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 Elizabeth Claydon at the WVU School of Public Health is now available to patients and their clinicians and loved ones to help 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.
"Through this, we can help the mothers continue their healing process to raise healthy babies and maintain their recovery postpartum.”
- Elizabeth Claydon, PhD
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," Claydon said. "Through this, we can help the mothers continue their healing process to raise healthy babies and maintain their recovery postpartum.”
The new website is supported with funding from the Ophelia Fund, a private foundation set up through the Rhode Island Foundation that supports eating disorders research and education.
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 in the journal BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth and is available online.
Feature photo by freestocks.org from Pexels.
CONTACT: Kimberly Becker
WVU School of Public Health