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Women's Experiences of Body Image and Weight Loss After Childbirth : Dealing with the Pressure to Be Slender

Fern, Victoria and BUCKLEY, Emily and GROGAN, Sarah (2012) Women's Experiences of Body Image and Weight Loss After Childbirth : Dealing with the Pressure to Be Slender. British Journal of Midwifery, 20 (12). pp. 860-865. ISSN 0969-4900

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Abstract or description

This study was designed to examine women’s experiences of body image and weight loss after childbirth with reference to perceived impact of celebrity media images. Ten women aged 23–35 years; up to 1 year postpartum took part in in-depth interviews. Transcripts were analysed using inductive thematic analysis. Results suggested that women found ‘celebrities’ represented unrealistic comparisons for new mothers, and the acknowledgement of this protected women from feeling pressure from celebrity culture. Weight-loss was not seen as a concern for the women interviewed. The media’s ‘skinny’ ideologies provoked sympathy towards ‘celebrities’ rather than the envy that had been expected from previous literature. Eight of the ten women were recruited from a breastfeeding support group in Staffordshire, West Midlands, and so it is possible that social support from this group buffered any negative influences. Social support has been found to help reduce psychological distress during stressful times such as giving birth and becoming a mother (Taylor, 2011), which may in turn have helped the women to combat negative effects, as is discussed in the paper. Further research with women who are not involved in such support groups will enable a fuller understanding of these data.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C800 Psychology
Faculty: Previous Faculty of Health Sciences > Psychology, Sport and Exercise
Depositing User: Emily BUCKLEY
Date Deposited: 14 Jan 2013 16:55
Last Modified: 17 May 2013 10:38
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/305

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