How is the body image of women in postpartum first year? What are the factors affecting the body image?

How is the body image of women in postpartum first year? What

are the factors affecting the body image?

N. Erbil, A. Senkul, G.F. Basara, Y.

Saglam, M. Gezer

Ondokuz Mayis University, Ordu School of Health, Department of

Nursing, Ordu, Turkey

Objective This research has been made to determine the

body image in the first year after giving birth and to examine the factors

affecting the body image.

Design and methods The descriptive correlational

design and cross-sectional research are women having consulted to Ordu Birth and

Children’s Hospital Polyclinic and Mother-Children Health and Family Planning

Center for different reasons, and the women who are in 3-12 months after giving

birth. There has not been any elimination of sample, and 440 volunteer

postpartum women were included in the research with the technique nonrandomly

sampling who came to the institutions mentioned above. The data were collected

with the questionnaire form with 27 prepared according to the literature and the

Scale of Body Image developed by Secord and Jourand in 1953 and adapted for

Turkish society by Hovardaoglu in 1989. The technique of face to face interview

was used for collecting the data in the research. The analysis of the data were

made with percentage, arithmetic average, analysis of variant, t test, analysis

of Pearson correlation in SPSS 11.5 statistical program on computer.

Results It

was determined that 83.6% of them in postpartum first year do not do exercises,

57.7% of the women and 79.1% of the men have positive attitudes about woman’s

body weight. It was determined that 87.3% of the women have not got any

information for keeping their body fit, 96.4% of them follow normal diets. It

was determined that 97.5% of the women live their babies, 53.6% of them have no

assistant for caring the baby, 68.9%of the babies are happy. The average of

total point of the participants’ body image is 143.09±13.02. It was determined

that the total point of the participants’ body image shows a significant

difference among groups according to women’s age ( P=.011), level of education

(P=.000), number of giving birth ( P=.001), the attitude of husband to woman’s

body sizes( P=.000), her own attitude (P=.000), the state of getting aid for

baby care (P=.000), the state of doing exercises (P=.029). It was determined

that there is negative weak relation between the points of Body Mass Index and

Body Image ( r=-.176 P=.001).

Conclusions At the end of this research, it was

determined that women who are young, university graduate, have few number of

giving birth, have positive attitudes about their body together with their

husbands, have aid for baby care, do regular exercises get higher points in for

body image. The positive development of women’s body image in postpartum period

can be achieved with giving the education of nourishment and exercise during

pregnancy and after pregnancy just at the beginning of pregnancy. Besides, the

husbands should be included in those educations and the importance of being in

positive manner to the women and helping them. Moreover, the support of the

other family members should be emphasized.

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