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Table 1 Characteristics of the studies included in the metasynthesis

From: Women’s experiences of their pregnancy and postpartum body image: a systematic review and meta-synthesis

Author(s) Focus Sampling; Context Sample size Ethnicity; SES Age Marital status Parity Data collection; Data analysis Theoretical framework Quality rating
Nash (2012) Australia [22] Examine early pregnancy embodiment and BI Self-selection in response to advert; City N = 38 White; Middle class 21-40 NS NS SSI at 10 week intervals from 10/20 weeks gestation to post birth; Situational analysis Feminism B
Harper & Rail (2011) Canada [35] Young women’s discursive construction of the pregnant body in the context of obesity Snowball sampling, prenatal classes; City N = 15 NS; NS 18-28 NS n = 13 primi- & n = 2 multiparas SSI during pregnancy; Thematic and discourse analysis Feminist post-structuralism B
Ogle et al. (2011) US [37] The meaning and implications of the pp body for married couples Snowball sampling; Two towns, clinic and community N = 14 couples 24 Caucasian, 1 Asian, 2 Hispanic; Middle class 22-39 Married N = 14 primiparas Separate SSI 28 – 36 weeks gestation, and 2-6 weeks pp; Hermaneutic approach Interactionist/dramaturgical B
Carter (2010) US [24] Concept of control body/self in pregnancy and childbirth Theoretical and snowball sampling; Birth centres N = 18 3 Hispanic, 1 African American, 10 White; n = 13 upper/middle, n = 5 lower middle/ working class NS NS n = 15 primi- (n = 1 with adopted child) and n = 3 multiparas SSI at 6-18 months pp; Narrative analysis Social constructionism B
Clark et al. (2009) Australia [25] Women’s experience of the body in pregnancy and pp Social network snowball sampling; Two cities N = 20 n = 19 Australian, n = 1 British; NS 21–42 n = 16 married, n = 4 cohabiting; n = 18 primi- & n = 2 multiparas; n = 10 pregnant, n = 10 pp SSI – gp1 = 30–38 weeks gestation; gp2 = 5-12 weeks; Phenomenology, thematic content analysis Phenomenology A
Chang et al. (2006) Taiwan [26] Body image of Taiwanese women in the third trimester Purposeful sampling; Prenatal examinations N = 18 Taiwanese; NS 21-45 n = 17 married, n = 1 engaged n = 15 primiparas & n = 3 multiparas SSI in 3rd trimester; Phenomenology Phenomenology A
Johnson et al. (2004) UK [27] The meaning of body change for first time mothers to be Convenience sampling; Email to colleagues N = 6 1 British Asian, 5 White; All working for a university 26-34 Married N = 6 primiparas SSI at 33-39 weeks gestation; Phenomenology & Foucaldian discourse analysis Phenomenology & Foucaldian discourse analysis B
Seibold (2004) Australia [28] The experiences of young pregnant women, maternal embodiment and identity construction Convenience sample; prenatal classes, city hospital N = 5 NS; NS 17-23 n = 4 single, n = 1 unmarried partner Parity not stated; n = 5 pregnancies unplanned SSI at 24-26 weeks gestation, 6-8 weeks and 6 months pp (telephone); diaries in 3rd trimester; Organising themes Feminism B
Earle (2003) UK [29] Physical appearance concerns during pregnancy NS; 12 antenatal clinics N = 19 n = 1 Asian, n = 18 White; Range 16-30 NS N = 19 primiparas Unstructured interviews at 6–14, 34–39 weeks gestation; Grounded theory NS B
Upton & Han (2003) US [23] The perceived boundary between self and body after pregnancy Snowball sampling; Urban community N = 60 couples NS; Middle class 26-34 Married NS n = 52 Ethnographic interview, n = 8 interview & observation; Ethnography Phenomenology B
Bailey (2001) UK [38] Gender in pregnancy and postpartum Snowball sampling; Antenatal classes N = 30 White; Middle class 25-38 NS N = 30 primiparas SSI at 3rd trimester and 3-6 months pp; Content analysis Feminism B
Bondas & Eriksson (2001) Finland [30] The lived experiences of pregnancy Purposeful sampling; NS N = 40 NS; NS NS NS N = 40 primi- & multiparas SSI at 36th week gestation, 3 weeks, 3 months and 2 years pp; Phenomenology Phenomenology A
Schmied & Lupton (2001) UK [31] How body image gives meaning to the embodiment of pregnancy Convenience sampling; city hospital N = 25 couples 1 Brazilian, 1 German, 23 British; n = 15 white collar occupations, n = 12 educated to degree level 23-35 Cohabiting N = 25 primiparas; n = 8 unplanned, n = 17 planned SSI in pregnancy, 2-10 days, 4-8 weeks, 12-14 weeks, and 5-6 months pp; Identifying themes and patterns Post-structuralism B
Devine et al. (2000) US [32] How women experience weight change in pregnancy and pp Flyers in nutrition clinics; City N = 36 n = 1 Asian, n = 35 American; n = 24 employed, n = 8 university & n = 2 high school students 18-40 n = 33 married, n = 3 NS n = 27 primiparas & n = 9 multiparas SSI mid-pregnancy, 6 weeks, 6 (telephone) & 12 months pp; Constant comparative method Interpretivist A
Bailey (1999) UK [33] Identity in the transition to motherhood Snowball sampling; Antenatal classes N = 30 White; Middle class 25-38 n = 29 cohabiting, n = 1 single N = 30 primiparas; n = 6 unplanned, n = 24 planned SSI at 3rd trimester; Discourse analysis NS B
Fox & Yamaguchi (1997) UK [34] BI changes experienced by normal and overweight women in pregnancy Convenience sampling; Four hospitals N = 76 (42 - BMI 20–24, 34 - BMI 25–39) 57 White, 16 Black, 3 Indian Asian; n = 23 professional, n = 23 skilled, n = 12 partially/ unskilled, n = 18 unemployed 18-27 NS N = 76 primiparas Mixed methods questionnaires completed at least 30 weeks gestation; Identification of themes NS B
Wiles (1994) UK [36] The impact of pregnancy on women’s feelings about weight Identification by midwives, postal; Two hospitals N = 37 weighing >90 kg by 30th week White; NS 21-30 n = 30 cohabiting, n = 6 living with parents, n = 1 single NS SSI and free text questionnaire at 30-40 weeks gestation; NS Feminism C
  1. (primaparous = in their first pregnancy, or if postpartum, have one baby; multiparous = not first pregnancy or have more than one baby; SSI – semi-structured interviews; pp - postpartum; SES – socioeconomic status; NS – not stated). Studies listed in chronological order - numbering of paper in column one corresponds to number in reference list.