What It Means When Moms Go Baby Crazy on Facebook

They might be trying to live up to societal expectations
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 31, 2016 8:08 AM CDT
What It Means When Moms Go Baby Crazy on Facebook
There might be more to those adorable photos than meets the eye.   (Facebook)

Baby pictures clogging up your Facebook feed could signal a new mom on a risky search for approval, according to a study of 127 working moms from Ohio. The fact that 98% uploaded photos of their baby to Facebook wasn't surprising. What interested researchers, however, was that those who posted photos and updates most often felt pressure to be a perfect mom, sought validation, and considered motherhood to be an important part of their identity, reports Mashable. A key indicator was using a baby photo as a profile picture—which almost 80% of study participants did. These women "felt validated when they got a lot of 'likes' and comments, but they were also more likely to feel bad and disappointed when the reaction wasn't what they had hoped," a researcher explains in a release.

Sounds pretty harmless, right? Well, those same women were also more likely to experience "elevated levels of depressive symptoms" like restless sleep and a low appetite nine months after giving birth, co-author Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan tells WOSU. That doesn't mean new moms should steer clear of Facebook, which can help them find advice and support. But if a woman "doesn't get all the 'likes' and positive comments she expects, that could be a problem. She may end up feeling worse," Schoppe-Sullivan says. Because the study focused on highly educated working women who were predominantly white and married, the results might not be universal. But Schoppe-Sullivan stresses one point: "It's great to share stories and pictures of your baby, but relying on Facebook to feel good about your parenting may be risky." (Here's what insecure people post on Facebook.)

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