Resources for eating disorders in pregnancy

Researchers from King’s College London announce new training resources to help professionals give greater support to mothers with eating disorders.

Eating disorders in pregnancy

Pregnancy news, 26/02/18

Marking the start of Eating Disorders Awareness Week 2018, researchers at King’s College London have launched practical training resources for health professionals to help them provide the best care possible for mothers with eating disorders.

The resources have been developed in response to research conducted by KCL, with input from midwives and obstetric doctors, women with lived experience, and organisations including Tommy’s, BEAT, the Institute of Health Visiting and The National Childbirth Trust.

‘Women with eating disorders are often reluctant to disclose their illness to healthcare professionals, possibly due to a fear of stigma, and healthcare professionals may be unsure about how to identify women with eating disorders or what support they need.’
Dr Abigail Easter, Senior Postdoctoral Fellow in Improvement Science at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN)

Previous research found that around 7.5% of women may suffer from eating disorders during pregnancy and the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) addressed this in their recent 2017 recommendations. They called for enhanced monitoring and support for women with eating disorders before, during and after pregnancy.

Despite this, there are few resources available to healthcare professionals to help them provide the care these women need. In addition, the barriers to women disclosing mental health concerns make diagnosis and implementation of the current NICE guidelines challenging.

The new animation from KCL seeks to address this. It also highlights the importance of appropriate and timely support for pregnant women with eating disorders, and how important it is for these women to be able to trust their healthcare team.

Watch the animation

Tommy’s thoughts

'This resource will be so valuable to all health professionals supporting pregnant women with eating disorders. It will not only increase awareness of the conditions, but also give them the confidence to speak to women about their eating disorder, and the knowledge to support them throughout their pregnancy and beyond. All this should hopefully go some way to increase trust and reduce barriers that may currently be in the way of a woman disclosing her eating disorder with her healthcare team.' Kate Pinney, Tommy's Midwifery manager

More information for professionals

More on mental health and pregnancy

More Tommy's news and views

  • A nurse taking a patients blood pressure in a hospital room

    News

    Pregnancy is a unique chance to predict health risks to mums

    A recently published article, co-authored by Professor Catherine Williamson from Tommy’s Research Centre at King’s College London, suggests that certain pregnancy complications can indicate future health issues for women.

  • Rising demand for Tommy's midwives in coronavirus lockdown

    News

    Tommy’s awarded grant to help meet rising demand for support during coronavirus lockdown

    Tommy’s has received a grant from the UK Government’s Department for Health and Social Care to support the costs of its PregnancyHub information and support services throughout the summer, due to rising demand in the wake of coronavirus.

  • Tommy's researchers latest findings

    News

    Tommy’s Research Centres continue vital work on pregnancy complications

    Although recruitment to some clinical trials had to be paused when coronavirus hit the UK, scientists at Tommy’s Research Centres across the UK are still hard at work, supporting women and families in our specialist clinics and sharing their latest studies with academic journals.

  • Blog

    Miscarriage during lockdown

    The day before Mother’s Day, and two days before the UK officially went into coronavirus lockdown, Zara Dawson found out she was having a miscarriage. Her third consecutive miscarriage in less than a year, and fourth consecutive loss, after losing her second son Jesse in 2018 to termination for medical reasons.

    Was this information useful?

    Yes No

    Comments

    Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.

    Your comment

    Add new comment