Getting Pregnant with an Eating Disorder

Many women struggle with an eating disorder, and while this is certainly a serious condition that needs direct attention and intervention, it doesn’t necessarily preclude the woman from becoming pregnant and delivering a happy and healthy baby. However, if you are considering getting pregnant with an eating disorder, there are some important things you need to be aware of. Keeping these things in mind can be a matter of life or death for your baby.

Before pregnancy

A woman who has a history of an eating disorder should consider doing a few things prior to trying to conceive. You should get to the point where you can reach and maintain your weight within a healthy range. Be at a place in your live where you’re not purging. Talk to a doctor about conception. Consider meeting with a nutritionist and starting to eat a healthy diet now. Consider counseling, therapy and/or group therapy as well.

During pregnancy

Once you get pregnant, things become even more important. Get in to see your doctor early in your pregnancy. Let your doctor know you have a history of eating disorders. While you’re pregnant, work hard to make sure you gain the proper amount of weight. Eat meals that are nutritionally balanced, and avoid purging. Here again, consider treatment or therapy to help address the underlying causes of your eating disorder.

After pregnancy

It doesn’t all just end with the birth of your baby, of course. Especially if you’re going to breastfeed, you need to continue to be diligent when it comes to your health and the health of your baby. Continue therapy and counseling. Be aware that you’re at a higher risk for postpartum depression, and make sure you have a strong support network in place. Consider working with a lactation consultant to help with breastfeeding. Work with a nutritionist again in order to stay on a healthy diet, and to maintain a healthy weight.

Most of all, make sure that you’re not just ignoring your eating disorder during pregnancy. The fact of the matter is that you can do irreparable harm to your baby if you do. “

Leila Pereira
Leila Pereira
I work in occupational therapy and occupational science. I specialize in early intervention pediatrics for children from birth to three years old; with an emphasis on children with autism. My goals are to support the achievement of developmental milestones in your child while collaborating with caregivers & parents; including play skill development, education, leisure, rest and sleep, feeding, nutrition and social participation. Licensed by the California Board of Occupational Therapy

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