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Men’s Perceptions of Pregnancy-Related Weight Gain: A Psychosocial Firestorm (Upheaval) Intertwined With Supportive Intentions

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Abstract:

In-depth interviews were conducted with 16 men who had a significant other who had given birth within the last 5 years. Men were asked about their perceptions of pregnancy-related weight gain, and content analysis was used to identify themes from the interviews. Men described nine themes related to perinatal weight gain: (a) negative perceptions, (b) eating behaviors, (c) exercise habits, (d) health impact, (e) body changes, (f) weight-loss success, (g) “it bothered her more than me,” (h) “the weight gain wasn’t a problem,” and (i) intimacy. Together, these themes offer a glimpse into men’s experiences and highlight the discord and balance between experiencing negative feelings/perceptions and being a supportive partner. This information on how men perceive pregnancy-related weight gain can be used to develop interventions to assist men to support their significant others in meeting weight loss goals following pregnancy.

Keywords: men’s perceptions; postpartum weight loss; pregnancy weight gain

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1891/1058-1243.21.4.219

Affiliations: School of Nursing at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

Publication date: 2012-01-01

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