The First Facebook Live-Streaming Birth Happened

by Maria Guido

Man live-streams his wife’s birth on Facebook

When it comes to the 21st century birth, there’s no shortage of documentation. If you’ve managed to make it through your life without seeing footage of a live birth, you’re probably in the minority.

Fakamalo Kihe Eiki, a California-based comedian, streamed his wife’s entire labor on his Facebook page Monday morning. The video is 44 minutes long and it’s already been viewed nearly 60,000 times. He probably had no idea he’d be starting a huge debate about what exactly is “too far” when it comes to live-streaming.

Childbirth is the most natural thing in the world, and it’s certainly nothing to be ashamed of. But you may be a little surprised if you got a notification that a friend you followed was “live” (that’s FB speak for live-streaming), you clicked on that notification, and suddenly you were in a hospital room with he and his wife.

There are so many levels of overshare on Facebook, it’s kind of hard to really get offended by anything anymore. There’s always the option to “hide” posts and unfollow people who get on your last nerve. But Facebook Live is a new frontier, and it’s something that pops you right into the action — relatively unaware.

There are so many varying reactions to the video so far:

There’s nothing offensive about childbirth but still don’t think everybody wants to see someone giving birth.

I don’t know that I would have done it but I don’t think it’s terrible. Many couples hire birth photographers, even videographers.

It’s cool to record it so we can live the moment again and save those beautiful memories but sharing it with everyone is meaningless and is just not necessary.

If you don’t want to see it, don’t watch it. That is the power of choice. For others the stream may have been informative especially for women who are about to have their first baby. It’s biology.

What is so offensive about birth! It is the only way to enter this world and is the one purest forms of life. When birth is seen from a lens that is nothing but instinctual and primordial, it’s an amazing event.

[related_post]There are plenty of shows that depict birth. If you search “woman giving birth” on YouTube, 221,000 results will pop up. But the difference is, you have searched for that video. Someone hasn’t just popped it into your Facebook newsfeed, so it’s not hard to understand why some who just don’t want to see you giving birth may have a problem with this avenue.

There’s nothing wrong with video taping a birth. There’s also nothing wrong with not wanting to view one. The happy medium would probably be to label these notifications very clearly. You know, something like, We are now going live and if you click on this notification you will be seeing someone in LABOR. Are you cool with that? Welcome.