What is Pregorexia?  Anorexia and Pregnancy Explained

Pregorexia is a term used to describe women who are struggling with body image during pregnancy.  It’s a mashup of two words: pregnancy and anorexia, and is not at all a medical term.  Unfortunately, this term has become popular over the last 10-15 years, and it may create a stigma among women that it’s normal to have anorexia while pregnant.

While it’s completely normal to have body image concerns during pregnancy, it is certainly not normal or good to starve yourself during pregnancy.  A pregnant woman’s diet is the main source of nutrition for a developing baby, and depriving yourself of vital nutrients during pregnancy can have severe consequences for both mom and baby.

Pregnant women who suffer from anorexia can put themselves at an increased risk for a number of health complications, including gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, difficulty nursing, and depression both during pregnancy and postpartum.  For your unborn baby, anorexia can cause slower development, low birth weight, respiratory problems, and preterm labor.

It’s important to understand these risks if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant and you’re concerned about weight gain.  It’s also important to understand that weight gain is not only normal during pregnancy, but it’s a necessary component to a healthy pregnancy.  Lastly, it’s important for you to know that it’s completely normal to have concerns about your body image during pregnancy, but it’s even more important that you provide your developing baby with the nutrition it needs to properly develop.

If you’re struggling with body image during pregnancy, know you’re not alone.  It’s perfectly ok to open up about these feelings if you’re having them.  There are a wealth of online resources for new moms so you can learn more about these risks.  It is important to seek professional help if you’re suffering from anorexia during pregnancy.  The health of both you and your baby may depend on it.

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