The Effect of Media on Body Image in Pregnant and Postpartum Women


Body Image, Media, Pregnancy, Postpartum


Much research has found that exposure to certain types of media portrayals of women can be related to body image concerns among women. The current paper focuses on the impact of certain messages on pregnant and postpartum women. These women are rarely examined in a media research context but are particularly vulnerable to body image concerns. This experimental study involved 192 pregnant or postpartum women who read a magazine containing glamorized media portrayals of pregnant/postpartum women or a control magazine. Pregnant women reported lower body image after only five minutes of exposure to the magazine with pregnant/postpartum women compared to the control group. There was no immediate effect on postpartum women. Implications for the media industry, health professionals, and women are discussed.

Original Publication Citation

Coyne, S. M., Liechty, T., *Collier, K. M., *Sharp, A. D., *Davis, E. J., *Kroff, S. (2018). The effect of media on body image in pregnant and postpartum women. Health Communication, 33, 793-799.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Journal of Health Communication




Family, Home, and Social Sciences


Family Life

University Standing at Time of Publication

Full Professor