Is your pregnancy app sharing your intimate data with your boss?

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Like millions of women, Diana Diller was a devoted user of the pregnancy-tracking app Ovia, logging in every night to record new details on a screen asking about her bodily functions, sex drive, medications and mood. When she gave birth last spring, she used the app to chart her baby’s first online medical data — including her name, her location and whether there had been any complications — before leaving the hospital’s recovery room.

But someone else was regularly checking in, too: her employer, which paid to gain access to the intimate details of its workers’ personal lives, from their trying-to-conceive months to early motherhood. Diller’s bosses could look up aggregate data on how many workers using Ovia’s fertility, pregnancy and parenting apps had faced high-risk pregnancies or gave birth prematurely; the top medical questions they had researched; and how soon the new moms planned to return to work.

I tried to keep my unborn child secret from Facebook and Google

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Having a child is a deeply personal experience. The internet aggressively turns it into anything but

The internet hates secrets. More than that, it despises them. And so, in February of last year, my partner and I resolved to try and keep the existence of our unborn child a secret from the online economy’s data-hungry gaze. Our reasons were simple: first, we wanted our child, when it was good and ready, to establish its own online identity; second, we didn’t want to be stalked around the internet by adverts for breast pumps and baby carriers; finally, and most pertinently, we wanted some semblance of control over something that felt deeply personal.

Opting out of tracking and targeting, it turns out, isn’t an option. There is no such thing as a purely transactional transaction. Every purchase I make and every website I visit is recorded, tracked and indelibly tagged to scores of profiles sold by data brokers I’ve never heard of to companies I’ve never heard of in an attempt to persuade me to spend £150 on a Chicco Next 2 Me Bedside Crib. Spoiler: I did.

Dear tech companies, I don’t want to see pregnancy ads after my child was stillborn

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And when we millions of brokenhearted people helpfully click “I don’t want to see this ad,” and even answer your “Why?” with the cruel-but-true “It’s not relevant to me,” do you know what your algorithm decides, Tech Companies? It decides you’ve given birth, assumes a happy result and deluges you with ads for the best nursing bras (I have cabbage leaves on my breasts because that is the best medical science has to offer to turn off your milk), DVDs about getting your baby to sleep through the night (I would give anything to have heard him cry at all), and the best strollers to grow with your baby (mine will forever be 4 pounds 1 ounce).

And then, after all that, Experian swoops in with the lowest tracking blow of them all: a spam email encouraging me to “finish registering your baby” with them (I never “started,” but sure) to track his credit throughout the life he will never lead.

Woman shares intimate Instagram to encourage new mums to embrace their post-pregnancy bodies

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Okay, this is quite a personal post but I am now 4 months postpartum and beginning to embrace what my body has become, I’ve housed two beautiful babies for 36 weeks and breastfed for 5 weeks. My pregnancy wasn’t exactly an easy ride these boys wanted to come out early and I was hospitalised a few times because of dehydration and early contractions, our bodies go through a lot, a lot of change and your body is put through an enormous amount and I am so proud of myself that I carried such beautiful children and gave them food, warmth and most importantly all the love that I never thought I had. With a scar that I will have for the rest of my life is a tiny sacrifice for a lifetime of beautiful memories with my family. Your stretch marks DO NOT define you, your scar DOES NOT define you, your flab DOES NOT define you. You are incredible, you are a mother and you are the light of your babies eyes. I wanted to share this to show the reality of our bodies and that it’s okay not to be perfect because in their eyes you are exactly that. #identicaltwins #twins #csectionrecovery #babies #brave #scar #csectionstrong #stretchmarks #beautiful #perfect

A post shared by ᗩᖇTᕼᑌᖇ & ᖴIᑎᒪEY (@marson.twins) on

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A British mum has shared an intimate Instagram photo of her post-pregnancy body in a bid to encourage other mums to embrace their bodies.

Emily Marson from Wrexham, UK, posted a photo of herself four months after giving birth to twins via caesarian, stating she’s “beginning to embrace what [her] body has become.”

 

 

The Internet Thinks I’m Still Pregnant

Illustration by Brian Rea

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I hadn’t realized, however, that when I had entered my information into the pregnancy app, the company would then share it with marketing groups targeting new mothers. Although I logged my miscarriage into the app and stopped using it, that change in status apparently wasn’t passed along.

Seven months after my miscarriage, mere weeks before my due date, I came home from work to find a package on my welcome mat. It was a box of baby formula bearing the note: “We may all do it differently, but the joy of parenthood is something we all share.”

I took the box inside and read the congratulatory card that gently urged soon-to-be mothers toward formula feeding. I pulled out the various types of formula and wondered about the nutritional quality of a product that could sit in the sun for hours before being consumed by a brand new life-form.

After packing the formula back into the box, I snapped a picture and texted it to my best friend. “Well, the internet still thinks I’m pregnant,” I wrote. “Maybe the mailman now, too.”

 

 

Lights, Camera, We’re Having a Baby!

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When Danielle and Jon Murray of Raleigh, N.C., learned they were having their first child five years ago, they were too embarrassed to tell their friends and family… When she became pregnant with their second child, the couple, by then married, hosted a gender-reveal party. With their third child, they posted a photo on Facebook. But when she got pregnant for a fourth time last year, Mr. Murray, a videographer, wrote a parody of the electronic hit “Shut Up and Dance” by Walk the Moon and filmed a three-and-a-half-minute video… To date, the video has garnered nearly 1.8 million views.

Consider the modern couple who have just learned they’re having a baby. How should they inform their friends and family? Write a note? So 1950s. Place a call? So 1970s. Send a mass email? So 1990s.

 

These days, when couples want to let their loved ones know they’re having a child, they often whip out their cellphones, shoot a video and post it on social media. Couples are putting their babies’ names in lights even before their babies have names.

 

Pregnancy announcement videos have become so popular they’re becoming businesses all their own, with YouTube compilations, Pinterest pages and morning television segments.

 

Is it a boy? Is it a girl? How Pinterest gave birth to the gender reveal party

Gender reveal party

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Since January 2014, the number of “gender reveal” pins have increased by 224%, according to a spokeswoman at Pinterest. On the BabyCenter, a popular website for new parents, the number of posts about the gatherings has increased from 280 in 2011 to 14,000 in 2015. Now that actors, hipsters and even men like Johnny have embraced the fad, it could just become the next staple of Baby Celebration Inc.

The parties all follow a similar formula: after a sonogram, the couple hands their sealed envelope to someone trusty and waits in agony until the dramatic reveal. One of the most popular (and cheapest) ways to discover the sex is via balloon-filled cardboard box. Others slice into a cake filled with either pink or blue icing. But the options are endless, and range from confetti in a piñata to pink- or blue-colored “lava” from a plastic bottle modeled into a volcano.

Online, “reveals” are mostly still dominated by pregnant women who revel in tacky pink and blue-themed decorations. There are straws, napkins, banners and mini-water coolers filled with pink lemonade and blue punch. Hershey bar packages are colored in to highlight “she” or “he”. Most parties also include interactive ways to guess the baby’s sex: think pins for the cardboard “staches” or “lashes”, painted clothespins or marking your vote on a chalkboard under a headline like “Guns” or “Glitter”.