Is Facebook Making You Feel Bad About Your Pregnant Bod?
We already know that Facebookers who compare their social lives and relationships to the carefully edited ones they see on social media are more likely to be depressed.
But now comes the news that using Facebook may actually have a negative impact on a pregnant woman's body image.
That's right—according to a new study, higher Facebook use leads to greater body image dissatisfaction in pregnant moms.
Researchers from Swansea University in Wales investigated 269 pregnant women and found that the expectant mamas who used the site had higher body image concerns than those who did not. In fact, the more they used Facebook, the less satisfied they were with their growing bods.
Here's how it all breaks down:
More than half of the pregnant FB users had concerns about what their body looked like during pregnancy. Around two-thirds were worried about their changing shape and felt they were gaining too much weight. And less than one third said they loved the way they looked while preggers—so sad!
Why all the despair?
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that two-thirds of the women also reported comparing their shifting shapes to the pregnant mamas and celebs clogging up their newsfeeds made them feel dissatisfied with how they looked.
Not all that surprising, really, given the increasing number of pregnant actresses and models who post insanely glam red carpet shots, intense maternity and postpartum workout vids, and rock teeny tiny bump-baring bikinis well into their third trimesters.
What is surprising (and also a little scary) is that the women who compare themselves negatively to these images are often so down on themselves that they start eating less food in an effort to gain less pregnancy weight.
"In some cases we found that women were deliberately restricting the amount of food they were eating during pregnancy or trying not to put on weight," explained study author Dr. Amy Brown. "This can increase the risk of poor nutrition and growth during pregnancy, which we know can have a long term for the health of babies."
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Yikes! So what now?
"We know that people often only put their best photos on Facebook or use photo-shopping apps to change how they look, but this isn't always clear and there needs to be more awareness," said Dr. Brown. Weight gain and body changes during pregnancy are not only normal but are helping your baby grow and develop. We need to celebrate this, not put pressure on women to look a certain way at this time."
And in the meantime, start hiding all those gorgeous expectant mamas from your newsfeed if it makes you feel better, okay?