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.
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.
Field of Research
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
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