A collaborative meeting was held in Kristianstad University, Sweden on 5 November 2021 as part of an ERASMUS+ project entitled Body Confident Mums. The national collaborating partner from Malta is Prof. Jean Calleja-Agius from the Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine & Surgery, University of Malta.
Pregnancy and the postpartum period are times of significant body, and body image changes for women. While pregnant bodies are often celebrated, women are quickly placed under a great deal of pressure to lose any ‘baby weight’ gained, and get their ‘prebaby body’ back.
Body dissatisfaction in postpartum women is associated with a variety of negative mental and physical health outcomes, including depression. Body dissatisfaction has also been linked to reduced duration of breastfeeding, parenting stress, decreased physical activity, and disordered eating behaviours. Interventions to improve body image in mothers are therefore well justified as they will directly improve mother’s health and wellbeing, and indirectly have a positive impact on their children.
In the Body Confidents Mums project, the aim is to use the design thinking process to develop, implement, and evaluate a body image professional development session for health professionals including obstetricians and gynaecologists, midwives, general practitioners and nurses.
The next project meeting will be held at the Valletta Campus in Malta on 25 February 2022. Anyone interested in participating in this project can visit the project website or contact Prof. Jean Calleja-Agius.