Increasing pressure on women to retain their figures has led to pregorexia- an eating disorder characterised by extreme dieting and exercising while pregnant, according to Women’s Health.
“Wow, you’re huge for only five months!”
A woman’s body usually picks up between 11 and 16 kilograms during pregnancy, but this weight gain is often met with resistance. Social pressures exist which make women want to stay thin during (and after) pregnancy.
The report warns of the dangerous side effects of pregorexia:
“Starving moms-to-be are at risk for depression, anemia, and hypertension, while their malnourished babies are often miscarried or born with birth defects,” it said.
Pregorexia is related to the traditional eating disorders, bulimia and anorexia, however, it is considered a condition on its own.
While doctors and midwives do encourage women to keep as fit as possible during pregnancy in order to prepare for the rigours of birth, excessive exercising can put stress on the mother and the foetus. When combined with extreme dieting, including starvation, the baby’s development may be compromised.
Wear your baby bump with pride
Some women are proud of, or comfortable with the changes which happen to their bodies; for others, though, pregnancy is traumatic, as they see their gym victories undermined, and their bodies growing despite all efforts to keep trim.
The best advice is to ask a doctor for a list of pregnancy-friendly exercises, and to eat healthily. Your doctor will also give you advice on any helpful additions to your diet, according to your own specific requirements.
Do you think society judges too harshly the way pregnancy affects a woman’s body?