Self-compassion and body image in pregnancy and postpartum: A randomized pilot trial of a brief self-compassion meditation intervention

Natalie M. Papini, Tyler B. Mason, Stephen D. Herrmann, Nanette V. Lopez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The current study evaluated the efficacy of a three-week self-compassion (SC) meditation intervention in improving body image and SC during pregnancy and postpartum. Participants (n = 71; age = 31.92 ± 3.98 years; white = 61, 85.9%; intervention = 35, 49.3%; pregnant = 33, 46.5%; postpartum = 38, 53.5%) were recruited from a health coaching program and 35 were randomly assigned into a three-week SC meditation intervention while 36 were randomly assigned to a waitlist control condition. Linear regressions using full-information maximum likelihood estimation examined the effect of intervention group on body image and SC outcomes controlling for baseline level of outcome, pregnancy or postpartum status, previous meditation experience, and physical activity. Results indicated women in the intervention group reported significantly reduced body shame and body dissatisfaction and improved body appreciation and self-compassion compared to women in the control group. Implementation of a brief SC meditation intervention during pregnancy and postpartum has potential to improve mental health outcomes related to body image. Future work should replicate this study with a larger, more diverse sample of women.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-274
Number of pages11
JournalBody Image
Volume43
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Body appreciation
  • Body image
  • Maternal health
  • Randomized controlled trial
  • Self-compassion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychology(all)

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