t work out is much sadder than a relationship that doesn’t work out. The risk of a situation involving possibly hundreds of “friends” knowing details that turned out to be too tragic or personal to share is very great. Having a child is a very exciting thing to happen, but when there’s someone’s health at stake, it’s probably better to be extremely cautious and/or patient before making such an announcement on Facebook.

But as always, it’s an option. You don’t have to choose it at all. At least we can thank Facebook for that.

(Digital Life on TODAY via The Frisky)

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  • Ian Wright

    I posted on Facebook that I had just had a vasectomy. Many people blanched at my “overshare.” I promptly unfriended all those breeders with their offspring updates and never looked back.

    Now, if I can just get a “Childfree” checkbox, I’ll be great.

  • Anonymous

    That last bit about it not always working out is exactly why people need to cool it with the baby sharing.  It’s a very common thing unfortunately and some things are better left private.  Besides, as a gay man, the less I know about your uterus and surrounding area, the better.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/jocelynplease Jocelyn Dugan

    Oh God. Like the pre-teens who claim their best friend is their child isn’t obnoxious enough.

  • Anonymous

    OK this is hilarious because I finally announced my pregnancy on facebook just this morning. (I’m 6+ months in, was keeping it quiet, yet not secret, until now. Not sure what spurred the sharing, but friends we see a lot were starting to “out” us on our walls, and I didn’t want anyone to feel bad. Because like I said, not a secret.)

    Anyway! IMO Facebook did this not only to get around the “problem” of people creating profiles for their unborn kids (which: ick), but also to collect more sweet, sweet data to pass along to their real customers: the advertisers. They already troll your posts looking for major life events like weddings and new babies; this just makes it easier.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, and in case it didn’t go without saying: I did not use the family-status update thingie described above. I just made a post. And avoided the word “pregnant” ’cause I’m on enough mailing lists already. We’ll see if that makes any difference…

  • http://twitter.com/Freaky_Bella Freaky_Bella

    Absolutely true! Amen!

  • http://twitter.com/Freaky_Bella Freaky_Bella

    Absolutely true! Amen!

  • http://profiles.google.com/ashleysue Ashley Sue

    I don’t put down my work place, where I went to school, or my email address.  Why on earth would I say what’s happening with my uterus?
    Though I do use the term, “food baby,” a lot to describe my pouchy stomach. :(

  • Asta Martin

    A friend of mine gleefully posted in her status that she was pregnant…5 WEEKS IN! The second she did it, I was terrified that something bad would happen, and it did. She got sick, and then status-updated every harrowing step along the way to finally losing the baby 3 months later. The second time she was expecting, she announced it just as soon, was equally sick, but this time discovered the sex of the baby and named her. Her daughter was thankfully born healthy, but the reckless exhibitionism of it all frankly appalled me. I don’t run around screaming, “TMI, TMIIIIII!” all the time with facebook, but there are some things that should remain within the circle of REAL friends and family, and not be shared with your brother’s coworker’s sister that you had a great time with at the lake.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WTHOMHZSMJDKIBZ7CNEPYNWJVM Bob B

    I hate to tell you, but girls have been doing stuff like that way before Facebook.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sonia-Azevedo-Ferreira/532993867 Sonia Azevedo Ferreira

    yes Matty because you might have come from somebody’s arse.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Sonia-Azevedo-Ferreira/532993867 Sonia Azevedo Ferreira

    yes Matty because you might have come from somebody’s arse.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GA6PYDKDQ77SNMQYVS77YBHY7Y LGK

    I’m so sorry your friend’s miscarriage bummed you out.  That must have been awful for you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GA6PYDKDQ77SNMQYVS77YBHY7Y LGK

    I’m so sorry your friend’s miscarriage bummed you out.  That must have been awful for you.

  • http://twitter.com/FalconX2 John A.

    I can say the same about your sexual orientation. The less I know, the better. But clearly that didn’t stop you from announcing it, so why should it stop anyone else from announcing something you don’t want to know about.

  • http://twitter.com/Menshevixen DH

    I just want to be able to list my relationship as “It’s Complicated” with tomatoes. Is that so much to ask, Facebook? 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ENZ7JETK6IGNZHNPXLELMVE2M4 Sunshine060420

    Wow, that’s a bit overboard (as is creating a page for your unborn child or pet).  I have chosen to remain childfree, have 2 dogs that I love like children; but I don’t create pages for them and I try to limit how many pictures and posts I share regarding my dogs.  I try to limit the personal information I post just from a safety issue.  I don’t friend people I don’t know and most of my information is private but sometimes I have to wonder…if you have hundreds of friends, have photos and personal information about your family up, how easy would it be for someone to take advantage of that information…kids don’t think “strangers” who know their names and personal information about your family are a threat…Facebook/Twitter rule of thumb, if you wouldn’t share it with a roomful of strangers perhaps you shouldn’t post it!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ENZ7JETK6IGNZHNPXLELMVE2M4 Sunshine060420

    EXACTLY!  ChildFREE not childless…huge difference!

