In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of our lives, connecting us with friends, family, and the world at large. However, for parents who have experienced the devastating loss of a pregnancy or an infant, social media can be a double-edged sword. While it can provide a platform for sharing experiences and seeking support, it can also trigger painful emotions and inadvertently expose grieving parents to distressing content.
In this blog post, we’ll explore ways to manage triggering social media content, as well as ideas for using social media to heal.
Reflect on Your Needs
Immediately following a pregnancy or infant loss, consider taking a break from social media. You are experiencing a traumatic event and intense grief, and it’s important to prioritize self-care. When you venture back into social media usage, take some time to reflect on your emotional needs. You may benefit from setting time limits for when and how long you will use social media. Remember that it’s entirely okay to step away from social media again if it becomes overwhelming.
Curate Your Feed
One of the first steps to navigating social media after loss is curating your feed. Unfollow or mute accounts that consistently post triggering content, such as pregnancy or baby-related posts. Instead, follow accounts that provide support, healing resources, and uplifting content.
If you interacted with baby-related content during pregnancy, social media algorithms likely picked up on this behavior and started delivering relevant content and advertisements. The social media platforms don’t know you’ve experienced a loss, and they’ll continue to suggest this content until you tell them to stop. If you don’t want to see these advertisements, hide or dislike the ad. Here are instructions for how to hide an ad on Instagram and Facebook.
While it’s easy to hide ads or unfollow pregnancy-related accounts, it’s not so easy to avoid triggering content posted by friends or family. If you find yourself becoming upset by posts such as pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, or simply posts of a baby or child, know you’re not alone. It can be extremely difficult to see other people getting the exact thing you lost. You do not need to feel guilty for becoming upset about these posts. Give yourself permission to feel all the emotions, and remember that it will get easier with time.
Share Your Story on Your Terms
If you feel so inclined, sharing your story on social media can be a powerful way to find support and raise awareness about pregnancy and infant loss. However, remember that you are in control of how much you want to share and when. Be mindful of your emotional well-being and only share what feels comfortable for you. Your story may help others, but it’s essential to prioritize your healing journey.
Responding to Comments
Unfortunately, not everyone on social media may understand the sensitivity of your situation. Some individuals may inadvertently say things that can be hurtful. Set boundaries for yourself and respond to comments only when you feel comfortable doing so. Remember, you don’t owe anyone an explanation or justification for your feelings.
Utilize Privacy Settings
Familiarize yourself with the privacy settings on your social media accounts. Adjusting these settings can give you more control over who sees your posts and limits your exposure to potentially triggering content. Consider creating a private or closed group or account for sharing your feelings and experiences with a select circle of friends or fellow grieving parents.
Use Social Media Positively
Aside from being a source of potential triggers, social media can also be a platform for positivity and healing. Join virtual support groups, participate in awareness campaigns during relevant months (such as Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month in October), and engage with uplifting content that promotes healing and hope.
Connect with Share Parents of Utah on social media:
- Share Parents of Utah Facebook Page
- Share Parents of Utah Instagram
- Share Parents of Utah TikTok
- Facebook Group: General Grief Support
- Facebook Group: Pregnancy After Loss Support
Navigating social media after pregnancy or infant loss can be a challenging and emotional journey. Remember that you’re not alone, and there are resources and communities available to support you. At Share Parents of Utah, we stand by you and offer a safe space for parents experiencing pregnancy and infant loss. Grieving is a unique and personal process, so be patient with yourself as you navigate your online presence. Whether you choose to actively participate or take a step back, know that your healing and well-being come first.