Eating disorders can have detrimental effects on families. Beyond the harmful effects eating disorders have on the individual, it can cause emotional stress and anxiety for loved ones as well. Struggling with body image is hard. For those with their struggle with body image can be even harder. eating disorders that become pregnant,
Can Pregnancy Cause Eating Disorders?
Eating disorders disproportionately affect females, and pregnancy has been known to induce the same body image concerns that individuals with eating disorders share. So for any woman struggling with body image during pregnancy, it’s important to understand they are not alone. However, your health and your baby’s health are much higher priorities, and eating disorders while pregnant can have damaging effects to both.
Which Eating Disorder Is Most Common During Pregnancy?
According to this mother and baby study from Norway, binge eating disorder (BED) was the most common eating disorder found in both pre-pregnant and pregnant women. Binge eating disorder was prevalent in 3.5% of women before becoming pregnant. 39% of those remitted during pregnancy. Only 0.1% of those with pre-pregnancy eating disorders had anorexia, likely because of the harmful effects anorexia has on endocrine levels. Bulimia prevalence was 0.7% for pre-pregnant women, of which 34% remitted during pregnancy.
What Can Happen If You Have An Eating Disorder While Pregnant
There are a number of risks for both mother and baby that are associated with prenatal eating disorders. These include:
- Bleeding during Pregnancy
- Preterm Birth
- Stillborn Baby or Pregnancy Loss
- Gestational diabetes
- High Blood Pressure
- Low Birth Weight
- Microcephaly in Baby
- Birth Defects related to Low Folate Levels
- Difficulty Breathing for Baby
- Intrauterine Growth Restriction
- Postpartum Depression for Mom
- Hyperemesis Gravidarum
- Problems with Episiotomy Repair