When TikTok creator and then-new mom Sarah Biggers-Stewart opened up about postpartum experiences and a difficult pregnancy in a video last year, one viewer comment caught her eye. .
In recent months, the phrase has become a popular reaction to pregnancy and childbirth videos on TikTok.
“List” refers to a crowdsourced file titled “List of Pros and Cons of Having Uni Children.” There are far more arguments against pregnancy than reasons to have children in this file. Cons range from common pregnancy symptoms like nausea and bloating to lesser-known issues like “little feet can get stuck in ribs or crack ribs.” .
While some critics say the list promotes fear and misinformation, other creators praise the list for encouraging more honest discussion of pregnancy and childbirth. Regardless of its acceptance, the list marks a shift in how pregnancy is discussed online and highlights the need for more comprehensive health education. It is also in line with efforts to protect reproductive rights after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed abortion rights.
Biggers-Stewart, now pregnant with her second child, describes the videos on her list as “powerful self-advocacy tools.”
“I am completely shocked by all that can happen to you, and it is shocking the amount of research and access that is readily available to us, even in today’s modern world.”Complications There are so many different types of haircuts that can be very cruel to women, so for me, this was kind of empowering.
Biggers-Stewart, who works in the beauty industry, noted that platforms like TikTok and Reddit offer an alternative perspective to the highly curated pregnancies traditionally portrayed on social media and parenting blogs. Even if it’s manufactured, trust is highly valued on TikTok.
“What people expect is that someone who has complications gets pregnant and gets sick. “It’s always been a kind of victim blaming,” said Dr. Shannon Clarke, an obstetrician and gynecologist who specializes in treating high-risk pregnancies. probably did something to cause it.
Who is the girl with the list?
The list first went viral in February 2022 when TikTok creator yuniquethoughts posted a screen recording of her Apple Notes app list in response to a video about postpartum body transformation. Over the next few months, the creator, also known as Uni, updated her TikToks list, piecing together other videos about pregnancy, birth, and parenting. Viewers tagged Uni frequently in videos from other creators, developing into a viral her phrase, “Where’s the girl with the list?”
Uni stopped posting on TikTok around August and did not respond to requests for comment. released. Her list inspired her copycat account and her Notes app as well as her list.
In a trending video, one creator showed “Pac-Man” ears permanently ripped off after her little daughter ripped off her earrings. Despite a relatively healthy pregnancy, she said she was “almost alive” at the time of delivery. Others using the tag #girlwiththelist have posted about their health issues, from joint pain to heart failure. Some say they never thought postpartum depression could be this serious.
Many TikTok users, whether pregnant or childless, said they didn’t know about the various complications that can occur during pregnancy until they saw the videos on the viral list. In response to a recent video about Biggers-Stewart’s list, a TikTok user commented: I wasn’t prepared for what happened to me, and the school system didn’t teach me.
If a woman thinks she’s the only one going through this particular aspect of pregnancy, she’s less likely to see a doctor and less likely to feel ridiculous and defend herself. I really believe
TIkTOk Creator Sarah Biggers Stewart
Motherhood has been held in high esteem throughout history, but that reverence can obscure conversations about the uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous aspects of pregnancy. During her first pregnancy, she suffered from gestational diabetes, severe insomnia, and herself suffering from gestational diabetes. He said he developed many other health problems for which he was unprepared, even though he thought he had been well-studied.
“All the girlfriends I got pregnant with had magical, beautiful, wonderful pregnancies. I was sick from the day I found out I was pregnant until the day I gave birth,” she said of her first pregnancy. “When a woman thinks she’s the only one experiencing this particular aspect of pregnancy, she’s less likely to see a doctor and more likely to feel ridiculous and defend herself.” I really believe that will be lower.
Beware of misinformation
Conversations surrounding lists can be empowering, but experts warn: Misinformation is rampant on TikTok, and some who post videos may lack the reproductive health education needed to provide proper guidance to pregnant women. Some viral videos on the list have been criticized by medical experts for sensationalizing pregnancy complications and failing to provide context.
TikTok repeatedly circulates ridiculous claims loosely based on actual health conditions. For example, one video that has gone viral on many list videos claims that pregnancy can cause tooth loss because the fetus needs bone marrow and calcium from the mother.
Pregnancy can exacerbate oral problems patients already had before pregnancy, Clark says, and many dentists choose to postpone certain procedures until patients give birth. It can also erode teeth, and high hormone levels can exacerbate gingivitis, leading to bleeding gums and loose teeth if left untreated. You’ll probably get more engagement if you tell them you’re leaching from their mother’s bones to grow their bones.
According to Clark, patients use the internet because “medical providers have not been able to explain” what is actually happening to their bodies. To doctors, terms like “placental abruption” and “cervical incompetence” are “everyday”. For expectant parents, it’s terrifying.
“It’s not routine for normal people. We need to respect that and sit down and talk about it,” Clark said. Because… hopefully they go to accounts that provide accurate information like mine, but more often than not they go to accounts that don’t. What makes you think? Not working as a health care provider further divides the doctor-patient relationship when it comes to care.”
It’s a “thin line” between informative and insensitive
Content about the list has deviated from Uni’s, sparking debate as to whether the trend is insensitive. Countless accounts mimicking Uni’s original list format have gone viral and have their own followers , causing confusion as to who the “girl with the list” actually is.
Some TikTok users expressed their displeasure with a “pregnant nose” video in which the creator showed viewers how much her face changed during pregnancy. Parents who make fun of themselves for “girls with lists” in their videos are actively involved in this trend. But TikTok users are also barrage at creators who post vulnerable content, such as expressing anxieties about their postpartum bodies or talking about birth trauma, with comments on the list.
The list started as a “crowdsourced informed consent tool,” but has “changed” over time, and “people don’t always use common sense,” Biggers-Stewart said.
“They comment on a very sensitive video where someone talks about a traumatic event that happened to them. It’s clear they’re mentally distressed about it,” Biggers-Stewart said. increase. “And someone will say, ‘Where’s the girl with the list?’ I don’t think you should worry about .”
Abigail Porter, the creator of TikTok known for her “Free Birth Control” series in which she fights infant fever by discussing reasons for not having children, is often mistaken for “the girl with a list.” Porter said she will start the series in 2021, The content was similar, so I became friends with Yuni before going offline.
Porter has made multiple videos informing viewers about Uni’s first list, and is frustrated that Uni’s thoughts are being used to insult new mothers. Unlike videos that go viral in response to videos from unsuspecting creators, Porter says her series only uses content with the original creator’s permission. . She added that many of her mothers have directly tagged her in videos from her series.
“It’s a thin line because these things that can happen to your body during pregnancy can be traumatic and are perfectly valid reasons not to want children.” If you show a body, make sure you get consent from that mother first — for example, if she posts a video and says, ‘This is my body. That’s pretty wild.
This list and similar content, such as Porter’s “Free Birth Control” series, could serve as a starting point for preparing for “all possibilities” during pregnancy, Biggers-Stewart said. . But for Porter, her candid videos about pregnancy and childbirth further confirmed her decision not to have children.
Despite its shortcomings, the list reminds viewers of the power of choice, Porter said. Porter hopes her content and other videos on the list will encourage viewers to critically consider all aspects of parenting before having children, rather than pressure them to make decisions. I’m in
“I have such respect and respect and admiration for those who choose to go through with this because it’s a big choice,” Porter said. I hope you don’t treat it as a decision, I think it’s good for us and it’s good for our children.If every child ever born had parents who really, really wanted them, what a place the world would be. I think it would be a better place.