The new-age way to welcome baby to the world? Posting motherhood photos of you with your new tootsie on Facebook, clearly. With so many prime-cuteness opportunities to get a gazillion likes (looking at you, cake smash moments), it can be hard to restrain yourself from sharing every single adorbs thing with your friends and fam via the Internet. But some moms definitely pop up on your feed more than others, and a new study discovered what kind of mom is most likely to post about their kid on social media. And, if we’re being really honest, they probably had an Instagram account ready to go before their little one was born.
Turns out, moms who feel societal pressure to be the perfect mom and moms who identified most strongly with their role as a mother posted most frequently about their kids on Facebook. Also, the same moms who posted most frequently reported stronger emotional reactions to likes and comments on the photos, like feeling bad if they didn’t get enough positive comments.
Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, lead author of the study and professor of human sciences at Ohio State University, says that being tied to Facebook likes isn’t the best thing for moms (or anyone). “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.”
The study, which included 127 working moms in Ohio who were highly educated and mostly married, also found a link between posting frequently to Facebook and reporting more depressive symptoms after nine months of parenthood. However, because the group only included highly-educated women in dual-career relationships, the researchers noted that the results may not hold true for all new mothers (we’re thinking because they may not deal with the same stress of juggling work and baby or the guilt of leaving their baby to go to work).
Also, the study found that new moms are really into social media. A staggering 98 percent of women in the study reported sharing photos of their infant on Facebook, typically within one week of the baby being born. Whoa. In addition, 80 percent of women who had posted a picture of their baby have made a photo of their child their profile picture.
“The message of the study isn’t that Facebook is necessarily harmful, but that using Facebook may not be an effective platform for women to seek and gain external validation that they’re good moms,” says Jill Yavorsky, co-author of the study and a doctoral student in sociology at Ohio State University.
Researchers are quick to note that all mothers should be aware of WHY they are using Facebook. “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 says.
Are you a new mom posting pics of your baby? Tag us in them @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)