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  • Dr. Shari-ann James

Pregnancy in the Age of Social Media (part 2)

In a world where women feel an expectation to share with the world news of their pregnancy, they sometimes unexpectedly subject themselves to the psychological stresses of social media. The desire to post the perfect shot, counting the number of likes, seeing who did or did not comment, and the urge to compare your pregnancy to others. For some women, opening those brightly lit apps on our phones can quickly become overwhelming, at a time when care for our mental health should be as important as the attention paid to our physical health. At this nexus of pregnancy and social media we find Kylie Jenner.

Yes, I know what you’re thinking. What would a young woman who grew up on reality TV and social media, have to contribute to this conversation. As it turns out, it’s what Ms. Jenner didn’t share with her 103 million followers. She recently revealed after the birth of her child that she chose to keep her pregnancy private and out of the psychological arena of social media. An arena designed and programmed to hack into and monetize our human need for affirmation and validation. “My pregnancy was one I chose not to do in front of the world… I knew my baby would feel every stress and every emotion so I chose to do it this way for my little life and our happiness,” wrote Ms. Jenner on her return to social media.

It is important and instructive to note the implication of her words. She felt that sharing her pregnancy on social media would have an effect on her stress level and her happiness. She chose to put her and her baby’s needs before the needs and wants of her followers. While not everyone is or will be affected by social media interactions, we should all know ourselves and be aware of what affects our mood, stress levels, and our happiness. Good for you Kylie!

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