Thursday, October 4, 2007

New Moms and Moms-to-be are Depressed and Unhappy With Their Bodies

More and more evidence is pointing to the fact that pregnancy can be a heavy time--and not just in terms of pounds. Many pregnant women and new moms face depression, serious body image issues, and even disordered eating:

A study published in the October issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry reveals that 1 in 7 new mothers are identified as having depression during at least one phase of pregnancy--8.7%, 6.9%, and 10.4% of the women had a record of depression before, during, or after pregnancy. Since those numbers only reflect the reported cases, it's safe to assume the true numbers are much higher. [Medscape, sub required]

Women who regularly read tabloids are more likely to describe themselves as "fat" than those who do not follow celebrity culture, and feel heightened pressure to lose their baby weight quickly after delivery.

In a study published in Psychological Medicine, researchers at the University of North Carolina found that "eating for two" can be compulsive. Some women, who never had eating disorders before, develop binge eating disorders when they become pregnant. [Science Daily]

In the U.K., a study of 1,104 women showed that 2 percent developed an eating disorder while pregnant. [Telegraph]

And what's on the menu of solutions, support, and resources for women dealing with these issues? Well, it's slim pickins (by slim, we mean, "get that pre-baby body back quick, you fat ass!"). Here are a couple of options:

Post-pregnancy plastic surgery (which we wrote about here) is the hot new trend. Last year, doctors nationwide performed more than 325,000 “mommy makeover procedures” on women ages 20 to 39, up 11 percent from 2005. [New York Times]

Oh, and the authors of Skinny Bitch are hard at work on a new eating guide for pregnant women (Hmmm, will it be titled Hungry, Cranky Mommy Desperate to Gnaw on a Big Hunk of Cheese?). [MSNBC]

So for all you new moms, just stay focused on losing that baby weight. Let's hope you don't lose your minds in the process.

*All joking aside, please call the National Eating Disorders Association at 1-800-931-2237 if you need information or referrals.

Photo credit: Misty Woodward

Extreme Mommy Makeovers
Baby Bumps and Skinny Jeans


Anonymous said...

Why should new moms, "just stay focused on losing that baby weight?" How about instead of writing an article that seems to promote plastic surgery, don't you write an article that empowers women to feel good about themselves?

Pregnant women are not fat...they are simply pregnant.

Why don't you tell women to "Stay focused on your creative ideas, stay focused on your political awareness, stay focused on your education and your inner happiness, not ... stay focused on your baby weight?" Is that all we are worth?

Instead you sell out. Well done for doing that. Thanks for being ordinary and not doing something extraordinary.

Magali & Claire said...

Our blog is entirely devoted to promoting healthy beauty and that comment about "just stay focused on losing your baby weight" was 100 percent sarcastic! In fact, we believe the exact opposite and we thought that was clear. We have written many posts (including this one) about our frustrations with the weight pressures placed on pregnant women and new moms.