Adolescent pregnancy and eating disorders: a minireview and case report

  • Megan E. Harrison
  • Bannuya Balasubramanaiam
  • Amy Robinson
  • Mark L. Norris
Case Report



Despite the fact that eating disorders (EDs) during pregnancy and early child bearing can both individually increase risk to mother and child, there is a paucity of research exploring pregnancy in adolescence and concomitant EDs.


We report the case of a 16-year-old female with atypical anorexia nervosa, who experiences a remission of her ED behavior during pregnancy, followed by a severe relapse in the post-partum period.


In this case, pregnancy functioned as a motivator for remission in our patient with concomitant ED. Further research is needed to identify risks of EDs in adolescent pregnancy, to explore the trajectory of pre-existing EDs during pregnancy and to identify effective interventions for prolonging remission into the post-partum period.


Eating disorder Anorexia nervosa Adolescent pregnancy Maternal outcome Child outcome 



Eating disorder


Eating disorder not otherwise specified


Anorexia nervosa


Bulimia nervosa


Binge eating disorder


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethics Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from the patient included in this case report.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Megan E. Harrison
    • 1
    • 2
    • 4
  • Bannuya Balasubramanaiam
    • 3
  • Amy Robinson
    • 1
  • Mark L. Norris
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research InstituteOttawaCanada
  3. 3.Faculty of MedicineUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada
  4. 4.Department of PediatricsChildren’s Hospital of Eastern OntarioOttawaCanada

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