  • http://twitter.com/shinobi42 Shinobi

    I’ve been pretty surprised by how early in their pregnancies my friends have announced.  My family pretty much universally doesn’t share a pregnancy even with non immediate family until three months in.  Before that there is just too much risk.

  • Anonymous

    tinyurl.com/23963mg

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_CTBDJZ5ELFLBSKQXBP7WGB4MXI Dalia V

    Some one is bitter ;)
    Just an FYI in pregnancy there is a HUMAN fetus involved…Only Humans can produce Human Offspring. Read a science book please… Once we all can recognize that a human child is involved in a pregnancy the better. Stop denying the truth of the science behind Human growth and development. You want abortion, fine but label it as it is, murder of an innocent human being who didn’t choose to be created.  When one has sex with the opposite sex they take that chance. Mark my words Pro life is winning the war. And your precious choice to murder your offspring will be very limited in the coming years. Science is advancing and the more we know the more we realize what a stain “choice” Is on American History. Don’t like it then move to Mexico or Canada or other countries where it may still be legal.
    My daughter is Pro life! She is 8 and outspoken about life in the womb and out of the womb. Children recognize life for what it truly is! She has see models of “pregnancy” during ALL stages and at no point has she ever thought that any stage he/she was not a person.  Kids get it and choice is failing because Science is advancing…can’t deny that. If you could you wouldn’t be here promoting your “choice” as you so put it.
    Good for FB recognizing the prolife side of America! When you feel that baby kick for the first time you know he/she is a person and deserves a chance to live. Over populated my ass. Nature has a way of taking care of overpopulation. Not human intervention intentionally killing…FIN

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1611021836 Kelly Benson

    I’ve been through an early miscarriage and yes, telling people you are now “un-pregnant” is very hard but keep in mind the other option is not telling anyone, losing the pregnancy quietly, then crying for days on end and acting erratically for no known reason so your friends and co-workers think you are mentally ill.  I didn’t tell many people I was pregnant but once I had a miscarriage, I had to let many more in on the “secret” because for me, there was no hiding my anguish.  I don’t think there is a right way to go about these things.

  • Lyme Gal

    If you don’t like the function, don’t use it. If one of your friends uses it, and you’re somehow insulted, unfriend them. The thing about Facebook is that you have the choice to STOP using it, just in case you haven’t noticed. People have the choice to post whatever they choose, and you have the right to block them. Why is that so hard to understand?

  • http://twitter.com/NomadicScribe Nomadic Scribe

    What about if you have the kid, and then he or she grows up to be a failure? You have this person listed on your profile for 20+ years and then suddenly, you’re like “That didn’t go well. Fail!” That would be an even huger disappointment! We should just abstain from posting any kind of update altogether.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sorry you had to go through that. ::hugs::

    I hate that miscarriage is something we’re supposed to be “secret” about, and “shouldn’t be talked about” – like it’s something we should be ashamed or embarrassed of? Screw that. It happens, it sucks, and we should be able to talk about it, dammit. The more women talk about it and can let others know that they’re not alone is a good thing.

  • http://www.extremelydissatisfied.wordpress.com Adam R. Charpentier

    I find the superiority inherent in this usage of “Breeders” to be surprisingly offensive. Couldn’t you have just said assholes?

  • http://www.extremelydissatisfied.wordpress.com Adam R. Charpentier

    Can I flag someone for being a douche? For some reason, this felt like the exact comment to Reply to and ask.

  • http://www.extremelydissatisfied.wordpress.com Adam R. Charpentier

    Facebook only exists to over share. They’re just adding a new button.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=680813450 Rosie ‘Martini’ Bellini

    You are the reason why people no longer use the term ‘ignorance is bliss’.
    And comparing being ‘pro-life’ to ‘war’ just confirms this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1611021836 Kelly Benson

    It shouldn’t be a secret and it’s not our “fault.”  For me it was very isolating because there is no right way to let those around you know why you are suddenly profoundly grief-stricken and people are very uncomfortable not knowing what to say once you tell them.  My social circle was supportive but I felt a lot of guilt from making people uncomfortable by telling them what was up.

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