“Although again, you know, when you’re gaining weight in pregnancy, it feels like it’s for a positive reason.” ~ Rose.

Healthy Practices for Exercising While Pregnant

By Evan Penrose

Prenatal exercise has been shown to be highly effective in supporting the health of pregnant women. Historically, there have been conflicting answers on who should exercise while pregnant and what conditions can be adversely affected by exercise in the prenatal period. (more…)

Postpartum Body Image With Eating Disorders

By Kamryn Bedore
West Virginia University

Postpartum occurs after giving birth and can last anywhere from a couple days to a year (MediLexicon International). This postpartum period has a variety of different symptoms, but the main focus of this article pertains to eating habits. Postpartum has the ability to take a toll on mental health and make you into someone you are not. (more…)

Transgender Pregnancy

By Kamryn Bedore and Rachel Yankowy

Pregnancy has been considered something that only women can do but people of all genders can get pregnant and give birth. Medical professionals state that there is a possibility for a transgender woman to have a child with a uterus transplant. In the past there have already been cases of cisgender women having children with a transplanted uterus from donors. (more…)



Parenting Concerns and Eating Disorders

By Jillian Catalano
West Virginia University

Mothers with an eating disorder or history of an eating disorder often face challenges related to parenting and want more resources in this area. However, it is important to note that navigating parenting concerns associated with eating disorders is often under-studied and over-generalized. (more…)

Complications around Breastfeeding with an Eating Disorder 

By Rachel Yankowy
West Virginia University

Breastfeeding is an important time for mothers after having a child for many reasons such as bonding and the benefits of protection against illnesses or diseases. Women with an eating disorder or a history of one may have concerns or complications when it comes to breastfeeding their new child. (more…)



Family and Loved Ones’ Sensitivity Training

By Jillian Catalano
West Virginia University

During the month of February 2021, the Healing Bodies Healthy Babies research team released their first ever Family and Loved Ones’ Sensitivity Training. The virtual seminar has been much anticipated, as members of the team have spent months researching, creating, and producing visual content to optimize the viewer experience. (more…)

February 2020 Sensitivity Training 

By Malerie Razzis
West Virginia University

This past February, the Healing Bodies, Healthy Babies research team was able to conduct their very first sensitivity training.  There were months of preparation prior to the first session with considerable work from team members including Zoya Khan, Caterina DeFazio, Taylor Shultz, Oghenerukeme Asagba, and Hattie Rowe. (more…)

A Perfect Storm

By Hannah Meeks
West Virginia University

Pregnancy, especially an unplanned one, can be a stressful time for women with eating disorders due to amplified feelings of body dissatisfaction and anxiety about gaining weight. This, coupled with a lack of support and screening from clinicians who may not understand the intersection of eating disorders and pregnancy, creates a perfect storm for women with eating disorders. (more…)

A Toxic Relationship: Eating Disorders and Violence

By Hattie Rowe
West Virginia University

*Trigger Warning. Discussions of Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Assault, and Eating Disorders*

You may have heard of the nature vs. nurture debate. Some people say that our genetics and biology are what make us who we are. Others say that our environment shapes us to create the person we are. Researchers have applied this theory to the development of eating disorders.  (more…)

Conversations with People and Their Eating Disorder

By Hattie Rowe
West Virginia University

Talking with a person who has an eating disorder might look different than other conversations. For instance, using words that directly reference appearance can be triggering for those with eating disorders. It has been shown that women with eating disorders spend longer time focusing on words that deal with appearance in comparison to women who do not meet the criteria for an eating disorder (Myers, Ridolfi, & Crowther, 2015).  (more…)

Terminology for Mental Health Professionals

By Hattie Rowe
West Virginia University

As medical knowledge increases, so does responsibility. We are continually enlightened of more sensitive ways to approach conversations with patients. People with eating disorders can be sensitive to others and the vocabulary directed towards them (Kuipers, G., den Hollander, S., van der Ark, L.A., & Bekker, M. 2017). (more…)

Breast Feeding While in Recovery

By Hattie Rowe
West Virginia University

Breastfeeding is a unique and personal choice for every woman. The decision whether or not to breastfeed should be made by the mother, and not by her eating disorder. Research has shown that women who experience eating disorders and body image issues are less likely to initiate breastfeeding and more likely to wean their child sooner than average (Micali et al., 2009; Zerwas & Claydon, 2014; Claydon et al., 2014). (more…)

Recognizing Body Shame & Fat Talk

By Elizabeth Claydon

Body shame comes in so many forms and can manifest itself internally or externally. With the many nuances involved in body shame, I thought it time that it was broken down into a more easily-understood graphic depicted above. (more…)

How to Search for Eating Disorder Resources in Your Area

By Hattie Rowe
West Virginia University

Getting the individual help you need for eating concerns is an essential step in moving towards healing. However, seeking treatment close to you can be challenging. Depending on your location, options may be limited, but there are always services available that can offer help in some way. This post offers advice and tips on how to search for local eating disorder treatment options. (more…)

How to tell your doctor

Telling your doctor, nurse, or other healthcare professional about your eating disorder (whether past or present) can feel overwhelming. Often, it might have been a secret that you have kept from even those closest to you. However, it is important that your clinicians have all the information about your medical history so that they can help you during and after your pregnancy. (more…)

How to help a loved one

It can be frightening when you are confronted with the possibility your loved one or family member has an eating disorder. However, it is important to remember that they are probably frightened too, and that this is when they will need you the most. The following recommendations are related to how to help for eating disorders in general and then a few specific to eating disorders and pregnancy.(more…)

Options for Weighing

Since weight and body image concerns are areas of concern for pregnant and postpartum women with eating disorders, it’s important to know the options around weighing whether you’re a patient or a clinician. Clinicians make these decisions around weighing on a case-by-case basis or have a conversation about weighing preferences at an early prenatal appointment. Patients may want to review this list to determine what options they feel most comfortable with and then engage their clinician in a conversation about their preference. (more…)

Weight Gain Distribution

Weight gain and body shape changes can be very daunting during pregnancy especially for women who have an eating disorder or eating disorder history. However, it can be helpful to understand how the weight is attributed to the baby and how it is distributed. Being able to connect that weight gain specifically to the baby or pregnancy components can help the woman reframe the weight gain positively. (more…)

Creating a healthy relationship with food for your child

Many women who are recovering from an eating disorder or still have an eating disorder are very concerned about their children picking up on their behaviors or modeling their eating. Additionally, given the complicated relationship that someone has with food whether they have an eating disorder or are recovered from one, it is challenging to figure out how best to talk about eating and weight with children. (more…)

Coping strategies from women who have been there

Adjusting to all the changes that come with pregnancy can be a challenging process even for women without an eating disorder or history of an eating disorder. Women who have had eating disorders identified a few areas that helped them better cope with pregnancy so that they could improve the process for themselves and their baby. (more…)

Shifting the Eating Disorder Voice During Pregnancy

By Hattie Rowe
West Virginia University

Major changes in life can be stressful for anyone. But for women who have struggled with eating disorders, adapting to changes may look more difficult. People who suffer from an eating disorder have unhealthy coping strategies related to their body. Whether these life changes induce stress or excitement, adjusting to something new can elicit anxiety at the unknown. (more…)