Well-being, Self-esteem and Body Satisfaction in New Mothers

Janice Hutchinson, T Cassidy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
136 Downloads (Pure)


Background: How mother’s recall their experience of childbirth,
their concerns about body image, their sense of competence in
parenting, and their combined sense of self-esteem are all factors
with the potential to impact on mental well-being.
Method: A total of 234 women, who had given birth within the past
3 years, completed a survey comprised of the Birth Memories and
Recall Questionnaire, the Parenting Sense of Competence Scale, the
Warwick–Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale, the Rosenberg Self-
Esteem Questionnaire and the Body Shape Questionnaire.
Results: Mothers who have higher body dissatisfaction show significantly
lower well-being, self-esteem and perceived parenting
competence. Mothers who experienced higher levels of mental
well-being were found to have higher levels of perceived parenting
competence and self-esteem, and those who experienced higher
levels of self-esteem were also found to have higher levels of
perceived parenting competence.
Conclusion: Memories of the birth experience, perceived postpartum
body image, parenting sense of competence and self-esteem
have a combined and complex relationship with mental well-being.
Health care professionals should inform mothers about the body
changes which may occur throughout the postpartum period, to
encourage mothers not to be deceived by media images and to
stress the importance of realistic expectations following giving birth.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Reproductive and Infant Psychology
Early online date20 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished online - 20 Apr 2021

Bibliographical note

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


  • Body satisfaction
  • mental well-being
  • mothers
  • parental self-efficacy
  • postpartum
  • self-esteem


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