A growing baby bump during pregnancy is typically a good thing- but for mothers-to-be with an eating disorder or a history of eating disorders, the weight gain can be a scary reality.
Struggling with an eating disorder during pregnancy can create risk for mother and baby. According to the National Eating Disorders Association, moms battling an eating disorder often experience dehydration, premature birth, gestational diabetes, and postpartum depression. Babies may experience poor development, low birthweight, feeding difficulties, and other perinatal complications.
What can you do?
Doctors recommend addressing disordered eating behavior and thoughts before trying to conceive; however, it’s very possible to become pregnant while struggling with an eating disorder.
- Be open and honest with your care provider
- Schedule extra appointments as necessary and see a nutritionist
- Enroll in therapy and group counseling
- Allow your doctor to weigh you and seek medical advice before exercising
There is nothing easy about an eating disorder. Anorexia, bulimia, and binge eating disorder are chronic illnesses that become even more consequential when mother and baby’s health are at stake. Be aware of pregnancy as a trigger, work to silence body hatred, and ask for help when you need it.
The SCCAA Community Actions Pathway HUB is an available resource for pregnant and new mothers in need of support, education, and community services. For more information on pregnancy and eating disorders, check out https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/pregnancy-and-eating-disorders.