Episode 79: Pregnancy and Postpartum Eating Disorders with Katie Gantt

Katie Gantt

Episode description:

Katie Gantt, MHS, RD, LDN, RYT, is a registered dietitian who has been working in the field of eating disorders and disordered eating for over five years. Katie is passionate about helping moms have a healthy pregnancy and postpartum period by finding health without dieting and challenging disordered eating patterns. She is the owner of Kathryn Gantt Nutrition where she uses her clinical expertise and yoga training to help moms reconnect with their bodies and their relationship to food in a positive, trauma-informed style. Katie focuses on mindful and intuitive eating, Health At Every Size (HAES), and non-diet approaches when counseling clients and helping parents raise intuitive eaters.

Katie joins us in this episode of Peace Meal to discuss how pregnancy and postpartum can complicate or instigate an eating disorder. Offering a wealth of firsthand insights on this nuanced topic, Katie shares cultural and biological factors that make women susceptible to eating disorders during this period of life. She acknowledges the difficulty of speaking up when triggered by uncomfortable comments from providers, who may be unaware of their weight bias and their potential reinforcement of eating disorder behaviors. Katie then identifies practical tips for how providers can better serve these populations. Lastly, she acknowledges the beautiful potential for recovery-oriented body appreciation during pregnancy and postpartum.

We cover:

  • How pregnancy and postpartum are uniquely poised to impact those with a history of eating disorders or disordered eating
  • The limited eating disorder training among OBs, and how this contributes to missed disordered eating behaviors during pregnancy
  • Weight-neutral approaches to prenatal and postpartum healthcare
  • How to manage gestational diabetes in a way that doesn’t contribute to disordered eating thoughts and behaviors
  • How to hold space for body appreciation within pregnancy and postpartum

In Katie’s words:

  • On the lack of screening for disordered eating during pregnancy: “Over 90% of women are never screened for disordered eating in pregnancy, at all. So if you don’t provide that information or if you don’t yourself quite realize that you have a disordered relationship with food, it’s most likely never going to come up when you’re with your OB.”
  • On the special considerations for pregnant or postpartum women in eating disorder recovery: “Statistically, if we have a history of an eating disorder regardless if it’s active or not in our pregnancy, there is a significantly higher risk of it recurring in the first year postpartum. And you couple that with women who have had a history of an eating disorder who have a 30% higher risk of developing postpartum depression and postpartum anxiety – that can be a really risky time for women.”
  • On eating disorder recovery and body appreciation during pregnancy: “It’s not uncommon to see eating disorder remission during pregnancy. There’s this sense of, ‘this is kind of a cool thing that’s happening [to my body].’ For some of my clients, it’s the first time they have ever had body appreciation.”

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About the podcast:

Peace Meal is a podcast hosted by The Emily Program and Veritas Collaborative that covers topics related to eating disorders, body image, and how society may influence our thinking.

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Are you interested in being a guest on Peace Meal? Email podcast@emilyprogram.com for more information.

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