Background Body image satisfaction in pregnancy may have an important influence on maternal biopsychosocial outcomes. Purpose This study aims to examine the mediating influence of trimesters 2 and 3 body image satisfaction on trimesters 2 and 3 depressive symptoms, exercise behavior, and gestational weight gain. Methods Pregnant women (N=151; mean age=30) prospectively completed study measures via mail during their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimesters. Results As predicted, trimesters 2 and 3 body image satisfaction mediated the relationship between trimester 1 body image satisfaction and trimester 2 depressive symptoms and the relationship between trimester 2 body image satisfaction and trimester 3 depressive symptoms. In contrast to the hypothesis, no mediation was observed for the relationship between body image satisfaction and exercise behavior or gestational weight gain. Conclusions These preliminary findings demonstrate that body image satisfaction is an important psychological determinant of depressive symptoms in pregnancy. Promoting healthy body image may be a non-pharmacological strategy that offers protective effects against depressive symptoms during pregnancy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health