Eating Disorders and Pregnancy
If you have an eating disorder and are pregnant, it is very important that you get help right way. Having an eating disorder during pregnancy can put you and your baby in serious danger and cause a lot of harm including low birth weight, premature birth, cerebral palsy, low IQ, and even miscarriage. So, if you have an eating disorder, keep in mind that your baby depends on you for nutrition and eat right so that you can give birth to a beautiful, healthy baby.
Eating disorders affect a lot of women in today’s western society and nearly 20 percent of them struggle with it during their pregnancies. The reason for this is because pregnancy is a time when most women are concerned about their body image and the way they look. And for those with eating disorders, this may be a time when their disorders worsen.
The two most common types of eating disorders are Anorexia and Bulimia. Anorexia involves extreme dieting or starvation while Bulimia involves binge eating or vomiting to rid of excess calories. Both these disorders have serious effects on both mother and baby. Therefore, if you are struggling with an eating disorder, it is recommended that you try to gain weight during your pregnancy and eat right and stay healthy.
What you can do if you are struggling with an eating disorder
If you have an eating disorder, you should seek counseling prior to your pregnancy to talk about your problem. Talk about your concerns and what maybe bothering you with your counselor. You should also meet with a nutritionist before you get pregnant and begin a good pregnancy diet. Start taking prenatal vitamins and eat right and maintain a healthy weight. During pregnancy, schedule a prenatal visit with your health care provider and let them know that you have been struggling with an eating disorder. At the same time, keep seeking therapy from your counselor to learn how to cope with your problem and eat well balanced meals at all times. After the birth, be aware that you are more susceptible to postpartum depression. So, get help and continue counseling to improve your mental and physical health.