Number of Pregnant Women With Eating Disorders on the Rise
According to a recent survey conducted by University College London, the number of pregnant women who are “highly concerned about their weight and shape” is on the rise. Approximately 700 pregnant women were surveyed and 25% of them revealed their fears of gaining weight.
And even more disturbing is that approximately 2% (1 in 14) of those questioned admitted to fasting, exercising excessively, inducing vomiting, and misusing laxatives or diuretics to avoid gaining weight during pregnancy.
The study - funded by the National Institute for Health Research - also found that 1 in 12 pregnant women said they would overeat and lose control over what they ate twice a week.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Nadia Micali, UCL Institute of Child Health, said:
“There is good evidence from our research that eating disorders in pregnancy can affect both the mother and the developing baby. Greater awareness of eating disorders and their symptoms amongst antenatal health care professionals would help to better identify and manage such disorders amongst pregnant women.”
Dr. Abigail Easter, also from the UCL Institute of Child Health, said many women do not disclose their eating disorders because of the stigma or fear that they might get a negative response from health professionals.
This news saddened me – I feel that pregnant women should celebrate their bodies and want to nourish the child they are carrying. I know that when I was pregnant, I was careful about what I ate, only because I wanted to make sure I was getting a balanced diet, not because I was afraid of gaining weight.
Did you take drastic measures to ensure you didn’t gain too much during your pregnancy?