A collaborative meeting has been held at the Valletta Campus University of Malta, on the 25 February 2022, as part of an ERASMUS+ project entitled Body Confident Mums. The national collaborating partners from the University of Malta are Prof. Jean Calleja-Agius from the Department of Anatomy, Faculty of Medicine & Surgery and Dr Rita Pace Parascandolo from the Department of Midwifery, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Pregnancy and the postpartum period are time of significant 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 ‘pre¬baby body’ back (Lovering, Rodgers, George, & Franko, 2018). Body dissatisfaction in postpartum women is associated with a variety of negative mental and physical health outcomes, including depression. 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 objectives of this project are to develop, test, implement and disseminate the training package for healthcare professionals, enabling them to support the mental and physical wellbeing for mothers of children 0-5 years. A further objective is to produce a functional training programme, reflective of the sociocultural diversity across Europe. The project aims to make the training material accessible to a broad range of healthcare professionals and other relevant stakeholders and will do so through multi-mode delivery.
In the partnership there is highly experienced researcher partners (Norway, Sweden) and healthcare providers and other relevant stakeholders (Estonia, Greece, Romania, Serbia, Sweden, Italy, the Netherlands, and Malta) who are highly motivated to implement the training into service provision.