For any woman, pregnancy can be a scary and emotional time. A woman who may be dealing with bulimia and anorexia will find that pregnancy can be even more intimidating. There are many risk factors and complications when dealing with an eating disorder while pregnant.
Pregnancy and Eating Disorders:
Women with eating disorders run into many problems that would normally not be an issue during pregnancy. Gaining weight is imperative for the health of the baby in any pregnant mother. However, for a woman dealing with bulimia and anorexia, gaining weight is a fear before even becoming pregnant, so it only adds to their fear. As a result, this fear can cause anxiety and depression for a pregnant woman.
Pregnancy and Specific Eating Disorders:
- Anorexia Nervosa- Pregnant mothers with anorexia nervosa will not gain weight. This can cause the baby to be born underweight. Likewise, not eating causes the mother’s body to have to provide all the nourishment for the baby. So, this leaves the mother’s body malnourished and provokes a host of potential medical problems.
- Bulimia Nervosa- Pregnant mothers with bulimia nervosa are at a higher risk for heart problems, dehydration, and chemical imbalances within their own bodies.
- Binge Eating Disorder- Women who are pregnant with binge eating disorder are at a higher risk for high blood pressure and diabetes.
Potential Risks to Pregnant Mothers with Eating Disorders:
- Premature birth
- Labor problems
- Heart failure
- Inability to nurse
Potential Risks to Babies with Mothers who have Eating Disorders:
- Poor lung development
- Low weight for age
- Premature birth
- Feeding problems
- Development issues
Are you a Pregnant woman dealing with bulimia and anorexia?
Doctors urge patients to seek help with their eating problems before even considering becoming pregnant. But, pregnancy increases risk of death and health complications in both the baby and mother struggling with an eating disorder. Therefore, if you have an eating disorder and become pregnant unintentionally, there is help for you.
Things to do while Pregnant and Living with Bulimia and Anorexia:
- Never lie to your doctor.
- Attend pregnancy and birthing classes.
- Have a nutritionist help you keep to your weight goal before, during, and after pregnancy.
- Seek support groups.
- Attend pregnancy exercise classes to learn how to regulate normal health.
- Address concerns about pregnancy with a therapist.
If you or a loved one struggles with bulimia and anorexia and is also pregnant, The Willow Place for Women is here to help. We are a women’s only treatment facility that is dedicated to the needs of women. Reclaim your life without the dependency of drugs, alcohol, and eating disorders. Contact us today to learn more about our facilities.