New Research Suggests That “Momfluencers” Sharing Glamorized Depictions Of Motherhood On Social Media Is Causing New Moms To Suffer Negative Mental Health Impacts

Syda Productions - - illustrative purposes only, not the actual person or baby

For many moms, navigating the ups and downs of parenthood can feel terrifying and isolating. That’s why the rise of mom influencers, or “momfluencers,” has been unparalleled online.

But, while some popular mom influencers intentionally post more relatable content to resonate more with the realities of motherhood, others downright glamorize being a new mother.

A new study on the topic has shown that these content creators are creating a misleading narrative – often depicting being new to motherhood as enjoyable and easy. And this can be very harmful to new moms grappling with the real struggles of raising a child, with such portrayals negatively impacting mental health and overall well-being.

The research, conducted by scientists at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL), adds to the growing body of evidence that social media often presents a version of reality that’s significantly different than actual life experiences.

However, Ciera Kirkpatrick, an assistant professor at UNL’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications, suggests that some mothers might be more susceptible to the negative effects of social media.

Kirkpatrick, who studies the impact of media messaging on mental and physical health, has taken a personal interest in this area. As a new mother herself, she began exploring the influence of social media influencers on their followers.

Her research uncovered evidence that exposure to idealized images of motherhood — featuring tidy homes, cheerful children, and flawless appearances — can increase feelings of anxiety and envy among new moms.

So, in her latest study, Kirkpatrick expanded on her previous research. She explored the possibility that certain personality characteristics could increase individuals’ vulnerability to the adverse impacts of idealized motherhood representations.

She discovered that individuals with a stronger inclination towards social comparison – or a habit of comparing oneself to others – were more likely to experience negative effects from these idealized images than those with a lesser tendency for social comparison.

Syda Productions – – illustrative purposes only, not the actual person or baby

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