One of the things that kept me calm during my labor at home was nothing short of unexpected: a steady slideshow of my and my partner's wedding photos on the screen in our bedroom. Instead of a normal TV in our room, we have a screen and a digital projector, which was connected to our Apple TV, where those photos are the screen saver. All night (and day, because labor) long, my birth playlist streamed while the photos cycled. In hindsight, that was definitely among the kinds of labor and delivery moments that prove you're a millennial mom. Even as I was doing basically the oldest thing human beings do, in a mostly low-tech way, I still had to have my favorite techie comforts.
Millennial mamas do everything about parenting a bit differently from generations past, even when what we're doing what comes "naturally." We have more information available to us than ever before, that highlights different approaches and philosophies about birth, and most of us feel empowered to choose what kind of birth experience we want. Of course and usually, there are both big and small ways we work technology into the experience, even if it's not directly part of the childbirth process itself. Smartphones in the birthing suite work almost as hard as any doulas, doctors, or midwives present. Trust.
If any of the following scenarios related to labor and birth are familiar to you, congratulations: you're a member of the most accomplished, progressive, and misunderstood generation on the planet. We don't really have buttons, but we do hand out blue check marks on Twitter. So, you know, at least you have that going for you.
When You Consider Whether Or Not To Live-Tweet Your Labor
For most people, the answer to, “Should I live-tweet or otherwise share my labor on social media?” is an immediate no. Still, live-tweeting labor is a thing that happens, and it’s not even a question other generations would have been able to consider (or been willing to share, even if they could).
When The Research That Went Into Your Birth Plan Is More Thorough Than Some Folks’ Masters’ Theses
With the entire store of human knowledge right at our fingertips, millennial moms research everything before we make a choice. That includes how, where, and with whom we labor.
When You Troubleshoot Any Birth Team Drama Or Dilemmas With Members Of Your Online Mom Groups
Mother-in-law demanding to be in the birth suite despite you saying no? Irritated that your partner skipped your last childbirth class? Can't decide if your provider's bad behavior is bad enough to fire them outright? Tell your online mom friends. That's why they're there.
When You Consider Whether You’ll Share Any Intimate Photos Of Your Birth On Social Media...
They're beautiful and raw, but is it oversharing? Or is it normalizing birth? No other generation would've had to even think about whether vernix would make an appearance in their first post-baby photos.
...Or Debate Whether You'll Get Pretty For Post-Birth Photos
On the flip side, plenty of women in years past have put on a little lipstick before taking their first (public) photos with their bundle of joy. Millennial moms are pretty much the only ones who consider whether that's a problem, ‘cause no one wants to be accused of staging anything for social media (even though that happens all the time), or of being phony and superficial about one of the biggest moments of our lives. We're pretty much the last ones to sugarcoat anything about parenting.
When Someone’s Taking Photos Of Your Birth In The First Place
Pics or it didn’t happen, right? You have to have some photos of the experience, not necessarily to share, even, but for the benefit of your own memory.
When You Spend Time Creating The Perfect Birthing Playlist…
This is the music that will get you through your most intense workout ever — birth — and the first thing your little one will hear that's not muffled by amniotic fluid. It's gotta be just right.
...Especially If You’re Planning To Dance At All During Labor
Using rhythm and motion to labor your baby down? Millennial mamas aren't the first to do that, but we are the first to film the crap out of it when we do.
You Have Plenty Of Birthing Tools Handy
Thanks to all your research, you've probably chosen your birth location and birth attendants based on what props and/or medications they can offer you to ease your labor. Birth balls and aqua doulas and walking epidurals, oh my.
When You Have A Social Media Announcement Plan In Place For After Baby’s Born…
I had a designated person (my sister) ready to email close friends and family using text I'd drafted beforehand, a list of people I'd text personally, and then a general announcement for Facebook and Instagram after we'd told our inner circle. Gotta make sure all your bases are covered, you know?
...But Probably Won’t Send Out Paper Birth Announcements
I mean, possibly if there’s something really cute from Paper Source or Paperless post, but it’s an extra expense and effort to send an announcement via snail mail when you’ve got a new baby on your hands. Plus, anyone who found out about your baby via the post office would probably be mad everybody else already heard on Facebook, anyway.