Expecting and Anorexic: The Link Between Pregnancy and Eating Disorders

a pregnant woman

Pregnancy is one of those things many women look forward to — but that’s unfortunately not the case for women who have a long history of eating disorder. The body changes that come with pregnancy could trigger a relapse and send a woman back to the downward spiral of the disease, putting her and her unborn baby at risk.

The Relapse From Pregnancy

The growing bulge women experience during pregnancy is enough to prompt anorexic or bulimic anxiety. But more than that, changes inside the body, particularly the raging hormones that affect appetite and cognitive processes make a pregnant woman more vulnerable to living unhealthy lifestyles again.

Your body wants to eat for two to supply the growing needs of the baby, but the eating disorder creeps up and tells you not to do it. As a result, women tend to restrict eating, purge, or over exercise.

All this focus on food, body, and weight can be dangerous for someone who had a history of obsessing over these things. This is the reason facilities specializing in treatment for eating disorder in Westport, CT generally begin with helping patients deal with negative thoughts and how they could adopt healthier habits of thinking when faced with issues about food and weight.

What You Should Do

There are lots of risks when you’re pregnant and dealing with relapse. It can drive you to premature labor or result in your baby having low birth weight. It can also cause delayed fetal growth. The worst case scenario is a miscarriage.

So right off the bat, share with your doctor your eating disorder struggles. They should be able to re-adjust how they approach each session with you with the consideration of you possibly getting a relapse. It’s also best if you get a nutritionist, so you can have professional advice on how you can maintain healthy eating and weight. Join support groups as well to keep an optimist attitude.

Pregnancy throws in a lot of risks for people who have an eating disorder. Should you become pregnant while struggling with this disease, consult your doctor immediately.