14/08/2014 12:48 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

One In 14 Women Has An Eating Disorder In Early Pregnancy

Should mums be screened for eating disorders in pregnancy?

One in 14 women has an eating disorder in the first three months of their pregnancy, according to new research.

A University College London (UCL) study of 700 pregnant women found that a quarter were 'highly concerned about their weight and shape' and that one in 14 had an eating disorder in their first trimester.

The shocking report also revealed that two per cent of respondents had fasted, exercised excessively, induced vomiting and misused laxatives or diuretics to avoid gaining weight during their pregnancy.

Additionally, researchers found that one in 12 mums-to-be admitted they would over eat and lose control over what they ate twice a week.

The study's authors have said the findings highlight a need for women to be screened for eating disorders at their first antenatal check-up.

Dr Abigail Easter from the UCL Institute of Child Health said that normal pregnancy symptoms like weight gain and vomiting could 'mask the presence of an eating disorder'.

"Many women with eating disorders may therefore go undetected and untreated during pregnancy," she warned.

More on Parentdish: Check out our pregnancy health pages for sensible advice