Archives of Women's Mental Health

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 675–680 | Cite as

Eating disorder symptoms pre- and postpartum

  • Cecilia Brundin Pettersson
  • Modjtaba Zandian
  • David Clinton
Original Article


The study aimed to investigate symptoms of disordered eating pre- and postpartum using a standardised and widely used measure of eating disorder (ED) psychopathology. A consecutive series of women attending either prenatal (N = 426) or postnatal (N = 345) clinics in metropolitan Stockholm were assessed using the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q). Assessments were conducted at either the first visit to prenatal clinics (10–12 weeks of pregnancy) or 6 to 8 months postpartum. An optimised shortened version of the EDE-Q was best suited for studying eating disorders pre- and postpartum. Using the optimised version of the instrument with 14 items and a cut-off score of ≥2.8, it was estimated that 5.3 % of prepartum and 12.8 % of postpartum mothers were suffering from clinical eating disorders. Seriously disordered eating behaviour during, and especially after, pregnancy may be more common than previously thought. It is imperative that health services focus increased attention on these problems by raising awareness, developing and extending specialist services, as well as through implementing educational programmes and training directed toward frontline healthcare services.


Disordered eating Eating disorders EDE-Q Pregnancy Prevalence 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval for the study was obtained from relevant authorities, and all participants provided informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Wien 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Resource Centre for Eating Disorders (KÄTS), Centre for Psychiatry Research (CPF, SLL)Karolinska InstitutetStockholmSweden
  2. 2.AB MandoHuddingeSweden
  3. 3.Institute for Eating DisordersOsloNorway

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