Clinical Review

Eating for 2: Managing eating disorders in pregnancy

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Postpregnancy concerns

Patients with eating disorders are at high risk of relapse in the postpartum period, even if they are able to achieve full remission in pregnancy. Rapid postpartum weight loss may be a sign of disordered eating. Postpartum depression also is a concern, and women should be followed closely for surveillance of symptoms. Finally, postpartum contraception is extremely important. The menstrual irregularities that are common among women with eating disorders along with common misconceptions regarding fertility in the postpartum period increase the risk of unplanned pregnancy.

Remain cognizant of eating disorders

A clear surveillance plan early in the pregnancy that is developed in conjunction with the patient and her care team is crucial in improving maternal and fetal outcomes among women with an eating disorder. Clinician knowledge of complications and risks specific to disordered eating and pregnancy can affect outcomes for both mother and baby.

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