The millennial mom-to-be uses an app to track her fertility and pregnancy progress, pins nursery ideas on Pinterest and researches baby gear on YouTube. She reads online advice on everything from what to eat (or not), to when to talk to a doctor about prescription prenatal vitamins and what to do with the placenta after delivering.
Never without a smartphone in hand, armed with an app for everything, always connected or “on,” millennials were born in an era of emerging technology between 1980 and 1995, and have grown up in an ever-increasing digitally-enhanced environment. Access to technology and social media has defined every aspect of her life, including the expectant millennial’s approach to pregnancy. It’s a drastically different world than when her own mother was pregnant.
But what does this over-abundance of connectivity and information mean for the digital-savvy millennial mom-to-be? Per a recent poll, for nearly 60 percent it means there is too much conflicting advice on tips for a healthy pregnancy. In the poll conducted by Exeltis, the company that produces the number one doctor recommended prescription prenatal vitamin, Vitafol, 500 millennials and 500 baby boomers were asked to reveal details on their approach to pregnancy. While sifting through all the information available today was overwhelming to expectant millennials, only 36.2 percent of baby boomer moms, whose pregnancies were “pre-Google” and social media, felt this way.
In addition, in our constantly-connected world it’s common for people to feel license to dispense unsolicited advice to expectant moms. Twice as many millennial moms report they received advice while they were pregnant that they disregarded or didn’t agree with as compared to baby boomer moms.
That’s why it’s no surprise that with so much (often conflicting) sought-out and unsolicited information and advice, 51.8 percent of millennials said they had a hard time deciding which pregnancy advice to believe.
“We have so much more information than they did years ago,” said one millennial in the study. “I feel like millennial moms have a lot more pressure placed on them to do everything ‘right.’”
Thus, despite the advances in technology that make their pregnancies different (or perhaps, more likely, because of it), millennial moms are turning to their own mothers for advice, even more than their mothers turned to the generation before them. Millennials are using the “Grandma Filter” to essentially qualify and validate information that they are receiving from other sources.
In fact, when it comes to preparing for parenting, millennials turn to their mother/mother figure more than any other resource on a variety of topics. The “Grandma Filter” is number one when it comes to emotional/family concerns, relationship advice and determining what supplies she will need to register for. And, millennial moms also turn to their mother nearly three times more often than baby boomer moms would have regarding financial concerns in preparing for a new baby.
Even though she has so many more resources at her disposal, and she still goes to her doctor, spouse/significant other and friends and other family members on many matters, the millennial’s increased reliance on her own mother has changed significantly over the years.
Still, there are some elements of pregnancy that have remained unchanged. More than half of all millennial and baby boomer mothers polled prepared for pregnancy by taking a childbirth class. More than 97 percent of millennial moms and 92 percent of boomer moms took prenatal vitamins. In addition, 80 percent of both groups recognize prescription prenatal vitamins are the right choice for any pregnant mother.
Which all indicates that regardless of when they are pregnant, moms ultimately want what is best for her baby, but deciding what that is might best be determined with a slight tweak to the adage. In fact, “Mama’s MAMA knows best.”