What is Pregorexia? What are the Causes And Symptoms?

Pregorexia is a condition that is used to describe pregnant women with an irrational fear of weight gain and the extreme measures they follow in order to avoid gaining extra body weight. Although pregorexia is not recognised as a medical term, the behaviour of pregnant women can be associated with eating disorders.

Right from the moment you conceive, the transformation process in your body sets off. Women undergo a number of changes through out their nine months of gestation. Some changes can be seen while others can only be felt. One of the significant changes that is common in a majority of women is weight gain. Increase in body weight is a natural process that is crucial for healthy progression of pregnancy. This is a body’s mechanism of preparing itself for supporting the growth of baby. While most women are able to cope with the physical and emotional changes associated with pregnancy in their own way, some cannot.

It is highly important for expecting women to get proper support of real, experienced women and not follow the media or internet projected “perfect pregnancy” idea. You may have heard how pregnant women put on loads of weight, but you should get to the Why of it. It is normal for women to gain anywhere around 10 to 40 pounds during their entire pregnancy course. This is considered healthy and necessary for fetal development. Trying to control this can have adverse impact on both the mother and baby.

How Pregorexia Develops

  • Weight obsessed women develop excessive fear of weight gain, leading to unhealthy measures in order to curb it.
  • It is seen in women having a history of eating ailments such as anorexia or bulimia and pregnancy can trigger this all over again.
  • Experiencing severe physical trauma
  • Hormonal changes, genetic disorders or chemical imbalances can cause pregorexia.
  • Pressure and stress stemming from taking up a new job or moving to a new place.

Symptoms of Pregorexia

  • Apparently visible loss of healthy weight gain that marks the advancement of pregnancy to next stage.
  • Skipping meals, eating alone so no one can see how little they are having.
  • Keeping track of every minor calorie intake.
  • Exercising more than necessary, even in challenging conditions.
  • Focussing excessively on self appearance rather than the developing baby.
  • Avoiding discussions on pregnancy.

Pregorexia ill effects

  • Low weight gain in pregnant women may cause bleeding and miscarriage.
  • Risk of preterm labor.
  • Babies born to women with pregorexia suffer from low birth weight, which leads to breathing disorders, digestive disorders, vision impairment, respiratory problems and heart condition.
  • Babies have trouble with feeding and may develop seizures.
  • Women with pregorexia are more likely to develop postpartum depression.
  • Babies stand a risk of developing attention deficit disorder at a later stage.
  • Women with eating issues are at higher risk of extended, hard labor.
  • Pregorexia increases chances of breech births and the need for Caesarean procedure.

A healthy, nutritious diet is highly recommended by doctors for expecting mothers and anything less can take a toll on your health. A minimum of 30 to 45 minutes of regular workout is sufficient for pregnant women and anything more can turn out to be a risk for both the baby and the mother.

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