And then I listened with curiousity to more experienced birth doulas explain why posting on social media may not be the best idea. At first, I felt defensive. I loved working as a birth doula (still do!) and I wanted to share it with my FB community that I was: 1) witnessing birth AND 2) working as a birth doula. Wasn't it okay to be excited about these parts of my life?
Yes, it's okay to be excited about these parts of my life. But is it okay to post about it on social media?
I was a believer that it was okay to post about attending births, but I'm not okay with it anymore.
Here are some reasons why:
- What if I forget to post about a client's birth (life is busy, I'm tired, I'm taking a pause from FB, etc.)? A small mishap on my part may communicate that their birth was somehow not "worthy" of a status update.
- I live in a small(ish) town and I work with 1-2 clients a month. When I post about going to (or coming home from) a birth, it may not take a detective for our mutual friends to figure out who I'm writing about.
- Even if I ask for permission to post on social media, prior to the birth, the family may have a change of heart afterwards. And when they're holding their 1-hour old baby, I don't feel comfortable double-checking that they're still okay with me posting on social media. The only thing I should be doing 1-hour post birth is supporting the family.
- Birth is hard and sometimes afterwards, I'm still processing the experience. Writing a status update about the difficult parts of my work isn't necessary for my professional growth. And omitting that social media presence because the birth was traumatic for a family feels inauthentic, too. So having a no-social media presence surrounding when I attend a birth makes that decision easy. A family doesn't have to second guess why I didn't post about THEIR birth when it's obvious I've posted about the last three I've attended.
- There are other ways to celebrate my work as a birth doula, and annoucing to my FB community that I'm going to or coming home from a birth is not necessary to tell the world I'm a birth doula.
- This is your birth announcment, not mine.
Now, you may sometimes see that there is evidence I'm a birth doula, however it won't come as a status update when I walk in the door from a birth. It may come in pictures a client has shared with me and given me permission to post (or perhaps they've tagged me in pictures). It may come in articles I post. You may know I'm a birth doula because I'm tagged in birth-related posts. I may sometimes post in general that I love my work or I am grateful for what I get to do in my professional life. But I can say, this won't be following supporting a laboring woman. It will after I've settled into my other roles and have the time to reflect on what I love.