“Our bodies take us through our daily lives, they are the vessels that transport us, bear witness to our triumphs and struggles, and convey a host of meanings about ourselves and our cultures. And for those reasons, they are beautiful, in every shape, size, and color. We cannot allow ourselves or others to begin a cycle of self-hatred over the bodies that are our lifelong homes” — Elizabeth Claydon
Healing Bodies Healthy Babies is designed to be a resource for clinicians and healthcare professionals, patients, and family and loved ones to help navigate the complex issue of pregnancy and eating disorders. Our goal is to provide screening, referral, and education tools including sensitivity training to healthcare professionals; research-informed resources for recovering through pregnancy or maintaining recovery for patients; and resources for family and loved ones to act in a supporting role. In this way, we aim to help women’s healing bodies whether they have a current or past eating disorder so that they can have and raise healthy babies and maintain recovery postpartum.
Elizabeth Claydon is an Assistant Professor at West Virginia University in the Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, she primarily researches eating disorders and obesity prevention. She received a dual BA in Child Development and Medicine, Health, and Society from Vanderbilt, which started her interest in public health. She then pursued an MPH and Master of Science at Yale, focusing her research on obesity and eating disorder prevention. Dr. Claydon received her Doctorate in Social and Behavioral Sciences from West Virginia University in May 2018. Her dissertation work focused on preventing the intergenerational transmission of eating disorders and dieting behavior, in both community and clinical populations. Dr. Claydon’s research also involved a qualitative piece on the intersection between pregnancy and eating disorders, which is the foundational work for Healing Bodies, Healthy Babies.
Hattie Rowe is a senior undergraduate student at West Virginia University studying Psychology and Women and Gender Studies. She will be pursuing a Masters in Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh next year and hopes to help populations that struggle with body image concerns and eating disorders in the future.
Oghenerukeme Asagba is a first year medical student at West Virginia University School of Medicine. She is passionate about interventions that combat inequities in healthcare and as such she’s excited to be a part of this project.
Zoya Khan is a sophomore undergraduate student at West Virginia University pursuing a degree in Biology and a minor in Medical Humanities & Health Studies. Zoya works with Dr. Claydon and the Healing Bodies Healthy Babies team through the WVU Office of Undergraduate Research’s Research Apprenticeship Program. After graduating from WVU, Zoya plans to attend medical school and pursue a career in a field related to women’s health or pediatrics.
Taylor Shultz is a senior Public Health undergraduate student at West Virginia University. She is from Preston County, WV and hopes to stay in the state to better the population’s health outcomes.
Kyli Smith is an undergraduate student in the school of Public Health at West Virginia University with a minor in Medical Humanities & Health Studies. She plans to pursue a career in health education and research to promote community well-being.
Jillian Knode is a junior at West Virginia University, majoring in Public Health and minoring in both Human Services and Women & Gender Studies. Jillian is a volunteer research assistant for Dr. Claydon and the rest of the Healing Bodies Healthy Babies team. After graduating from WVU, Jillian plans to work in a field related to mental health or nutrition.
Hannah Meeks is a senior undergraduate with the School of Public Health with a minor in health promotion. After graduation, she plans to attend a masters program in public health with a focus in social behavioral sciences.
Funding support for this website was made possible by a generous donation by the Ophelia Fund.
With grateful acknowledgment to Dr. Marie Rowland of Write Brain LLC and to Dr. Robert Bossarte of the West Virginia University Injury Control Research Center for their ongoing support of this project. Additional thanks to my student research volunteers, Taylor Shultz, Hattie Rowe, Ruke Asagba, and Zoya Khan, for their assistance with content development. And with infinite gratitude to the women who shared their stories and experiences around this topic, which sparked the idea to create this website.
Many thanks to the STICK Tattoo Company in Morgantown, WV for the beautiful logo.