What is the effect of having had an eating disorder on pregnancy? And more specifically, are women who’ve had eating disorders more likely to experience perinatal and delivery complications?
Like with a lot of things, the information out there is mixed. (This is why one study is never enough and replication is crucial.) Early studies seemed to have suggested that women with EDs face an increased risk complications during the last stage of pregnancy and during delivery. On the other hand, subsequent studies done with larger clinical samples didn’t find any major differences between women with and without (a history) of eating disorders.
The authors summarize the current state of knowledge:
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In short, the available evidence suggests that both active and past maternal [anorexia nervosa] may be associated with a decreased birth weight and that maternal ED might be associated with pregnancy and postnatal complications. Methodological limitations of previous