Mothers spend more time on Facebook after delivery: study

Mother

Many first-time parents, particularly mothers, actually increase the amount of time they spend on Facebook after the birth of their child, a study has suggested.

Results of the study demonstrated that 44 percent of mothers admitted increasing their Facebook use after giving birth, compared to 27 percent who said it decreased and 29 percent who claimed that it stayed the same.

On the other hand, for fathers, 31 percent claimed that their Facebook use increased, while 19 percent said it reduced and 51 percent said it stayed the same.

The study is the first one to investigate new parents' use of Facebook during this stressful life event.

According to the researchers, the results offer some initial clues as to how Facebook use may affect new parents' adjustment to parenthood.

Sarah Schoppe-Sullivan, co-author of the study and associate professor of human development and family science at Ohio State University claimed that the findings suggest that despite all the new demands faced by new parents, spending time on Facebook was worthwhile to them.

"Given all the stress that new parents are under and everything they have to manage, it wouldn't have been surprising if we had found a decrease in Facebook usage - but that's not what we found," Sullivan said.

Particularly for mothers, who may spend more time at home taking care of the baby, Facebook may be a way to connect with friends and family and seek support during a stressful event of life.

"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," said Mitchell Bartholomew, lead author of the study and a graduate student in human development and family science at Ohio State.

The study included 154 mothers and 150 fathers, most of whom were white and highly educated. The information from this study came from questions asked nine months after the birth of their child.

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