Social Media and Unrealistic Expectations

Instagram & other social media are usually things you turn to when you want to spend some time escaping, or finding out what your friends or favourite celebrities are up to. But how do you feel when you see posts and stories about people who are having a much better, easier time going through their pregnancy than you are?

The people you follow may be surrounded by all kinds of financial and emotional support and spend a lot of time posting celebratory posts surrounding their pregnancy. You may not be feeling this way resulting in some pretty negative thoughts and emotions.

Don’t let social media make you feel this way. New mums who tune in to social media are often flooded with images and stories of so-called ‘perfect’ families, which can lead to an increase in anxiety and perinatal depression. Instagram is filled with beautifully staged photographs of celebrity and influencer mums who have glowing, perfect pregnancies and new families. Just remember, a lot of the content we see is put together by people who have stylists and sponsors and doesn’t always represent the realities of being a new mum.  

Create an online space that’s healthy for your mental wellbeing

The mental health charity Beyond Blue suggests that you ‘curate your feed’ to better help you mentally cope with life, which can be negatively impacted by the kind of stuff you see on social media.

They say, “As well as being sensible with how much time you spend on social media, being mindful of what you expose yourself to online is vital. Increasing exposure to harmful content, cyber-bullying, and the pressure to portray a perfect life, face and body, can be problematic, particularly for young people. Regularly viewing content that triggers feelings of anxiety or inadequacy will affect many peoples’ mental health in a negative way, so try and be aware of the type of content you consume.”

The key for you is to be very selective about what social media you engage with while pregnant, or when you become a new mum. Look for the ones that offer support and advice, rather than the ones that simply show how famous people seem to bounce back from pregnancy. You’re going to want to engage with those feeds that are useful to you, not the ones that make you feel ashamed about how you look, feel or think. Everyone is different, and you should be creating a space that encourages you to be you, not just what a sponsored post thinks you should be.

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