Sunday, July 12, 2009

Pregnancy and Relapse Linked

An article in yesterday's Sun Herald highlighted the fact that there is little research available for former anorexics embarking on pregnancy, but it is known that they are at a much greater risk of relapsing.

My weight hadn't fluctuated in years, I was happy, eating healthily, working out three times a week. Then, after being recovered for many years, I fell pregnant and this brought to the surface a myriad of insecurities and fears; I knew that my body was going to change, and there was nothing I could do about it.

I spent time reflecting on where my fears were coming from and there was a lot of introspection before I could let it all go. Once my son was born, I then had to cope with a different kind of pressure because I was confronted with celebrities in magazines displaying their slim post-pregnancy bodies. I had to work hard not to succumb to the pressure to lose the weight as quickly as possible.

"Pregnancy is a very vulnerable time in a woman's life but if [midwives] are aware of previous eating disorders they can put a lot of supports in place," said Hannah Dahlen, of the Australian College of Midwives.

Although my GP was aware of my history related to anorexia, it was brushed aside by my obstetrician because I had obviously made a complete recovery. I wasn't prepared for the triggers once my body started to change, nor the extent of anxiety I experienced related to my body image, especially during my second trimester.

I believe there needs to be a greater level of support for women who have battled eating disorders and are pregnant, to help them cope with weight gain, and ensure they maintain a healthy diet and exercise program once the baby is born to prevent slipping back into the destructive pattern of an eating disorder.

To read the article, go here:

1 comment:

  1. Melinda, very interesting post! I am 8 months pregnant with my second and know I have come very far in my recovery b/c I am much different this time around. I have not once weighed myself and don't even ask my doctor how much weight I have gained total. In my last pregnancy I thought about it a lot. I have been going to the beach a lot with my 2 year old son and feel more free and confident in a bikini NOW with my big, pregnant belly than I ever have.
    I worry a little about after this baby comes....but have come so far that I know I will be okay. I'm having a daughter this time so I feel a new sense of urgency to be a healthy role model to her.