Pregnant with an Eating Disorder: Tips for a Healthier Pregnancy

Pregnant with an Eating Disorder: Tips for a Healthier Pregnancy

Being pregnant can be mentally and emotionally challenging enough, but being pregnant with an eating disorder is especially challenging. When I found out I was expecting my first child, I was still struggling with my eating disorder. However, I still managed to have a healthy pregnancy and child.

I’m not going to lie: it wasn’t easy, and as I explained in my previous blog, I was fortunate to have already made steps toward eating disorder recovery before I was pregnant. So, I was ready to get better, which is certainly not the case for everyone who finds out they are pregnant with an eating disorder.

The tips I am going to share with you today are the strategies that worked for me; not just with my first pregnancy, but with all four of my pregnancies. While I’ve been in recovery for over a decade, the physical changes that every woman undergos during pregnancy can make it diffcult to live in one’s ever-expanding body. 

1. Talk to Your Healthcare Professional

I was very upfront about my concerns with my doctor and therapist when I found out I was pregnant with an eating disorder. Of course, I was also scared to admit I was still stuggling; I felt like I was failing already as a mother. However, he gave me the assurances, information and support I needed to feel more confident going forward. 

2. Focus on Your Strength

I could easily become consumed with the things I was losing by becoming pregnant: my waistline and my control over my body and even emotions being at the top of that list. Still, as the pregnancy progressed, I began to marvel at–and focus on–all the amazing things my body was doing. Growing another person takes immense strength, so I focussed on this instead of worrying about all the things I perceived I was losing. 

3. Fill Your Home With Nourishing Goodies

From fancy bubble baths to body lotions to dark chocolate covered almonds to armloads of my favourite fresh fruits and vegetables, I did everything I could to bring out the best in this time in my life. Especially if I was feeling stressed out or frustrated, I made a little celebration out of the most mundane aspects of my life and this reminded me that my pregnancy was a wonderful occurance.

My best advice is to talk about what you’re feeling with a person or people you trust, and perhaps most importantly, to not think that you’ll be a bad mother just because you’re struggling now. 

Have you been pregnant with an eating disorder? What are some strategies you used to help you get through this time? Share in the comments.

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