For some women, announcing their pregnancy on social media is an exciting time: a welcome focus to detract from the exhaustion, sickness and anxieties that carrying a human can create. Many choose to share the news after their 12-week scan, but there’s a growing trend for mums-to-be to keep their pregnancies off social media completely, whilst still consistently posting updates to their followers and friends.
Hannah didn’t share her second pregnancy until she was 26-weeks pregnant, for fear it would impact her work commitments. Whilst Gemma waited until after her 20-week scan to reveal she was expecting her first baby.
We spoke to Danielle Romaniuk, a 29-year-old mum of two, who continued to post photos of her outfits to her Facebook account well into her third trimester with both pregnancies. She used clever angles to disguise her changing shape, and it was only after the births of her daughters that she shared side-by-side photos illustrating how she’d concealed her bump.
She says: “My biggest worry was something would go wrong and I would hate to have to announce that on social media. I had an ectopic pregnancy in 2016 and had to have a tube removed and was told I would struggle to have children as I also have Polycystic Ovaries.”
“A year later I found out I was pregnant and had to have lots of monitoring to make sure the baby was in the right place. Thankfully she was. I always felt from the beginning of my first pregnancy that I wanted to keep it a secret due to the risk of complications, so I decided to make sure they had arrived safe and sound before sharing with anyone. It definitely felt much safer to keep it off social media and best for me – the people closest to me knew and that was all that really mattered.”
“It was funny uploading pictures where you couldn’t see my bump at certain angles so people would have absolutely no clue. Both my pregnancies had complications so I had a few worries, but other than that I was happy and relaxed. Although it was harder in my second pregnancy as we were in lockdown and I couldn’t share my journey with family and friends.”
“I had a smooth sailing pregnancy the first time round, until 34 weeks when I was diagnosed with Obstetric Choleostais so was booked in for an induction at 37 weeks. I was happy to go ahead with this as I was there for my sister’s induction and birth and it all went so smoothly and was such a lovely birth I thought this would be the case for me. However after having the pessary put in, four hours later I had a severe headache and the monitors put on by the student midwife and straight away could see by her face something was wrong. The baby’s heartbeat had dropped dramatically, next thing I knew there were four doctors around me.”
“My daughter was born via emergency c-section, and had some breathing difficulties so was taken to nicu. After one week we were let home and although it was all very traumatic, I saw it as a positive birth as she was here and healthy and we were home.”
Two years later Danielle fell pregnant again, despite still being told she had little chance of conceiving naturally. She says: “I had to have the same early monitoring, and again all was well and I had a good pregnancy. It was decided I would be induced at 39 weeks due to my previous cesarean.”
“In we went again, but this time with a balloon so I was hopeful. After several attempts to break my waters, they finally were broken and I felt so excited that I was going to get my VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Cesarean). I was in extreme pain around my previous cesarean scar and the doctors came to examine me and my previous scar had began to tear inside. So we went to theatre and she was born in a much more relaxed and calm way.”
“No matter the birth, it is your own unique experience which only becomes a memory and the memory of meeting your precious gift overrides any negative thoughts so therefore these are my positive birth experiences and blessings. If we are lucky enough to have a third in the future, I can now plan my perfect cesarean.”
“I find social media controls our lives and we often can’t wait to share news with strangers and often people see others with perfect lives but it’s not always what it seems. People could see me posting just like normal – it was me in that moment just a different angle, and they had no idea there was a big bump there. I think that is a super important message, things can be hidden so easily and you can deceive people with an angle alone.”