How Facebook is helping Mums

May 10, 2017

Facebook is helping mums to connect.

New research from Murdoch University shows that mums are increasingly turning to social media, spending an average of between one and three hours a day using Facebook as their main platform to connect with others and as an avenue for social support.

With new parenthood being a significant challenge for many new mums, and post-natal depression a major concern, the impact of social media on the lives of parents has been explored by Murdoch University researcher Dr  Catherine Archer.

“We’re not in a village anymore. Mums are not always able to connect outside of the house and are using Facebook as an alternative platform for connection and community,” Dr Archer said.

A large group of the mothers in the research spent more time on Facebook following the birth of their first child.

While their doctor was still seen as a valuable source of health and well-being information, Google and health websites and forums were a close second (higher than peers or family). Social media influencers included Maggie Dent and Perth-based blogger Constance Hall. The study pointed to a need for organisations to focus their efforts on Facebook for educational and marketing purposes, complemented by in-real-life education.

While Facebook was seen as an important platform, mothers also see some dark sides associated with using social media.

“Mothers in the focus groups spoke of the Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) phenomenon of not being online, but also found that time on Facebook could engender unhelpful feelings,” Dr Archer said.

The study, funded by St John of God Health Care in association with Playgroup WA, employed a mixed methodology of both qualitative and quantitative research, which received ethics approval from Murdoch University. Ten focus groups were conducted at Playgroups in metropolitan and rural WA, with the semi-structured questions resulting from a literature review. Following the focus groups, an online survey was designed using the results from the focus groups and the literature as a guide to developing the questions.

All the latest news from Murdoch University can be read here.

Print This Post Print This Post

Leave a comment

You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published.

Thanks for commenting!