Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Nicole Harris


An eating disorder (ED) is characterized by regular and constant disturbances in eating or an eating-related behavior that are associated with distress and impairments (Marcus, 2018). Schmidt et al., (2016), noted that the average duration of an ED illness is six years and young women make up the majority of people with anorexia nervosa (AN) and bulimia nervosa (BN). According to Knoph et al., (2013) the majority of women with AN and BN that were pregnant appeared to turn to adaptive changes in eating behaviors. The researchers in the article by Knoph et al., (2013) found that pregnancy is a risk window for the onset of binge-eating disorder (BED) in the vulnerable individuals. While lots of research and information exists on ED, little is available on EDs in women experiencing postpartum depression (PPD). Postpartum depression is a disabling but treatable mental disorder that represents one of the most common complications of childbearing (Stewart & Vigod, 2016). With the detrimental effects and challenges that are faced in everyday occupations by an individual experiencing PPD and an ED, it is not a surprise that occupational therapists (OT) have a unique role in their treatment.