Maternal self-esteem after successful treatment for infertility

Sara Jane Cox, C. Glazebrook, C. Sheard, G. Ndukwe, M. Oates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To [1] investigate self-esteem during pregnancy after previous infertility and [2] establish the relationship among self-esteem, anxiety during pregnancy, and parenting self-efficacy. Design: Limited prospective study. Setting: A regional infertility clinic and antenatal clinic. Patient(s): Seventy women who had conceived through assisted reproductive technology and 111 women who had conceived naturally. Intervention(s): Measures of self-esteem, anxiety, and parenting self-efficacy. Main Outcome Measure(s): Self-esteem, anxiety, and parenting self-efficacy. Result(s): Women who had conceived through IVF treatment did not differ in terms of self-esteem during pregnancy from those who had conceived naturally. All of the women in the present study displayed levels of self-esteem that were within the normal range. Self-esteem increased as pregnancy progressed. Self-esteem was negatively correlated with anxiety during pregnancy. As self-esteem increased, anxiety decreased. Self-esteem at the start of pregnancy (18 weeks) and anxiety in the early stages of parenthood (6 weeks postpartum) predicted parenting self-efficacy. Conclusion(s): Self-esteem in the early stages of pregnancy, for both women who conceived through IVF and women who conceived naturally, is related to self-reported levels of parenting efficacy. Coaching and mentoring through antenatal clinics in the early stages of pregnancy should be tailored to incorporate advice regarding self-esteem in addition to management of pregnancy and psychological well-being. ©2006 by American Society for Reproductive Medicine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)84-89
Number of pages6
JournalFertility and Sterility
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

cited By 30


  • adult
  • article
  • conception
  • controlled study
  • female
  • female infertility
  • fertilization in vitro
  • human
  • infertility therapy
  • major clinical study
  • parenthood
  • pregnancy
  • prenatal care
  • priority journal
  • prospective study
  • self concept
  • self esteem, Adult
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Female
  • Fertilization in Vitro
  • Humans
  • Infertility, Female
  • Mothers
  • Postpartum Period
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Outcome
  • Pregnancy Trimester, Second
  • Prospective Studies
  • Questionnaires
  • Self Concept
  • Self Efficacy


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