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New Moms Turn to Facebook for Support

New Moms Turn to Facebook for Support

A new study was released this week that found that new moms spend more time on Facebook. 154 new moms and 150 new dads were interviewed about their habits regarding social media both before and after the birth of their children. The research showed that new moms who were on Facebook more often felt higher levels of stress related to parenting, but felt satisfied with their parenting ability when their social network was made up of family and close friends. New dads, however, said their adjustment into parenting was better when their social network was made up of people they knew in real life.

New moms, especially, seem to feel better about themselves and their parenting abilities when friends and family commented on pictures of the new baby or status updates about the baby. Some might attribute this rise in social networking activity to time off due to a maternity leave or a maternal instinct to share pictures of a new baby with family and friends. However, the study suggests that new moms are using social networking sites to help themselves feel like they are good moms.

In a culture where we ask women whether or not they are “mom enough,” it is no surprise that women turn to people who know and love them for reassurance that they are doing it right. Moms already feel guilty about too many things to name, and when the media makes them feel like they’re not doing enough as a parent, like we saw with the recent TIME Magazine cover, it’s no wonder they need a support system. Activity on social media, like Facebook, is a good way to get that support, too, because it allows moms to connect with family, friends and other new moms without having to pack up the baby and leave the house.

We also live in a society where the current political rhetoric about motherhood is that being a mom is the most important job in the world. With such importance placed on motherhood, it is no wonder that new moms feel a little bit daunted with the task. Pair all of this with the stress of 3:00 AM feedings, little sleep, stress of an unpaid maternity leave, and the all-important decisions that will come about work-life balance and whether or not to go back to work at all and you can see why new moms’ stress levels are skyrocketing, and why they might turn to their networks for reassurance.

Of course, ideally, our society would find a way to make the transition into motherhood less stressful. This would include affordable childcare, paid maternity leaves and putting a cap on the media fueling the mommy war fire, among many other things. However, I don’t see that happening any time soon, unfortunately. In the meantime, the best thing we can do is support each other. We can offer the new moms in our lives some comfort. When you see a new mom reaching out for support, or struggling with the stress of a new baby, let her know that she’s doing a good job.


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Photo Credit: jeanine&preston

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11:13AM PDT on Jun 26, 2012

every mother in this country should get a salary....rather than the millions that sports stars get. shows you where our real values are.
(and no I am not a mom nor am I going to be)

10:33AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Joe V - I agree.

8:57PM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

I use facebook. I love to put status updates about my son and new pics of him and see what's going on with other moms.

3:18PM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

What society needs is more support for parents PERIOD! I don't have or even WANT a Facebook account (mainly because I don't have the time), but as a stay-at-home mom in a small town with NO mom's group whatsoever and a husband who works evening and weekend hours, I can tell you the isolation is mind-breaking! Combine that with the "mommy wars" and society demeaning the position of stay-at-home mom (hell, even MY mom bugs me about when I'm going to get a "real" job!), and you wonder why we get wonky!

We need to give all moms the respect and support they deserve, no matter what!

9:51AM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

I think it is great that a new mom can get an almost instant support network through facebook. I'm not a facebooker and I could really care less about it but when one lacks mobility when they are the sole nurturer for an infant it is fantastic that they can gain reality of what others are going through or have gone through with a child.
This is one of the few uses I've really seen for facebook which give it any sort of credence.

9:43AM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

How strange, to me anyway. I have never used Facebook and don't plan on using it. Lots of my friends keep urging me to do so but I just don't feel the need. Some people just seem to be almost addicted to it. NOT a good thing, if you ask me.

6:24AM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

Good golly Miss Molly,what of the Moms that do not have the internet,let alone Facebook? Does this make them more or lesser,quality Mothers?..

5:58AM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

Sad that moms feel unappreciated and we as a society seem to place less on family values than previous generations.

4:57AM PDT on Jun 23, 2012

Facebook - the cure all for everything! Just great; not....

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