Results from the study suggest that introducing a standardised method of assessing women's feelings towards their changing bodies during antenatal care could provide important information on how they might respond to being a new mum.
The BUMPS method, developed by scientists at the University of York and Anglia Ruskin University, is a self-reporting system based on questions relating to satisfaction with appearing pregnant, weight gain concerns, and the physical burdens of pregnancy.
Study - Women - Data - BUMPS - Questionnaire
In a study of more than 600 pregnant women, data from the BUMPS questionnaire revealed that women who felt more positively about their body changes in pregnancy were more likely to have better relationships with their partners; lower depression and anxiety scores; and were better at interpreting their bodily signals.
Combined scores from the questionnaire provided a strong predictor of whether a pregnant woman would have a positive attachment to their unborn child or not. Low scores, suggested that these women may need additional emotional support during pregnancy and monitoring after birth for signs of postnatal depression.
Dr - Catherine - Preston - Expert - Body
Dr Catherine Preston, an expert in body image from the University of York's Department of Psychology, said: "Our previous research has demonstrated that there is a relationship between how we perceive our bodies and our emotional state, but bodily experience is not systematically considered during pregnancy even though it is a time when dramatic bodily changes occur.
"Women are under constant pressure about their appearance and during pregnancy and after birth is no exception. It is important therefore that pregnancy care is not just about the physical health of the mother and the health of the unborn child,...
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