Managing an Eating Disorder While Pregnant

Managing an Eating Disorder While PregnantMany women look forward to starting a family and getting and being pregnant. However pregnancy is challenging for anyone who has an eating disorder or is at risk. Eating disorders often occur during the same timeframe as the peak pregnancy period of mid 20s to early 30s. During pregnancy a woman is going to gain weight, and her body will change. This can trigger an eating disorder or lead to a relapse for an individual who is in recovery.

Risks of Eating Disorders during Pregnancy

Eating disorders affect pregnancy in a number of ways. These effects of eating disorders include the following:

  • Depression
  • Miscarriage
  • Premature labor
  • Low birth weight
  • Stillbirth or fetal death
  • Increased risk of cesarean birth
  • Delayed fetal growth
  • Respiratory problems
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Complications during labor
  • Preeclampsia
  • Hypertension

It is also important to note that women with eating disorders have higher rates of postpartum depression and are more likely to have problems with breastfeeding.

Managing an Eating Disorder While Pregnant

No woman would conscientiously decide to put their baby at risk, but eating disorders are powerful and can overshadow a person’s logic and choice. Therefore it is important to build a strong support base before becoming pregnant. Enlist the help of the following:

  • Counselor. Counseling will help you understand the underlying causes of your eating disorder. You can learn different healthier ways to react to emotional stress, and counselors can help you explore your desire to become pregnant and raise a child.
  • Nutritionist. You may want to seek the help of a nutritionist who can prepare a structured meal plan for you to follow. By relinquishing control of your eating impulses to a schedule you may receive the reinforcement you need to maintain a healthy eating pattern.
  • Loved ones. Ask for support from your family and friends. Understanding what your needs may be during this period of time will help them give you the support that will encourage and nurture your health during pregnancy.

Stay on Course with Eating Disorder Recovery during Pregnancy

Finding and maintaining eating disorder recovery during and after pregnancy involves the following:

  • Make your physician aware of your eating disorder concerns, and ask him or her to carefully monitor your health and behaviors.
  • Continue with counseling to offset any backward slips you may encounter during your pregnancy. You will want to explore the various new emotions, hormonal fluctuations, and sensations that you are experiencing while pregnant.
  • Continue to work with a nutritionist to adjust your meal plan and ensure that it is appropriate for all phases of your pregnancy.
  • Reach out for help whenever you feel the need. Don’t hesitate to talk to loved ones or recovery professionals.

Get Help for Eating Disorders

Get help to learn about the most appropriate eating disorder treatment for you. While recovery is difficult, it is possible. We are here to help 24 hours a day, so please call now and learn more about your options.