A qualitative study exploring the role of social media in providing social support for new mothers 6-12 months post-partum in Nigeria.
Keywords:Social Media, Social Support, 6-12 Months Post Partum, New Mothers, Nigeria
Background: Considering the wide use of social media and how it is rapidly influencing the world today, a qualitative study was carried out to explore the role of social media and how it provides support for new mothers. The purpose of this study is to explore how social media provides social support for new mothers, what social media platforms new Nigerian mothers use to access social support and why they use social media to access social support
Methods: The study employed remote semi-structured online interviews of new mothers with babies between the ages of 6-12 months using a qualitative phenomenological methodology. Using the purposive sampling method, a sample of eight participants was gathered. Thematic analysis was used to analyse interview transcripts.
Results: This study found that a significant number of new mothers in Nigeria 6-12 months post-partum utilise the Internet to find knowledge and social support. Social media has greatly benefited the mental health of new mothers in Nigeria because it has allowed them to connect with a variety of support groups designed to give new mothers a sense of community and give them a forum to talk about their experiences. Through these interactions, solutions have also been offered, and it has been a good source of support for new mothers post-partum.
Conclusion: The use of social media as a form of social support is becoming widely accepted in part due to the twenty-four/seven (24/7) availability of resources, ease of access, and social acceptability of accessing social media and the Internet. Social media goes a long way in providing new mothers with emotional support to promote her individual strengths and capabilities.
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