Ask BBB

Q: Wow! I’m pregnant with my first and some of my friends recommended I join Facebook groups specifically for moms to ask and answer questions. It seems that each time someone asks a question, they receive a range of responses, some even getting bullied or crucified for the ways they parent! Do you think these groups are overall a positive or negative thing?

Isn’t it interesting how pregnancy and child bearing are events that people think are “public domain?” It’s as if one’s pregnant belly is open for touching by anyone. Questions of an intimate nature are freely asked.

When I was pregnant with my triplets, do you know how many people asked me the inappropriate question had I taken “fertility drugs,” as they were called 40 years ago? It’s open season on pregnant women!

And via social media participation, people are equally free and comfortable giving their two cents’ worth, especially to first time parents-to-be.

Questions upon questions accompany that first pregnancy. For something that women have been doing since forever, first timers don’t really know much about it. Every day there is something new to ponder or learn.

For every single event along the way, it is the first time. We crave information and knowledge to make it manageable.

As with all learning, however, the real learning happens via the experience. It is true for infants to old folks. We learn by doing.

Despite all that you might read, be told or hear about, you won’t really know about it until you have experienced it.

And each of us is a different woman and a different bearer of babies. There are no two pregnancies, birth or child rearing experiences that are just alike.

What works for one, doesn’t necessarily work for another. Each of us has our own successes, experiences and even bloopers.

Deciding whether or not to participate in social media groups really depends upon you, your degree of sensitivity and your vulnerability. The only thing more challenging that not having enough information is having too much information. It takes strength and confidence to be able to sort through all the information, keeping some and throwing much away.

I will add that I am big fan of the Parent and Me groups, which start after birth, with babies as young as two months. This is not social media; it is real experience for you and your baby.

It is a source of real information (not seasoned with “wives tales!”) that can be exceptionally useful and get you through those first weeks, months and years about which you have no idea or experience.

So, it is entirely up to you. Frankly, it would drive me nuts!

Allow me to lace this advice with a little humor. Copy/paste this link into your browser and see some of the advice that is given to pregnant women. Hope it makes you giggle: bit.ly/2Nk8Gyj.