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The psychological burden of baby weight: Pregnancy, weight stigma, and maternal health.
Soc Sci Med 2019; 235:112401SS

Abstract

Weight stigma is increasingly prevalent, highly distressing, and associated with an array of negative health and psychological outcomes. Many of the known correlates - depression, stress, and weight gain - have the potential to be particularly harmful in the context of pregnancy and the postpartum, a life phase in which women's social roles, body weights, and body meanings are in particular flux. Yet, there is little literature connecting the experiences of weight stigma to the wellbeing of pregnant and postpartum women. 501 pregnant (n = 143) and postpartum (n = 358) women in the United States were surveyed between August and November of 2017. They answered questions about their experiences with weight stigma and standardized scale measures of depressive symptoms, perceived stress, maladaptive dieting behavior, emotional eating behavior, gestational weight gain, and postpartum weight retention. Regression analyses revealed that women experiencing weight stigma from more sources reported more depressive symptoms, maladaptive dieting behavior and perceived stress when controlling for pre-pregnancy BMI, parity, weeks of pregnancy or months since birth, and demographic covariates. Weight-stigmatizing experiences were also associated with more emotional eating behavior in pregnant participants and greater postpartum weight retention in postpartum participants. This preliminary study suggests that experiencing weight stigma may contribute to unfavorable physical and mental health outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women. These findings reflect the powerful negative social meanings of weight gain faced in pregnancy and often unachievable social standards of "dropping the baby weight" as new mothers.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Social Science and Policy Studies, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA, United States. Electronic address: acrodriguez@wpi.edu.Department of Psychology, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, United States.School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, United States.Department of Psychology, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA, United States.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31323540

Citation

Incollingo Rodriguez, Angela C., et al. "The Psychological Burden of Baby Weight: Pregnancy, Weight Stigma, and Maternal Health." Social Science & Medicine (1982), vol. 235, 2019, p. 112401.
Incollingo Rodriguez AC, Dunkel Schetter C, Brewis A, et al. The psychological burden of baby weight: Pregnancy, weight stigma, and maternal health. Soc Sci Med. 2019;235:112401.
Incollingo Rodriguez, A. C., Dunkel Schetter, C., Brewis, A., & Tomiyama, A. J. (2019). The psychological burden of baby weight: Pregnancy, weight stigma, and maternal health. Social Science & Medicine (1982), 235, p. 112401. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2019.112401.
Incollingo Rodriguez AC, et al. The Psychological Burden of Baby Weight: Pregnancy, Weight Stigma, and Maternal Health. Soc Sci Med. 2019;235:112401. PubMed PMID: 31323540.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - The psychological burden of baby weight: Pregnancy, weight stigma, and maternal health. AU - Incollingo Rodriguez,Angela C, AU - Dunkel Schetter,Christine, AU - Brewis,Alexandra, AU - Tomiyama,A Janet, Y1 - 2019/07/09/ PY - 2018/11/06/received PY - 2019/05/22/revised PY - 2019/07/03/accepted PY - 2019/7/20/pubmed PY - 2019/7/20/medline PY - 2019/7/20/entrez KW - Depression KW - Eating KW - Motherhood KW - Postpartum KW - Pregnancy KW - Stress KW - Weight stigma SP - 112401 EP - 112401 JF - Social science & medicine (1982) JO - Soc Sci Med VL - 235 N2 - Weight stigma is increasingly prevalent, highly distressing, and associated with an array of negative health and psychological outcomes. Many of the known correlates - depression, stress, and weight gain - have the potential to be particularly harmful in the context of pregnancy and the postpartum, a life phase in which women's social roles, body weights, and body meanings are in particular flux. Yet, there is little literature connecting the experiences of weight stigma to the wellbeing of pregnant and postpartum women. 501 pregnant (n = 143) and postpartum (n = 358) women in the United States were surveyed between August and November of 2017. They answered questions about their experiences with weight stigma and standardized scale measures of depressive symptoms, perceived stress, maladaptive dieting behavior, emotional eating behavior, gestational weight gain, and postpartum weight retention. Regression analyses revealed that women experiencing weight stigma from more sources reported more depressive symptoms, maladaptive dieting behavior and perceived stress when controlling for pre-pregnancy BMI, parity, weeks of pregnancy or months since birth, and demographic covariates. Weight-stigmatizing experiences were also associated with more emotional eating behavior in pregnant participants and greater postpartum weight retention in postpartum participants. This preliminary study suggests that experiencing weight stigma may contribute to unfavorable physical and mental health outcomes for pregnant and postpartum women. These findings reflect the powerful negative social meanings of weight gain faced in pregnancy and often unachievable social standards of "dropping the baby weight" as new mothers. SN - 1873-5347 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31323540/The_psychological_burden_of_baby_weight:_Pregnancy,_weight_stigma,_and_maternal_health L2 - https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0277-9536(19)30387-9 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -