“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 provide resources to help individuals navigate their healing bodies, whether they have a current or past eating disorder, so that they can have and raise healthy babies and maintain recovery postpartum. Although many of our resources focus on the experience of cisgender women, Healing Bodies Healthy Babies recognizes and is responsive to the pregnancy experiences of all people and is continuing to provide more resources to be inclusive on this front.
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.
Ranyah Chahine is a junior undergraduate student at West Virginia University majoring in Public Health with an area of emphasis being in Community and Population Health with a minor in Communication Studies. Upon graduation, Ranyah plans on pursing a career in the fields of health administration or health policy to help ensure the health of individuals.
Jordan Ceglar is an undergraduate student in the school of Public Health at West Virginia University with a minor in Addiction Studies. Jordan plans on pursuing a career in infectious disease research or addiction research focused on the Appalachian region to help improve the health of those who reside within it.
Diana Davidson is a junior undergraduate student at West Virginia University majoring in Sociology with a minor in Medical Humanities and Health Studies. Diana works with Dr. Claydon through WVU’s Research Apprenticeship Program. Diana’s career goals after graduation are to go on to receive a Masters in Public Health with a focus on community health and to have a career working in a clinical setting that focuses on family health.
Caterina DeFazio is a second-year Ph.D. student in the School of Public Health, majoring in Social and Behavioral Sciences. She has assisted Dr. Claydon in developing a Healing Bodies Healthy Babies survey for loved ones as well as a survey for clinicians. After graduating, Caterina hopes to work in the field advocating for women’s health. Later she would like to work as a professor assisting and facilitating the growth of others’ career goals.
Sydney Durrah is a senior at West Virginia University majoring in Public Health with an emphasis in Public Health Sciences. Sydney plans on continuing a career in public health after receiving her MPH with an emphasis in maternal and child health. She hopes to eventually further research in generational trauma and its effects on the mother and child during the pre and postnatal period.
Zoya Khan is a senior undergraduate student at West Virginia University studying Biology and Medical Humanities and Health Studies from Charleston, WV. Zoya has worked with Dr.Claydon through the Research Apprenticeship Program and independently for over a year and a half. After graduation, Zoya will be attending medical school. She hopes to pursue a career in a field related to maternal, fetal, or infant medicine while continuing to be involved in public health.
Evan Penrose is a senior undergraduate student at West Virginia University studying Communications and Political Science from Martinsburg, WV. Evan works with Dr. Claydon as a communications intern for the spring of 2022. Evan’s career goals after college are to work within the public sector or to find a career in public relations.
Donovan Weekley is a junior undergraduate at West Virginia University studying biology and medical humanities and health studies. He was born in Virginia Beach, VA and raised in St. Mary’s County, MD, but has deep connections to the state of West Virginia through his father’s family. Upon graduation, Donovan hopes to pursue a Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Health or Social Justice. Afterwards, he would like to pursue a medical degree.
Sarah Young is a graduate student in the Master of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Sciences program. Sarah spent her undergraduate career at WVU researching in the field of clinical child psychology but is most interested in infant and maternal health. In the future, she hopes to pursue a career that allows her to educate and advocate for women and children.
Kamryn Bedore (Communications Intern)
Seneca Demoss Jennings (Research Apprenticeship Program Student)
Malerie Razzis (Communications Intern)
Rachel Yankowy (Communications Intern)
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.