THE great William Blake describes the moment of birth in his poem Infant Sorrow thus:

"My mother groaned, my father wept;/Into the dangerous world I leapt, /Helpless, naked, piping loud, /Like a fiend hid in a cloud."

If he were alive today, he might have been tempted to add something along the lines of "lol" or "#newbaby", because he was at almost the perfect length for a tweet. And Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, it seems, are never far from the thoughts of new parents today.

A new survey has found that the internet and social media have had a significant effect on the way people spread the news about their children's arrival: one in five mums "register" the birth of their baby on Facebook within 30 minutes, and one in 10 will post or tweet the news within 15 minutes.

There is a danger, of course, that in the rush to record the event, one can neglect the actual experience of it; but this is one moment where the urge to share is totally understandable.

For those friends and relatives who may be far from the action, there can only be one response to this new trend: Like.