There are many fears that can arise around pregnancy, especially when it is a first time. Everything unknown causes concern, because the uncertainty of not knowing what is going to happen generates high levels of stress. For some women, dealing with all the changes of pregnancy is exciting, but for many others, it is a great fear.
The fear of gaining weight during pregnancy exists, it has general characteristics and a proper name, specifically pregorexia. This disorder, although it is not included in the Manual of Mental Disorders like other diseases similar like anorexia or bulimia, is a reality and is known as anorexia of pregnant women.
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What is pregorexia?
Pregorexia is an eating disorder that occurs exclusively during pregnancy. The main characteristic of this disorder is the fear of gaining weight suffered by the future mother. A problem that can put the health of both the mother and the fetus at risk. This eating disorder shares traits with other similar ones. The pregnant exercise excessively, obsessively controls calorie intake, in addition to the typical binge-eating and subsequent purges.
This disorder can occur in women who have not suffered from problems with food before. However, it usually occurs in women who have previously lived or are living with eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia. However, having suffered from this problem in the past does not guarantee that can develop in the same way in pregnancy.
Eating disorder symptoms in pregnant women
All women do not experience changes in their bodies in the same way, although the usual thing is that they are received naturally and thinking that they are due to the fact that a new life is growing within you. For some women, seeing how the belly grows is emotional, but for others, it is not so emotional without posing a problem. However, when the fear of gaining weight has a mental background, these symptoms related to pregorexia may arise.
- The pregnant avoid talking about your pregnancy or does it in an unreal way, as if it were not with her.
- Avoid eating in front of other people, prefers to eat in privacy.
- Has an obsession with count calories.
- You exercise abnormally, in excess, without taking into account the normal symptoms of pregnancy.
- They can make themselves vomit, although they will always try to do it in private.
- On a physical level, it is easy to see that women does not gain weight normally in pregnancy.
These symptoms may go unnoticed if you do not live closely with the pregnant woman. But nevertheless, become more apparent in mid-pregnancyWhen the tummy increases noticeably, the legs, arms, face or hips also naturally widen due to pregnancy. Although these changes are not identical in all women, they are very evident when they do not occur normally.
Risks of pregorexia for mother and baby
The risks of this eating disorder in pregnancy can be numerous, for both mother and baby. First, the fetus does not receive the nutrients it needs to develop normally. Baby can being born underweight, breathing problems, premature delivery, malformations or neurological disorders of varying severity, among others.
For the mother, pregorexia can cause serious problems such as anemia, malnutrition, arrhythmias, hair loss, bradycardia, mineral deficiency, bone decalcification, etc. And not only during pregnancy, health problems can affect you in the long run. Besides all the mental health problems that this disorder entails.
Therefore, if you think you may be suffering from pregorexia in your pregnancy, It is very important that you let yourself be taken care of and put yourself in the hands of a professional. For your safety and for the health of your future baby, because later you will be able to return to your weight, but if there are problems in its development, you will never have the possibility of going back.