Stressed mums turn to Facebook

Mums use Facebook more after giving birth, but habit can be stressful, says study

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Mums with new babies are more likely to log onto Facebook, but it could add to their parental stress, reports the Daily Mail.

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A study published in the journal Family Relations investigated new parents’ use of Facebook and found that 44% of the 154 women polled said their Facebook usage had increased, 27%  said it decreased and 29% said it stayed the same. The study also showed that the more frequent visitors to Facebook also reported higher levels of parental stress.

For fathers, 31% said their Facebook use increase, 19% said it decreased while 51% said it stayed the same.

Researchers warned, however, that the findings didn’t explain whether post-baby Facebook use increased stress, or whether mums who have higher levels of stress were turning to the site.

Rather than causing stress, it could be that stressed mothers are using Facebook to find support or help, or keep in touch with their families.

Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, who co-authored the study, said, “Stressed-out mothers may be using Facebook to vent and to find help… I think the most likely interpretation is that mothers who experience higher levels of stress are looking for social support on Facebook so they visit more often.”

Of the new mums who admitted using Facebook, 93% said they used the site to upload pictures of their baby.

Mitchell Bartholomew, lead author of the study, added, “These mothers may be taking time off from work, and may be far from family, so this network they created for themselves on Facebook can be very valuable in helping them cope.”

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