How Do Eating Disorders Affect During Pregnancy

By Subodh / July 4, 2015

There is no denying how important pregnancy is in a woman’s life. Onset of pregnancy induces a number of physiological changes in the body and some of them may be unprecedented. In some cases, arrival of pregnancy plays a role in recurrence of specific physical conditions. For a number of women with a history of eating disorders, pregnancy can reintroduce eating disorders. This can happen both to women undergoing eating disorders or recovering from these. Women previously exposed to anorexia may develop it again with weight gain caused by pregnancy. Similarly, women who are bulimic may feel an enhanced feeling to purge with a sensation of fullness.

Eating Disorders Affect During Pregnancy

How Eating Disorders Can Affect Pregnant Women

When you conceive and the fetus starts developing in the womb, weight gain is only natural. However, for a section of women who have conceived the idea is not just welcome. Those with eating disorder the concept of pregnancy weight gain is even tougher to digest. While eating disorders may improve when you expect a baby at times it may aggravate after delivery.

You should not overlook eating disorder during pregnancy as the consequences can be quite serious. The harm can be more since your body gets subjected to extra demands. Pregnant women suffering from eating disorders develop health complications and effects like:

Childbirth related problems can also crop up in such women. Risk of miscarriage and a baby with reduced weight are some of the after effects. Some, such women also suffer from premature labor as well as labor related complications after developing eating disorders.

Signs of Women Developing Eating Disorders In Pregnancy

Women who develop eating disorders after conceiving typical exhibit some symptoms.

  • Little weight gain
  • Worry about becoming obese
  • Involvement in hardcore exercise for weight loss
  • Headaches, dizziness
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Tendency to skip meals or eat less
  • Depression

Treating Eating Disorder During Pregnancy

Treatment of eating disorders is necessary, but the significance grows manifold during pregnancy because the health and well being of the fetus is also concerned. The difficult thing is some women do not even realize they are suffering from eating disorders when they are pregnant. Knowing the nuances of pregnancy helps in such situation, as it is.

  • You need to have a clear idea on how much weight you should gain during pregnancy, to begin with. Most healthy women tend to gain 10 to 12 kgs of weight after conceiving.
  • It also helps to know that pregnancy can affect your inclination to certain food groups. Women may develop dislike for specific foods, especially when morning sickness sets in. It is as normal as the craving that you develop for certain foods.
  • For women who develop eating disorders in pregnancy service of a veteran Obstetric Doctor and nutritionist can be helpful. They can also benefit much from availing pregnancy counseling. If you have a history of Bulimia, discussing that with a doctor is required. The same can be said about anorexia.
  • Women may also develop binge eating disorder during pregnancy. These women end up in consuming huge amounts of food and later feel guilty about it. It may not be as hazardous as anorexia or bulimia but treatment is required.
  • Some women also develop psychological issues owing to the onset of eating disorders during pregnancy. They may isolate themselves from family and others. They may require special prenatal counseling.
  • It is important to monitor the health of the baby and weight gain by the mother when she is subjected to any eating disorder. This may require frequent tests and counseling sessions, based on the situation.

Additional Steps Required To Cope With An Eating Disorder During Pregnancy

Apart from expert and specialized medical intervention, pregnant women suffering from eating disorders need to be methodical and disciplined for maximum benefits. You may even find support groups for people with the same condition. Interacting with such people may give you confidence to deal with the condition better. The support from spouse and family can also play a pivotal role in coping with the condition. You might get support from female friends who have gone through similar conditions as well.