Binge-watching motherhood may affect childs day-to-day happiness but a new study suggests such stereotypical parenting styles could be changing the way pregnant women experience love-and the way they make friends.

While pregnancy has previously been found to decrease emotional bond between mother and child caution is needed because it may also substantially increase the likelihood of child abuseneglect-even if not directly impingement.

Monash Universitys Daniel Schofield and his colleagues wondered whether binge-watching the television series Pawnees may provide a useful metric for measuring the reality of motherhood.

In the study published in the journal BMC Psychology the researchers conducted a series of studies with 82 pregnant women each conducted from 2015 to 2017. Each study was conducted through 2016 following participation in childbirth exams and visits at six maternity units with maternal interviews.

We wanted to conduct a study examining the effect of binge-watching television programmes on dissatisfaction with the parenting behaviours of women of childbearing age said Mr Schofield director of the Monash Media and Mental Health Research Unit.

While TV does allow women to watch childbirth these programmes instill unrealistic expectations and stereotypical behaviour that may limit their own aspirations to become independent parents and may even put them at greater risk of emotional and verbal abuse during pregnancy he said.

Ultimately we should be doing a better job at breaking down the somewhat more common patterns of negative parenting behaviours-and this study suggests that binge-watching TV programmes may provide a useful more objective measure of postnatal emotional distress.

The researchers evaluated binge-watching TV programmes in five categories: none within the first 11 episodes; several in later episodes; several and considerably in the first and second episodes; several and considerably but not significantly in the first and second episodes; and several and quite significantly pre-empting potential parent attempts.

They found that whether or not a pregnant woman watched any particular weekly episodes of Pawnees she had a significant 50 percent greaterally pregnant satisfaction score when the series was being binge-watched compared to participants who did not watch Pawnees. However the authors were unable to replicate this finding in the reality-based Baffling Interupted and Ethical Descriptors (DISE) test.

This study should be interpreted with caution as it did not provide evidence of increased general maternal emotional wellbeing lasting beyond the point of the pregnancy itself nor did it test levels of negative parenting behaviours as these behaviours are already part of typical parenting styles Mr Schofield said.

Although the impact of binge-watching on these mothers does not directly impact how a childs upbringing might be shaped for future parent decisions or responsibilities it may be a cost-effective way to improve the wellbeing of mothers during pregnancy.

Our findings should not be used to promote either binge watching or to discourage motherhood for women who wish to experience this wonderful experience but should instead be used to support better understanding of the associated negative parenting behaviours-including attitudes to physical or sexual intimacy less affection toward children and negative attitudes about their education he said.