Spiritual Well-being of Pregnant Women in Association with Life Satisfaction and Healthy Behavior during Pregnancy
Pregnancy and childbirth are regarded as a spiritual event itself, one of life’s most important experiences for every woman. Pregnancy may be an opportunity to expand thinking or renew feelings about meaning in life and spiritual beliefs, which might provide greater protection for the mother and her baby.
The aim of this study was to assess the spiritual well-being of pregnant women in association with life satisfaction and healthy life behavior habits during pregnancy.
Methods. The cross-sectional survey design was applied for this study that was carried out from November 2019 till September 2020. For the self-assessment of spiritual well-being, satisfaction with life and healthy behavior, 127 pregnant women were invited to participate and 110 of them completed the survey with the response rate of 86.6%. The complete questionnaires from 102 study participants were analyzed. Spiritual Well-being Scale SHALOM and Brief Multidimensional Life Satisfaction Scale (BMLSS), in addition to an authors’ developed scale on healthy behavior habits change during pregnancy, were used. The Lithuanian Regional Committee on Bioethics issued permission to conduct the study.
Results. The results revealed that summative scores of the domain and the mean scores of each item on the Ideals dimension were significantly higher (P < 0.001) than the same domain and the same item on the Lived Experience dimension. The communal and personal domains of spiritual well-being in both dimensions of SHALOM had higher mean scores than the other two domains while the transcendental domain was found to be the lowest. On the BMLSS, 97.1% (n = 99) of pregnant women were satisfied with their life, and the others (2.9%; n = 3) were not. Women were most satisfied with their family life, friendships and overall life. The main changes in the lifestyle because of pregnancy were related to healthier nutrition, use of alcohol and physical activity.
Conclusions. Women at their second trimester of pregnancy are in good spiritual health and highly satisfied with their life although the direct relationship between these two research phenomena was weak or moderate. The subjective health of women makes a difference in their perception of spiritual well-being and life satisfaction. Pregnant women tend to make changes in their lifestyle because of pregnancy by mostly improving their nutrition, avoiding use of alcohol and limiting physical activity. It is important to encourage women to use balanced exercise programs and to maintain their social interactions as protective factors for good mental health during pregnancy.
Correspondence to O. Riklikienė Correspondence to Olga Riklikienė, Nursing Department, Faculty of Nursing, Medical Academy, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences, Eivenių 4, Kaunas, LT-50161, Lithuania. email@example.com