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Pregnancy and eating disorders

During pregnancy the baby receives its nourishment from the mother’s body. It is therefore not surprising that having an eating disorder  during pregnancy is not healthy. Eating disorders tend to peak during child-bearing age. Pregnancy can result in concerns about body image. As a result eating disorders tends to be worse during pregnancy.


eating disorders
Two common types of eating disorders are available. These are bulimia and anorexia. Anorexia is obsessive dieting and starvation to control weight. Bulimia is binge eating and vomiting or using laxatives to get rid of excess calories. Both of these eating disorders have a negative effect on fertility and  pregnancy.


What is the effect of eating disorders on pregnancy ?

Eating disorders especially anorexia  reduces a woman’s chances of getting pregnant. Most women with anorexia do not have a menstrual cycle and about half of the women with bulimia have an irregular menstrual cycle.


Reduced calories intake, excessive exercising and psychological stress causes the absence of menstruation. Not having a regular period can make pregnancy challenging.


What is the effect of eating disorders on pregnancy ?

Eating disorders can cause the following complications

These women are at increased risk of postpartum depression and may have problems with breastfeeding. The laxative, diuretics and other medications taken may cause harm to the unborn baby. It may cause fetal abnormalities when used on a regular level.


Recommendations for women with eating disorders.

It is essential to seek help if you are struggling with an eating disorder. Most women with eating disorders go on to have healthy babies if they maintain a normal weight during pregnancy.


These tips may help women with eating disorder conceive or have a healthy pregnancy


Before pregnancy

  • attain and maintain a healthy weight
  • do not purge
  • see a nutritionist to develop a healthy pregnancy diet
  • get a preconception appointment
  • see a counsellor about eating disorder

During pregnancy

  • get an early prenatal visit and notify your health care professional about your concerns
  • try to achieve a healthy weight
  • do not purge
  • eat a well-balanced diet
  • seek counseling to address your disorder

After pregnancy

  • continue with your counselling
  • get the help of a lactation consultant with breastfeeding
  • get a nutritionist to help you stay healthy and maintain the right weight
  • let your health care team know about your disorder and any signs of postpartum depression


Content Sources
Pregnancy and eating disorder . American Pregnancy Association. Accessed September 23, 2015
Pregnancy and eating disorder.NEPA. Accessed September 23, 2015
Eating disorder in pregnancy. Baby center. Accessed September 14, 2015

December 3, 2020 | 8:16 31    By oohs N coos    

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