Associations of Eating Disorder Traits, Interoceptive Awareness, Gentle Touch with Depression during Pregnancy
Pregnancy is a major event in a woman’s life during which her body undergoes rapid and dramatic changes in body shape. Issues with adjusting to these bodily changes can increase vulnerability for eating disorders which in turn may lead to postnatal depression. Tactile anhedonia, i.e., lack of tactile pleasure may also mediate the relationship between eating disorders and depression. This study investigates whether eating disorders traits, interoceptive awareness, pleasantness to gentle touch might predict perinatal depression. Pregnant women completed a series of self-report scales measuring body satisfaction during pregnancy, eating disorders levels, interoceptive awareness, tactile pleasure, and depression. Preliminary results suggest that trusting in the body to grow and nourish the foetus and that the bodily changes occurring at this time are a necessary and important part of that process, may perhaps buffer negative outcomes of postnatal depression by helping women to successfully adapt to these changes and maintain a positive experience of the body during pregnancy.