I was reading a post the other day about Instagram banning birthing photos and I wondered how I felt on the matter. So I’ve done what I always do when I want to express my thoughts: turned to writing. I will warn you before you continue that this post does contain explicit birth photos. I’ve chosen explicit photos to better illustrate what is on Instagram and for the shock value. Just letting you know on the off chance you’re the complaining type. So lets talk about birth photos on social media shall we?
Should Child Birth Photos Be Banned From Social Media?
Straight off the bat I think my initial opinion on this is that birth photos should be allowed to be shown on social media. But what I’m going to do here is simply go through a few ‘for’ and ‘against’ on both sides and talk about my thoughts on each.
FOR – It’s Perfectly Natural to show child birth
People argue that giving birth is natural. And yes, I’m not going to disagree with that one. Obviously. I fully support the showcasing of natural images on Instagram. But it’s also a point that can easily be countered if you want to be a tad bit facetious. And I love being facetious!
There are plenty of things that are natural that are banned from social media. Sex being the obvious one. There is nothing more natural than penetrative sex. We were all made via it. Should it be on social media? Probably not. So now you’re saying that everything comes down to context. A vagina is a big no if it involves sex. But a vagina being shown in the context of childbirth is acceptable.
I can’t actually give you a decent answer as to why birth photos are fine but sex photos aren’t. Both are natural. Both are an inevitable part of life. And both are something we’ve all been a part of it. But we all know that sex related photos shouldn’t be on social media. Yet birth ones are somehow different.
Maybe you could argue that the actual vagina area should be blurred. Maybe that it should only be shown if the baby is physically coming out and never be a photo of a vagina just hanging out there with no baby coming out. Which kinda flows nicely into my next point.
AGAINST – Child birth photos are Too Graphic
People argue that birth photos can often be too graphic, and as such, they’re not suitable for young children. Or perhaps for people in general. Well unfortunately, life can be graphic. And it’s not even graphic in a negative sense. It’s just a baby being born. Take this photo for example. Yes it’s very graphic, but it’s also life. Literally.
Perhaps they could simply have it so the images aren’t actually shown and have to be clicked with a warning that they contain graphic images. I’m at least 50% sure that Facebook already has something like this, so that’s a very easy way of getting around the issue.
Also, children shouldn’t even be on social media. What’s the minimum age for Instagram and Facebook? I should Google this but instead I’ll just guess at 11. Either way, it’s probably an age where they should be learning about biology, so welcome to biology.
FOR – They Allow Breastfeeding Photos so Why Not Birthing photos?
I can easily scroll through Instagram and see plenty of photos of breastfeeding mothers. Maybe that’s just me as I follow a lot of breastfeeding accounts – even my wife posts them. But quite often the baby isn’t actually fully feeding, and sometimes you can just see nipple for no need. But is that acceptable? I personally don’t care. I’m all for the whole #FreetheNipple campaign and still find it slightly weird that men can show theirs and women can’t. If breastfeeding photos slowly bring about a change so all nipples in general can be shown then I’m all for it.
Breastfeeding should be something that we see more of anyway. Before we had Isabelle I hardly ever saw it. Now I see it pretty much every single day. And there’s nothing wrong with seeing child birth either. Not that it’s ever anything that’s going to be done publicly. So seeing it isn’t really needed so we can normalise it.
AGAINST – “I’ll have to explain child birth to my children”
Yes. Yes you will. You might have to tell your children how babies are born. Then you might have to talk to them about sex! Oh, the horror!
We will all have moments where we have to explain difficult or uncomfortable things to our children. What do we do? Just get on with it. Simple as that.
FOR – They Show Surgery on Instagram so why not Child birth?
As you might expect, it’s perfectly fine to show gory, graphic images of surgery on social media. So what makes this type of gore any different to that of a birth? My guess? Just the mere fact the one contains a vagina. Should that really matter? No. But for some reason it does.
If we’re happy enough for the graphic nature of surgery photos to be shown then there’s no reason why childbirth can’t be shown too.
At the end of the day I think birth photos are perfectly fine
In the end, I think birth photos are fine. Not only do I think it’s fine, I think it should be encouraged. As should breastfeeding photos. It’s all just a part of life, and a part I will have no problem exposing Isabelle to as she gets older. It normalises the natural processes that women go through and that’s a good thing.
I think the times are changing. The mere fact the photo above (providing it’s still there) is still on Instagram shows that they are not as harsh as perhaps they once were. And if people are offended by these images, then you don’t have to follow these accounts. On Instagram you literally only see stuff from the accounts you follow. It’s not like Facebook where things get shared by people you follow. So instead of moaning about shit, just unfollow it.
Oh, and if you’re a dad-to-be reading this and wondered what you should or shouldn’t do in the delivery room, then feel free to read these 11 things dads should never do in the delivery room.