Websites like Facebook and Twitter have changed the way moms introduce babies to friends and family. Mailed birth announcements have become more of a novelty item. By the time friends and family receive them, everyone has already heard and seen pictures of the birth online. Not that I disapprove; I too updated my Facebook status when I went to the hospital, and again on my husband’s phone when I got to my mother-baby room after the birth. My sister made an announcement on her Facebook profile as well. By the time I got home from the hospital, my wall had at least a hundred messages with congratulations and well wishes for our family. It was almost a little overwhelming and it took me quite a while to read through them all. Did I love it? Of course, I did!
If you want to alert everyone the moment your bundle of joy arrives, here are a few tips.
Create a group on Facebook or a contact list in your e-mail of all the people you want to alert when your baby is born. If you put the list together ahead of time, you’ll be less likely to exclude someone by accident, which could potentially really hurt their feelings. This also gives you time to collect contact information if you discover you are missing e-mail addresses for certain friends or family members.
Decide what you want to say in the announcement. You can create a draft in your e-mail or type it out in Notepad to copy and paste later. You can include details like the name, if you have it picked out, the hospital, etc., and leave place markers for the details you don’t have yet, like weight and time of birth.
If you’re using Twitter or Facebook status to alert everyone, appoint someone at the hospital, like your spouse or sibling, to do the tweeting. Give them your log-in information ahead of time and give them a general idea of what information you want to include. Make sure they have a digital camera at their disposal and a way to upload the photos.
Most hospitals have wi-fi, so if you have a laptop with wireless access, your appointed person can easily send the announcements on the laptop rather than messing with those tiny keys on their phone.
Another way to announce the birth is through your personal blog. You can type up the entry ahead of time, save it as a draft, and your appointed person can log in, add the details, and post it at the right time. This allows you to add pictures right along with the announcement.
Since announcements through social networking sights are a little impersonal, remember to pick up the phone before you log on. Certain family members, like Grandma, parents and siblings, deserve a real live phone call, in my opinion, before hearing the news from someone else or on the internet. They should have the privilege of hearing the news first, whether you’re announcing that you’re on the way to the hospital or you’ve already had the baby. Don’t you think?
Did you use social networking to announce your pregnancy or birth? What other methods did you use? Did you call or send paper announcements?