Authors: Terri Burton, WA
Event: 2014 TheMHS Conference
Subject: book of proceedings 2014
Type of resource: Conference Presentations and Papers
Abstract: Eating disorders are an international occurrence and an increasing public health concern. They carry the uppermost rate of mortality of the main mental health disorders and are a frequent source of psychiatric morbidity in women of childbearing age. Whilst literature demonstrates the aetiology, incidence and outcomes of eating disorders in women, with evidence showing the effects on pregnancy, the fetus and parenthood adjustment, there is a dearth of research concerning how pregnant women make meaning of the experience. A phenomenological study presented a description of the pregnancy experience as perceived by eighteen women with diagnosed eating disorders. The study identified fourteen key themes that described the women’s experience of living with an eating disorder while pregnant and demonstrated the importance of healthcare providers’ awareness that pregnant women may be undergoing personal distress and their necessity to be sensitive to the specific needs of women with eating disorders.