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Expert Reaction: Meghan Markle and pregnancy body image

Posted on 8 May 2019

An expert in body image at the University of York comments on the pressures and anxiety that pregnant women and new mothers can experience, following the first interview with the Duchess of Sussex since giving birth.

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Dr Catherine Preston, an expert in body image at the University of York’s Department of Psychology, said: “Women are under constant pressure about their appearance and unfortunately during pregnancy and after birth is no exception.

"We are often expected to be glowing mothers-to-be and new mothers, unphased by rapid and dramatic physical and psychological changes that women endure at this time.

“However, women’s experience of their body before and after birth is often overlooked, despite research indicating that it can have a negative impact on both maternal and infant wellbeing.

"The attention and criticism on the Duchess of Sussex highlights this issue; more should be done to protect women at this time and help them to enter motherhood positively without unrealistic expectations placed upon them and their physical appearance.”

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