Perceptions of body image during the perinatal period

Posted 01/03/2019


This study is recruiting mothers with a previous experience of problems with eating and/or body image to assess how much those perceptions re-emerge during pregnancy and after the baby is born. There need not have been a formal eating disorder diagnosis. 

Research supervisor

Dr Andrew Mayers,
Principal Academic,
Bournemouth University

What is the purpose of the research?

During pregnancy, women go through a huge body transformation which can have a major impact on their body image. Findings have varied in regards to body image perceptions during the perinatal period in individuals with a previous history of eating disorders. Some studies have shown perceptions improve, whilst other studies are contradictory. Therefore, the aim of this study is to further clarify perceptions of body image during the perinatal period and what support mothers believe is still needed.

Who can take part? 

Participants must be mothers who have had their most recent baby during the last 5 years (this is to ensure that perceptions are still recent enough to be reliable). They also need to have had a history of an eating disorder (it does not need to have been formally diagnosed) in order to explore thoughts about body perceptions (body image, body shape, weight, eating, etc.) during the perinatal period. You can still take part even if you are currently experiencing eating-related problems.

What does the study involve?

Participants will be asked to fill in an open-ended questionnaire which will be answered through an anonymous online portal. The questions will take no longer than 20 minutes to answer.

How can someone take part? 

 Potential participants can take part here.

Bournemouth University