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Birth Announcements 101

birthannouncements101.jpgMy pregnancy came in the heels of two deaths in the family, which made it such a blessing that I didn’t wait for the birth to announce something. I sent out handmade (well, printed) Infanticipation Cards to friends and family and relished their glee when they called or e-mailed to congratulate us and wish us good luck after receiving the cards.

Fast forward to about nine months later. Turned out my baby had no intentions of coming out, something I had not counted on. And then I required a C-section, another thing I had not considered. And then our wonderful firstborn was colic, something nobody can really prepare for.

So despite the happy news of a healthy baby, we were not able to send out birth announcements. I just didn’t have the energy to make one, or order some.

Now, granting that most mothers don’t end up as tired and uninspired as I got, here are some tips for those who are planning to send out one:

1) KISS – Keep it Simple and Sweet. One picture would usually suffice. One quote would usually suffice. The necessary details are the date, time, full name of the baby. You can also include his weight and length or probably where he was born.

2) Be creative, unique, inventive – Digiscrap it. Send a bag of rice. Send out a onesie-shaped card in blue or pink. Send out teddy bears in blue or pink. Be funny with rhymes. Use a picture of a clock indicating the time of birth instead, or a picture of the newspaper that day (complete with the headlines). If it was a particularly long labor, say so on the card so the recipients can say the obligatory “Ouch” before their “Congratulations”. Send out chocolates with personalized wrappers.

3) Save Money – print the birth announcement yourself using your printer at home. Or have your digiscrapped layout printed like a photograph or postcard. Get excited friends to order it, and pay for it, for you. Recycle materials. Be resourceful with materials.

4) Utilize the Internet – get ideas for announcement wordings all over the net. Search for suppliers in your area the same way. Compare package prizes. Create a Free Online Birth Announcement or photo slide or video and send this out instead. Register in sites where you can upload pictures of the new baby, like Multiply or Friendster and get your friends to add your baby up!

5) Prepare Beforehand – digiscrap the layout weeks before your expected confinement so that you need only add the details later. Address the envelopes already. Have stamps ready. Buy the CDs (if you’re giving away a compilation of lullabies) ahead of time and burn the ‘album’ and print the labels already. Decide on a particular Bible quote or Chinese Proverb already.

Sending out birth announcements isn’t really imperative, but it is one of the surest ways to spread cheer and goodwill around. More people will also get to celebrate with you, because not everyone will celebrate Valentines, or a birthday, or Christmas, but everywhere in the world, a birth will always be a reason to believe in the wonderful.


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