Should We Keep Social Media Out of the Delivery Suite?

A new study is being conducted in New Zealand that is looking into the impact that social media in the delivery suite is having on mothers and babies. The study is the first of its kind and aims to understand if social media use immediately after giving birth is interfering with the bonding process that is so important between mother and baby after birth.

The Golden Hour

Known as the ‘golden hour’ after birth, it’s meant to be a time where a mother can enjoy skin on skin time with her baby, breast feed for the first time and enjoy a short period of peace and quite after the birth. Midwives had noticed that more and more women were asking for their phones immediately after birth in an attempt to share the happy news across their social media networks.

Lead researcher, Jane Krisjanous, is a midwife and academic at Victoria University. She explained that the study is in its early stages but the preliminary results are very interesting. Some families were posting to social media immediately after the birth, but others were taking their time, and enjoying the private family time before they shared their news.

Stealing Your Special Time

The issue for those posting to social media straight away was that once people start commenting, it requires a level of engagement that could easily steal time away from the mother and her baby. By reading and responding to followers comments on their announcement post, this can disrupt the time that the parents would normally spend bonding with their baby.

Midwives were concerned that these early hours of a baby’s birth are being compromised because of social media. Babies go through enormous changes during this time, both physical and psychological and if the parents are using social media, not only do they miss witnessing this sacred time, it interferes with a very natural process that takes place when a mother and baby have nothing but each other to focus on.

It’s a Personal Choice

While the research has not been completed yet, and the findings are preliminary, it’s definitely food for thought for pregnant women. Using social media in the birthing suite is a very personal choice and it’s important that parents do what they are comfortable with.

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