Collections > Scholarly Posters and Presentations > Perinatal eating disorder symptoms, parenting stress, and infant feeding

Introduction: We sought to quantify associations between postpartum eating disorder symptoms, maternal mood, parenting, and infant feeding.Study Design: We analyzed participants in an ongoing longitudinal study of women intending to breastfeed. At baseline all participants underwent a Structured Clinical Interview (SCID) to determine history of anorexia, bulimia, or binge eating disorder (EDHx). At 2 months postpartum, we quantified current symptoms using the Eating Disorder Examination Questionnaire (EDE-Q4). We measured outcomes using the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the Parenting Stress Index – Short Form, the Breastfeeding Self-Efficacy Scale, and the modified Differential Emotions Scale (mDES). We used multivariable linear regression to model associations between outcomes and EDE-Q4, EDHx and interactions between EDHx and EDE-Q4.Results: Of the 62 women, 1 had a SCID-verified current eating disorder and 8 had an EDHx. At 2 months postpartum, women with EDHx were more likely to meet clinical thresholds for depression indexed by BDI ≥ 17 (33 vs. 6%, Fisher’s exact p=.03). Adjusting for EDHx, higher EDE-Q4 score was associated with higher BDI (R2 = .45, main effect p<.0001) and reduced breastfeeding self-efficacy (R2=.10, main effect p=.02). EDHx moderated other associations: among women without EDHx, higher EDE-Q4 score was associated with higher EPDS score (R2= .27, interaction p.<05), greater parenting stress (R2=.26, interaction p =.06) and more negative emotions during feeding (R2=.32, interaction p=.03).Conclusion: Maternal eating disorder symptoms were associated with depression symptoms, parenting stress, and negative breastfeeding outcomes. Parenting support may improve outcomes for mothers with disordered eating symptoms.