Why unrealistic Instagram images of superfit new mums could encourage baby blues
- Fitness guru Chloe Madeley has been praised for sharing her body insecurities
- Study suggests most Instagram photos do not reflect reality for most new mums
- Half of photos tagged #postpartumbody show ‘visible’ muscle definition
Unrealistic images on social media of women’s bodies shortly after they have had a baby could be contributing to post-natal blues, a study suggests.
Celebrities such as fitness guru Chloe Madeley have been praised for sharing their body image insecurities after giving birth.
But researchers said that many photos on Instagram tagged #postpartumbody do not reflect the reality for most new mothers.
Dr Megan Gow of the University of Sydney, who led the study, said: ‘These images are presenting an “idealised” version of the postpartum body which may contribute to body dissatisfaction in postpartum women who may already be struggling with feelings of inadequacy.’
Before and after: Celebrities such as fitness guru Chloe Madeley have been praised for sharing their body image insecurities after giving birth
Before and After: Tammy Hembrow shows off her pregnancy bump and toned stomach after giving birth
Miss Madeley, 35, showed pictures of her toned stomach just three weeks after having her first child in August
Study authors assessed 600 images tagged with #postpartumbody for body fat and muscularity.
They found 37 per cent had ‘low’ levels of fatness, and 54 per cent were average. Around half had ‘visible’ or ‘high’ muscle definition, according to the findings published in the journal Healthcare.
Miss Madeley, 35, showed pictures of her toned stomach just three weeks after having her first child in August.
The study – to be presented at the International Congress on Obesity in Melbourne – said women may benefit from targeted health messages on Instagram ‘to interrupt the potentially harmful content’.