The Relationship between Depression and Body Dissatisfaction across Pregnancy and the Postpartum A Prospective Study

School of Psychological Science, La Trobe University, Australia.
Journal of Health Psychology (Impact Factor: 1.22). 02/2009; 14(1):27-35. DOI: 10.1177/1359105308097940
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The overall aim of this study was to examine the relationship between depression and body dissatisfaction across pregnancy and the first 12 months postpartum. During pregnancy, women's (N = 116) perceived attractiveness and strength/fitness remained stable, while feeling fat and salience of weight/shape decreased in late pregnancy. During the postpartum, feeling fat and salience of weight/shape increased. Depression and body dissatisfaction scores were correlated with each other concurrently and across multiple time points. However, in baseline-controlled prospective analyses, only a model of greater depression late in pregnancy predicting body dissatisfaction at six weeks postpartum and feeling fat throughout the postpartum was supported.

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    • "Snowball sampling; Two towns, clinic and community N = 14 couples 24 Caucasian, 1 Asian, 2 Hispanic; Middle class 22-39 Married N = 14 primiparas Separate SSI 28 – 36 weeks gestation, and 2-6 weeks pp; Hermaneutic approach Interactionist/ dramaturgical B Carter (2010) US [24] Concept of control body/self in pregnancy and childbirth Theoretical and snowball sampling; Birth centres N = 18 3 Hispanic, 1 African American, 10 White; n = 13 upper/middle, n = 5 lower middle/ working class NS NS n = 15 primi(n = 1 with adopted child) and n = 3 multiparas SSI at 6-18 months pp; Narrative analysis Social constructionism B Clark et al. (2009) "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Pregnancy-related physical changes can have a significant impact on a woman’s body image. There is no synthesis of existing literature to describe the intricacies of women’s experiences of their body, and relevant clinical implications. Methods Four electronic databases were searched in February 2014 using predefined search terms. English-language, qualitative studies published between January 1992 and December 2013 exploring pregnancy and postpartum body image were included. Following quality appraisal, 17 papers were synthesised using the interpretive thematic synthesis approach within a social constructionist framework. Results Three themes were highlighted: “Public Event: ‘Fatness’ vs. Pregnancy”, “Control: Nature vs. Self”, and “Role: Woman vs. Mother”. Women perceived the pregnant body to be out of their control and as transgressing the socially constructed ideal, against which they tried to protect their body image satisfaction. Women perceived the physical manifestation of the mothering role as incongruent to their other roles as a wife or partner, or working woman. Body dissatisfaction dominated the postpartum period. Conclusions Women’s perception of their pregnancy body image is varied and depends on the strategies they use to protect against social constructions of female beauty. Women have unrealistic expectations for their postpartum body, highlighting this as an area where women need better support. Attending to women’s narratives about their pregnant body may identify at-risk women and provide an opportunity for health professionals to provide support to either address or accept body image dissatisfaction. Clinical communication training may enable health professionals to explore body image concerns with women and guide them in identifying ways of accepting or reducing any dissatisfaction.
    BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth 09/2014; 14(1):330. DOI:10.1186/1471-2393-14-330 · 2.15 Impact Factor
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    • "In addition, restrained eating post-pregnancy might influence feeding behaviour of infants. For example, a positive association was found between mothers who restrain their own eating and restrictive feeding of their newborn (Clark et al., 2009). In other words, having given birth, mothers' eating behaviours and well-being impact both themselves and also affect their infants. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study examined the relationship between self-esteem, restrained eating, body image and body mass index during pregnancy. A total of 110 pregnant Israeli and UK women completed the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Questionnaire, the Dutch Eating Behaviour Questionnaire, scales to assess body image and demographics. Body mass index was calculated from antenatal records. Regression modelling determined the relationship between variables, countries and body mass index categories. High correlations were found between body image and body mass index with significantly higher body dissatisfaction for Israeli women. Self-esteem scores for pregnant women were similar to those reported for non-pregnant women. Poorer body image and higher prevalence of restrained eating were found in healthy weight Israeli women.
    Journal of Health Psychology 10/2013; 20(4). DOI:10.1177/1359105313502568 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Objectification theory contends that women are socialized to view their body as an object to be evaluated by others (Fredickson and Roberts 1997). In contrast, pregnancy may be a time that women are more attuned to their body’s functionality. Extending objectification theory, we investigate relationships among body surveillance, awareness and appreciation of body functionality, depressive symptoms, and prenatal health behaviors among an on-line sample of 156 predominantly White, middle-class pregnant women from throughout the U.S recruited through maternity stores, message boards, listservs, and snowballing techniques. We examine whether higher levels of awareness and appreciation of body functionality may attenuate, and thereby possibly protect women from the negative effects of high body surveillance. We found that higher body surveillance was associated with depressive symptoms and, although not significant, tended to be associated with engagement in unhealthy prenatal behaviors. Awareness and appreciation of body functionality were each associated with fewer depressive symptoms and less engagement in unhealthy prenatal behaviors. Supporting our hypotheses, we found that at higher levels of appreciation of body functionality, the relationship between body surveillance and engagement in unhealthy behaviors was attenuated. However, in contrast to our hypotheses, the relationship between body surveillance and depression was stronger at higher levels of awareness of body functionality, and attenuated at lower levels. These findings suggest appreciation of body functionality may buffer negative effects of body surveillance. Future research examining these relationships over the course of pregnancy, and among ethnically and socioeconomically diverse women, is needed. KeywordsSelf-objectification–Body functionality awareness–Body functionality appreciation–Pregnancy
    Sex Roles 10/2011; 65(7):606-618. DOI:10.1007/s11199-011-9955-y · 1.47 Impact Factor
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