Women who excessively watch their baby weight and go through extreme measures not to pile on the pounds during pregnancy, may be suffering from one of the three maternal eating disorders
As women, most of us are conscious of our weight due various reasons such as media influence, pressure from society or our relationships, cultural messages, and our own personal goals.
At one point of our lives, a woman has probably ether gone through a strict diet, tried a weight-loss exercise program.
Some may have even invested in expensive fat reduction massage treatments, bought slimming pills, or slathered on various fat-burning lotions and creams.
All this is done in a desperate attempt to shed those extra pounds or maintain our figures as we struggle to achieve the perfect body.
But once we find out that we have a bun in the oven, that’s when our extreme dieting and over-exercising days should be (temporarily) over, right?
That may not be the case for some who suffer from body image issues as they have an unrealistic view and are overly critical of their own body and may develop an eating disorder during their pregnancy as they desperately try to control any undesired weight gain.
A mother’s struggle with weight
This is exactly what happened to Wendy K., a hair stylist and mother of one, who struggled with her pregnancy five years ago.
“Growing up, people would constantly pick on me about my weight. I wasn’t even morbidly obese or anything, just a little chubby. So when I got pregnant, I was really happy at first, but then extremely terrified at the thought of getting even more fat than I already was”, she shares.
Wendy would skip meals, hoping to control her daily intake of calories, but then would often feel light-headed and suffered from migraines — at one point, she even considered taking slimming pills to control her weight gain.
It was only during one of the scheduled ultrasound scans when the doctor revealed that her baby was quite small, she realised that her extreme dieting was affecting her little one’s growth.
Wendy says, “I felt so guilty and couldn’t stop crying when I got home. I didn’t want my baby to suffer because of my own superficial desires to be thin. If my baby was born premature or had any health problems, then I would never be able to forgive myself.”
She confided in her mother about her eating disorder and with her help, was able to plan nutritious meals which were healthy and the correct portions for an expectant mum.
“After my mother knew about my problem, she made it her mission to prepare healthy meals for me and even delivered them to my house every single day! I felt so embarrassed at first, but now I’m glad that I reached out to her because my baby was born at the healthy weight of 3.6kg”, she says.
Go to the next page to learn about the different maternal eating disorders