Israeli and British women's wellbeing and eating behaviours in pregnancy and postpartum

N. Shloim, M. C.J. Rudolf, R. G. Feltbower, P. Blundell-Birtill, M. M. Hetherington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Objectives: The study had two main objectives: (a) track changes in self-esteem, eating behaviours and body satisfaction from early pregnancy to 24 months postpartum and (b) to compare changes by context (Israel vs. UK) and maternal body mass index (BMI). Background: High maternal BMI is associated with negative body image and restrained eating, which are experienced differently across cultures. Methods: 156 pregnant women were recruited from Israel and the UK. Seventy-three women were followed up every six months from early postpartum and until 24 months following birth. Women completed questionnaires assessing self-esteem (RSEQ), body image (BIS/BIDQ) and eating behaviours (DEBQ) and self-reported weights and heights so that BMI could be calculated. Results: Women with higher BMI had higher levels of self-esteem and were less satisfied with their body. Healthy-weight women were more likely to lose all of their retained pregnancy weight compared to overweight and obese women. Self-esteem, body image and eating behaviours remained stable from pregnancy until 24 months postpartum. No significant differences were found for any measure by context. Conclusion: BMI was the strongest predictor of self-esteem and body dissatisfaction and a higher BMI predicted less weight loss postpartum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-138
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology.


  • Obesity
  • body image
  • eating behaviours
  • postpartum
  • pregnancy
  • self-esteem


Dive into the research topics of 'Israeli and British women's wellbeing and eating behaviours in pregnancy and postpartum'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this