‘Step away from Facebook mum!’ A new study helps explain why some new mums can’t stop posting baby updates on Facebook [Photo: Rex Features]
Every Facebook feed has one – the new mum who just can’t stop posting pics/status updates/ANYTHING about their baby’s every burp, babble or bottom shuffle. But before you de-friend (or at the very least silence their updates), consider that there may be something more complicated going on than just a bout of baby bragging.
According to new research if bubba boasts are clogging up your Facebook feed it could be an indication of a new mum on the search for approval. In the study of 127 working mums, researchers from The Ohio State University found that women who feel pressure to try to be perfect parents are more likely to post frequently on the social media site than other mums.
The authors of the research also revealed that not only do mums who feel pressure to be perfect post more often, they also react more strongly to the comments and likes they receive on photos of their babies.
Baby’s first status update [Photo: Rex Features]
Though it’s not unusual for many new mums to be active on social media, in fact the study revealed that 98% of new parents had shared snaps of their shiny newborns, the study’s lead author, Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan noted that some mums may be using the site in less-than-healthy ways.
“If a mother is posting on Facebook to get affirmation that she’s doing a good job and doesn’t get all the ‘likes’ and positive comments she expects, that could be a problem. She may end up feeling worse,” Schoppe-Sullivan, professor of human sciences and psychology, explained.
And that in turn could lead to a negative impact on mental health with researchers finding that mums who posted more on Facebook actually reported more depressive symptoms than other mums nine months after the birth of their child.
Though the study alone can’t conclusively prove a direct link between a new mum’s eagerness for validation, increased Facebook use and greater risk of suffering from depression, Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan believes the link exists.
“A lot of mums may feel pressured to portray this very positive image of motherhood, and if on the inside you’re not feeling that good, I think that could be detrimental,” she told Mashable.
‘How do I change my profile picture?’ [Photo: Rex Features]
The team also revealed that those who made a photo of their child their profile picture (80%) tended to identify with the ‘mother role’ more than those who did not.
“What these mothers are saying is that my child is central to my identity, at least right now. That’s really telling,” Schoppe-Sullivan said.
The research’s specific test group meant the study’s authors advised caution when interpreting results, but hoped the research might encourage mums to consider the whys and how oftens they were using Facebook to share news of their little ones.
“It’s great to share stories and pictures of your baby, but relying on Facebook to feel good about your parenting may be risky,” Schoppe-Sullivan concluded.
Time for a tech-break?
What do you think of the new research? Let us know @YahooStyleUK