'Womb tubing': Announcing your pregnancy on YouTube

LaToyaForever and her partner during their pregnancy test clip. The video has been viewed almost half a million times.
LaToyaForever and her partner during their pregnancy test clip. The video has been viewed almost half a million times. 

Jessica Vasquez is taking a secret pregnancy test in the bathroom while her husband and daughter sleep.

“Oh my God, oh my God, there's a plus. A big fat positive 18 days past ovulation!” she says, crying in joy and disbelief at the result on the stick and the 10-year age gap there will be between her children. “I'm going to have a baby.”

Welcome to the world of "womb tubing". In the era of "is nothing private any more?" thousands of women are revealing their pregnancy test results live on camera and posting the videos on YouTube even before they have told their husbands, families or friends.

The strangely compelling trend is taking off and has a huge audience; a search for "live pregnancy test" on YouTube brings up more than 200,000 results.

One of the most viewed womb tube video clips shows LaToyaForever sharing her baby news live with her boyfriend. It has had about 460,000 views since July and been featured on the Good Morning America show.

Why are so many women choosing to share one of the most personal and significant moments of their lives with the whole world? Is it another example of oversharing or a way of supporting other women on their journey to motherhood?

Dr Elizabeth Seeley-Wait, co-director of Northern and Western Sydney Psychology Clinics, is not surprised by the trend.

“There's been an increasingly blurred line between public and private in recent years,” she says. “What was defined as private even just 10 years ago is now potentially quite public and accessible through social media. Newly expectant mothers are no exception.

“There's something about pregnancy that does make you want to shout to the world your wonderful news. I think it's a very natural reaction for at least those persons with an uninhibited temperament. People have a natural tendency to be interested in others having babies. It's one of those historically happy things that most people can get behind and be happy for.”


But baby care author and lactation consultant Pinky McKay says sharing pregnancy news publicly before telling your partner shows a lack of respect.

“It suggests to me that you are far too self-centred to be ready to share parenting. Caring for your baby is something that needs focus from you both: communication between you is what will help you get through the enormous life changes and challenges that having a baby brings.

"If you can't even share your pregnancy confirmation with your partner first, how do you expect to work as a team and have their support when your baby is born?”

Many womb tubers are also overlooking the recommendation to wait for 12 weeks before telling family and friends about their pregnancy. Sharing the news too early can make an early loss more traumatic.

One "womb tuber", Courtball77, got an early positive test after suffering three miscarriages. However, her happiness was short-lived when she had another miscarriage. She says her motivation to keep posting womb tube videos comes from her desire to offer support to other women going through their own struggles.

Megan Horsfall from Melbourne runs three businesses, all with a large social media presence. She says her fourth baby was born during the rise of Facebook in 2008 when she mainly had close friends on her list. Her journey from pregnancy test to birth “was well and truly documented on Facebook”.

Now that she is expecting her fifth child, she has decided to keep the news private and away from social media.

"Now times have changed and we would rather let people find out news that we are expecting, the old fashioned way by telling when we see them or even via word-of-mouth through other friends - any way except through Facebook."

"I just feel as though the innocence of social media has passed and it has grown up and now encompasses all walks of life. I don't want to share this special and private news with just anyone. I want to share it with those that genuinely care for us and will be excited with us. I love social media, but some things have to remain for real life only.”