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Keywords:

  • eating disorders;
  • postpartum;
  • pregnancy;
  • anorexia nervosa;
  • bulimia nervosa;
  • binge eating;
  • cohort studies

ABSTRACT

Objective

To assess eating disorder symptoms (EDS) from prepregancy through postpartum.

Method

Seven hundred and twelve women with gestational age ranging from 16th to 36th week completed the eating disorder examination questionnaire (EDE-Q). A shortened version of the EDE-Q was used to assess, retrospectively, EDS during the last 28 days of the pregestational period. Follow up assessment occurred at the 4th–5th month postpartum (n = 427). Generalized structural equation models were used to estimate risk of EDS in pregestation, gestation, and postpartum.

Results

Women who did not participate in follow up (n = 285) were not significantly different in sociodemographic characteristics. In postpartum, a higher number of women referred shape (RR = 1.65; 95% CI 1.19–2.30) and weight concerns (RR = 1.64; 95% CI 1.16–2.31) than in pregestation. Binge eating (BE) and self-induced vomiting diminished during pregnancy (RR = 0.70, 95% CI 0.57–0.85; RR = 0.21, 95% CI 0.10–0.44, respectively) and postpartum (RR = 0.62, 95% CI 0.48–0.80; RR = 0.38, 95% CI 0.19–0.76, respectively) compared with pregestation

Discussion

Shape and weight concerns are highly prevalent in postpartum and may confer risk for the development of inappropriate eating behaviors. Health professionals should be trained on how to recognize these symptoms. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. (Int J Eat Disord 2014; 47:426–430)