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For most women, pregnancy can be a time of hopeful expectation of what is to come with a new life, but the prospect of becoming a parent and bringing a child into the world can also bring on apprehensions and fears. For a woman who may be susceptible to developing an eating disorder, the transitions involved with pregnancy can be triggering and difficult to work through.
Coping With Changes in Pregnancy
As the body undergoes drastic changes in the duration of pregnancy, a woman might either embrace these new changes or develop maladaptive coping mechanisms to deal with the new experiences she is facing.
Many women may find it difficult to accept their changing body, particularly as weight increases and the body expands to accommodate the growing baby. In one sense, these changes can cause a woman to feel out of control, and attempting to control eating habits may seem an effective way for doing such.
Disordered Eating During Pregnancy
Some women may change or alter their eating habits in a manner that seems to better control the changes they are experiencing as a result of pregnancy. This may include eating smaller portions, cutting out certain foods or food groups, beginning to follow rigid food rules, and more. This habits can develop into a more severe eating disorder, which can result in adverse consequences to both the mother and developing baby.
Body and weight changes during pregnancy are expected and part of the normal process. If you or a loved one is struggling with disordered eating habits during pregnancy, it is important to reach out to loved ones and professionals who can offer support during this time.
Many organizations offer free resources that can be helpful to a pregnant woman and her loved ones, including Eating Disorder Hope, the National Eating Disorder Association, and the Academy for Eating Disorders. All of these websites also offer directories that can help a woman connect to support groups, a professional who specializes in eating disorders or a treatment program who can assist her with the unique struggles she may be facing during this time.
About the Author:
Crystal is a Masters-level Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a specialty focus in eating disorders, maternal/child health and wellness, and intuitive eating. Combining clinical experience with a love of social media and writing, Crystal serves where her passion to help others find recovery and healing is integrated into each part of her work.
As a Certified Intuitive Eating Counselor, Crystal has dedicated her career to helping others establish a healthy relationship with food and body through her work and nutrition private practice.
The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of eating disorders. These are not necessarily the views of Eating Disorder Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.
We at Eating Disorder Hope understand that eating disorders result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.
Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on March 17, 2016
Published March 17, 2016 on EatingDisorderHope.com