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‘I’m Cutting Back On Social Media Until My Baby Is Born—Here’s Why’

 

Related: Nikki Reed Just Broke Her ‘Month Of Silence’ With This Badass Post About Postpartum Recovery

That said, having access to such an abundance of information can become overwhelming (particularly for a first time mom such as myself), and it has officially become too much.

I couldn’t help but compare myself to the other Insta moms on my feed. While some of their posts can feel comforting, it seems for every photo of a brave new mom showing off a relatable post-partum figure, there seem to be 10 more images of women flaunting their perfectly-svelte bodies just weeks after giving birth. And in some cases—like lingerie model and fitness blogger Sarah Stage—even showing off their six-pack abs at eight months pregnant.

I’m by no means suggesting there’s anything wrong with having a rock-hard midsection during pregnancy or shortly thereafter (kudos to you if you’ve got ‘em), I’m simply saying I’ve decided these photos aren’t doing much to boost my self-esteem. I would hardly describe myself as competitive, yet I’ll be the first to admit these photos bring out a competitive side of me I’m not exactly proud of. And while I realize no two women or pregnancies are exactly alike, and no good can come from physically comparing myself to others pre- and postpartum—I’m also human, and it’s challenging to keep these images from affecting me. (Instead of scrolling through social media, treat yourself to a relaxing bath with these color therapy bath botanicals from the Women’s Health Boutique.)

Related: This TV Star Says There Are 3 Pieces Of Parenting Advice You Should ALWAYS Ignore

Vanity aside, my social media habit has also started to make me insecure about other aspects of pregnancy and parenting. For example, on a more trivial level, I’m having doubts over decisions like my choice of nursery colors and whether I’m picking the right stroller based on my needs. There are just so many options! On the serious side, with every post and article I read, I become increasingly less confident about my parenting skills. Will I succeed at breastfeeding long-term? Or will I give up too soon only to regret it later? Will I be able to successfully sleep train my child? The list goes on.

This is what breastfeeding after breast surgery is like:

It’s not like we didn’t have access to this information prior to social media, or that we didn’t have other women to compare ourselves to—there have always been plenty of both. The difference is, social media platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, connect us to way more people and information than ever before, and it’s easy to get addicted to staying up-to-date. Once that obsession kicks in, it can become problematic, as it has in my case. Why? It can be difficult to differentiate between fact and fiction on these platforms. Does that new mom actually look that radiant after labor, or did she have a professional do her hair and makeup before snapping the pic? Is her child really a joy 24/7, or is it all a sham? Chances are we’ll never know.

Related: This New Mom’s Raw Photo Shows the Waist-Down Reality of Giving Birth

Too much social media can adversely affect women at any point in their lives, but I’ve been especially feeling its weight during my pregnancy. After all, these nine months constitute such a fragile period in one’s life (not to mention your hormones are all over the place, sending your feelings totally out of whack). Pregnancy is a blessing, there’s no doubt about that, however, it can also be a stressful time. A major life change is on the horizon and the pressure of becoming a parent can feel very daunting. 

Which is why, if there’s ever been a time to prioritize self-care, it’s during your pregnancy. Your health and your baby’s health depend on it. For this reason, I’ve decided to seriously cut back on my social media habit for the time being. I can’t promise complete abstinence, but checking Instagram a couple of times per week rather than a couple times per day is a good place to start. Much like I listened to my body and stopped doing dance cardio three weeks ago when it got to be too much for me physically, I’m trying to listen to my emotional and mental-health needs as well. Nine weeks to go, wish me luck!

 

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