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My baby body : a qualitative insight into women's body-related experiences and mood during pregnancy and the postpartum

Clark, Abigail, Skouteris, Helen, Wertheim, Eleanor H., Paxton, Susan J. and Milgrom, Jeanette 2009, My baby body : a qualitative insight into women's body-related experiences and mood during pregnancy and the postpartum, Journal of reproductive and infant psychology, vol. 27, no. 4, pp. 330-345, doi: 10.1080/02646830903190904.

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Title My baby body : a qualitative insight into women's body-related experiences and mood during pregnancy and the postpartum
Author(s) Clark, Abigail
Skouteris, Helen
Wertheim, Eleanor H.
Paxton, Susan J.
Milgrom, Jeanette
Journal name Journal of reproductive and infant psychology
Volume number 27
Issue number 4
Start page 330
End page 345
Total pages 16
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2009-11
ISSN 0264-6838
Keyword(s) pregnancy
mood body dissatisfaction
body image
Summary An inductive qualitative approach was employed to explore women's experiences of their body and mood during pregnancy and the postpartum. In-depth interviews were conducted with 20 perinatal women (n at late pregnancy=10; n in the early postpartum period=10). While most of the sample reported adapting positively to body changes experienced during pregnancy, the postpartum period was often associated with body dissatisfaction. Women reported several events unique to pregnancy which helped them cope positively with bodily changes (e.g. increased perceived body functionality, new sense of meaning in life thus placing well-being of developing foetus above body aesthetics, perceptual experiences such as feeling baby kick, increased sense of social connectedness due to pregnancy body shape, and positive social commentary); however, these events no longer protected against body dissatisfaction post-birth. While women reported mood lability throughout the perinatal period, the postpartum was also a time of increased positive affect for most women, and overall most women did not associate body changes with their mood. Clinical implications of these findings included the need for education about normal postpartum body changes and their timing, and the development of more accurate measures of perinatal body image.
Language eng
DOI 10.1080/02646830903190904
Field of Research 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
Socio Economic Objective 920507 Women's Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
HERDC collection year 2009
Copyright notice ©2009, Taylor & Francis
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Psychology
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