Recognising the symptoms: How common are eating disorders in pregnancy?

About this resource

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to investigate eating disorder diagnostic status and related symptoms in early pregnancy. METHODS: Pregnant women (n=739), attending their first routine antenatal scan, were assessed using an adapted version of the Eating Disorder Diagnostic Scale (EDDS). Prevalence estimates and eating disorder symptoms were assessed during the first 3 months of pregnancy and, retrospectively, in the 6 to 12 months prior to pregnancy. RESULTS: During pregnancy 7.5% of women met diagnostic criteria for an eating disorder, compared to prepregnancy prevalence of 9.2%. Approximately one quarter (23.4%) of women reported high weight and shape concern during pregnancy; binge eating was endorsed by 8.8%, and 2.3% of women engaged in regular compensatory behaviours. CONCLUSIONS: Eating disorders are more common than previously thought in pregnancy. There is a clinical need for increased understanding of eating disorder symptomatology during pregnancy and for appropriate screening tools to be incorporated into antenatal care.

AuthorEaster, Abigail; Bye, Amanda; Taborelli, Emma; Corfield, Freya; Schmidt, Ulrike; Treasure, Janet & Micali, Nadia
JournalEuropean Eating Disorders Review

See also

First do no harm: Iatrogenic maintaining factors in anorexia nervosa

The aim of this paper is to reflect on the way that we as clinicians may play an inadvertent role in perpetuating eating disordered behaviour.

Read more

Teriparatide increases bone formation and bone mineral density in adult women with anorexia nervosa.

CONTEXT: Anorexia nervosa (AN), a prevalent psychiatric disorder predominantly affecting women, is characterized by self-induced starvation and low body weight.

Read more

Dopamine in anorexia nervosa: A systematic review

Anorexia nervosa (AN) is a chronic relapsing psychiatric disorder with a largely unknown pathophysiology.

Read more

Two-year follow-up of the MOSAIC trial: A multicenter randomized controlled trial comparing two psychological treatments in adult outpatients with broadly defined anorexia nervosa

OBJECTIVE: This study reports follow-up data from a multicenter randomized controlled trial (n = 142) comparing the Maudsley Model of Anorexia Nervosa Treatment for Adults (MANTRA) with Specialist Supportive Clinical Management (SSCM) in outpatients with broadly defined anorexia nervosa (AN).

Read more

Help us improve!

Give us feedback!

We will continue throughout 2019 to update and improve the NEDC website and welcome any feedback you may have on the site.

Provide feedback