Photo by Esther Wechsler on Unsplash
Proper nutrition during pregnancy is important for all women: The nutrients they consume are the only nutrients their babies receive. Lately I’ve been thinking specifically about expectant mothers with eating disorders.
The worst of it comes down to this: Women with anorexia and women with binge eating disorder are more likely to experience fetal and infant death.
It’s important to note that the loss of the fetus or infant is a far from common occurance in women with eating disorders, but the added risk is there.
Other pregnancy complications occurring more frequently for women with anorexia include lower birth weight, anemia, slow fetal growth, premature contractions, and very premature birth. Premature contractions, resuscitation of the newborn, and very low Apgar scores were associated with bulimic mothers. As for women with binge eating disorder, they experienced a greater occurrance of hypertension and large babies.
If you’re pregnant and have a history of eating disorder, be open with your health care providers. Even if the problem is not current, the weight gain you’ll experience with pregnancy could trigger a relapse. If you have an eating disorder and are thinking about becoming pregnant, it’s important to get the disorder under control first.
If you’d like to learn more about eating disorders and pregnancy, go here.
Go here for a guide to prenatal nutrition.