Is it ever OK to announce a friend’s new baby on Facebook before they do?

Baby announcement social media etiquette is a hot topic right now. Here’s our take on things…

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Announcing the birth of your newborn to friends, colleagues and distant relatives on Facebook is a pretty exciting moment for some of us.

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But what if your mate beats you to the punch and posts their own status about your happy news before you do?

Here at MFM HQ, we’ve read loads of forum posts and stories like this recently.

And they’ve all really got us thinking about baby announcements and social media etiquette… and whether it’s right or wrong to share someone else’s news provoked a rather lively discussion at MFM HQ.

For some of us, it’s a huge social faux pas to ‘steal someone’s thunder’ and post about the news before they have.

We only get so many milestone moments in life – like landing an amazing new job, our wedding day or a pregnancy/birth announcement – so it’s nice to be able to share your news when and how you want. After all, it’s your baby.

Especially as some people like to go the extra mile and do something creative with their posts. Just like footballer Harry Kane did with his girlfriend’s pregnancy reveal Instagram pic.

It could also be a mega-fail if all the ‘important’ people and family (like those who live on the other side of the world, for example) have yet to be informed of the birth… until they wake up and see someone else’s status. They could get pretty upset that this person found out before them. Awks.

Many mums may want to wait until after everything’s gone smoothly for them to even think about posting.

However, some of us see the other side of the argument.

If the new parents don’t let everyone know that they don’t want you to post pics or mention their baby – how is anyone supposed to know that they wouldn’t feel comfortable with it?

Since many of us post our first baby pics online pretty quickly, if one mum wants to wait a while (which is totally reasonable and fair enough), it’s easy to see how someone could end up thinking that enough time’s passed that it’s OK to share in their joy publicly.

Also, chances are if someone’s close enough to visit you so soon after having a baby, they wouldn’t want to ruin your moment on purpose – they’re probably just saying congratulations and don’t mean any harm by it.

There’s also no rulebook for how to handle situations like these on social media, since everyone uses it differently…

It’s especially difficult as some Facebook users might be used to sharing everything happening around them without a second thought, and others might have an instinctual ‘hmm maybe I shouldn’t post this’ feeling.

What we reckon

It seems to us that the common sense response to all this would be to ask the baby’s parents if they are happy for you to post something – or to simply check their pages to make sure they’d already shared news of the birth themselves – before you make any sudden movements.

If you’re still not sure, a text or private message is probably the best way to send a quick congratulations, until the coast is clear.

We ALL agree that it’s polite for soon-to-be parents to let people know in advance, before the birth, if you’d prefer to keep the news off social media until you’ve ‘officially’ announced it.

Which is why these baby announcement social media etiquette cards, designed to be sent in an email or posted on Facebook, were created.

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We’re not 100% sold on cards like these, if we’re honest.

But we do reckon a simple polite status or note in a group email, text or WhatsApp message before the birth should do the trick.

We’re not saying you need a full-on social media strategy for your baby’s arrival ? but it does make sense to have a think about what you want to happen – and have your feelings known beforehand, so no one gets upset afterwards.

Have your say

Has someone pipped you to the post when it comes to your own baby announcement, and how did it make you feel?

Would you use one of these cards, or are you not that fussed about making a ‘public announcement’?

Let us know in the comments on Facebook!

Images: Getty / Sally Anscombe

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