The Dangers of Eating Disorders During Pregnancy

pregnant-bellyAs I reported in a previous blog, eating disorders are dangerous for women.  From another recent article, I learned that they are especially dangerous for women who are pregnant.  According to the article, generally, it is difficult for women who have eating disorders to get pregnant because most of the time they are not healthy enough to ovulate; nonetheless, about 15% of pregnant women are thought to have an eating disorder.

Eating disorders affect the health of the mother and also the baby.  Women who have eating disorders often become weaker when they are pregnant because the fetus takes all the vitamins, minerals, and calories from the mother. The fetus also takes calcium from the mother, which can lead to osteoporosis later in her life. Babies suffer too when a pregnant mother has an eating disorder.  The most common problems are low birth weight and preterm labor. After the babies are born, mothers with eating disorders do not produce healthy breast milk, which is vital to a newborn’s healthy development. 

Studies have also shown that eating disorders can be passed on to children. Mothers have been known to pass their obsessions on to their children by restricting food and being critical of the child’s weight.  Children pick up on this and can potentially develop an eating disorder too. 

Eating disorders are dangerous to women, unborn babies, and families.  This is why it is so important that intervention take place, so that eating disorders do not become a disease that runs through the family.

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