Women’s experiences of pregnancy, birth and the perinatal period following an eating disorder

1. Your name, academic institution and contact details

Dr Rakime Elmir, Western Sydney University, (02) 46203372 r.elmir@westernsydney.edu.au

2. Name of Chief Investigator

Dr Rakime Elmir

3. Name of University Supervisor

Professor Phillipa Hay and Professor Virginia Schmied

4. The name of your project and a brief synopsis

Project title: Women’s experiences of pregnancy, birth and the perinatal period following an eating disorder

Aim: The aim of this study is to explore experiences of pregnancy, birth and the perinatal period in women with a self-reported history of an eating disorder.

Objectives: 1) to explore their thoughts and emotions; 2) to explore their attitudes and beliefs towards breastfeeding and introduction of solids 3) to explore their experiences of perinatal services in pregnancy, birth and the early childhood period; and 4) to inform the design or redesign of perinatal services and referral pathways for women during pregnancy, birth and the perinatal period.

Inclusion criteria for the study are women who self-identify an eating disorder and are at least 24 weeks pregnant, English speaking and over 18 years of age. Participants will be given the opportunity to ask questions prior to recruitment for the study. If they meet the study inclusion criteria and remain interested in participating in the study, they will be sent an electronic copy of the information and consent form to read in detail. A tentative date and time for the interview will be made during this first encounter and if participants agree, their contact details will be obtained in order to confirm the interview date and time after they had an opportunity to read the full information sheet. The researcher will then make contact with potential participants either by phone or email two to three days prior to the tentative interview date. This will provide an opportunity to answer any questions participants have and to confirm the time of interview.

Data collection

Interviews: Data will be collected through semi-structured face-to-face and telephone interviews. Telephone interviews will be offered to women who live at a distance or women who simply prefer a phone interview. Participants will be informed that the interview will be recorded using a digital recorder and will be made aware that they can terminate the interview and or withdraw from the study at any point in time. Questions asked at the time of interview may include; “Tell me about your feelings of being pregnant?”, “Please describe the support you have at home?” “Describe your history of an eating disorder?” “Can you describe for me how your previous experience of having an eating disorder may have impacted on your pregnancy? “Have you made a decision about how you will feed your baby following birth? What has influenced your decision?” These questions will serve as a guide to facilitate discussion and elicit rich data of women’s experiences.

Demographic and eating disorder symptoms questionnaire: At the end of the interview demographic data will be collected and participants will be asked to complete a short 8-item questionnaire measuring current level of eating disorder symptoms (EDE-Q).

5. Recruitment details – who are you looking for Women who are pregnant or have given birth with a prior or current history of an eating disorder.

6. Human Research Ethics Board and Approval Number


7. Opening and closing date for recruitment

26th April to 26th August