For many women with a current or previous eating disorder, pregnancy can sometimes exacerbate their unhealthy relationship with food. A web-based resource inspired through a recent qualitative study conducted by assistant professor Dr. Elizabeth Claydon at the West Virginia University School of Public Health is now available to patients and their clinicians and loved ones who must navigate this complex issue.
“Healing Bodies Healthy Babies” is a new website for clinicians and healthcare professionals, patients, and family and loved ones to utilize when addressing the issue of pregnancy and eating disorders. The site provides screening, referral and education tools for healthcare providers, including sensitivity training. Patients can find research-informed resources for recovering through pregnancy or maintaining recovery, along with recommendations for loved ones to serve in supporting roles.
Dr. Claydon says the goal was to ensure that the information gleaned from and ideas inspired by the recent study were made available to everyone who could benefit from it.
“My hope is that Healing Bodies Healthy Babies reaches the women, clinicians and families who need it most, so that those who have a current or past eating disorder and are pregnant can be supported during their pregnancy instead of feeling isolated in the process,” Dr. Claydon said. “Through this, we can help the mothers continue their healing process to raise healthy babies and maintain their recovery postpartum.”
Dr. Claydon and her team’s research, which was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through the WVU Injury Control Research Center, was recently published as “Waking up every day in a body that is not yours: a qualitative research inquiry into the intersection between eating disorders and pregnancy” in the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth.Friday Letter Submission