[F]or me, pregnancy was a nine-month battle in which I lived in a dissociated state from my body -- horrified by my expanding "self" that protested every ounce of weight I gained. I did not experience the freedom to eat for two; rather, I experienced the restriction of starving for two.
While this article stresses the dangers of not gaining enough weight during pregnancy, the newly released guidelines from the Institute of Medicine and the National Research Council (the first revision since 1990) recommend that very overweight and obese women gain less weight during pregnancy than what was previously advised.
Yes, it's unhealthy to gain too little weight during pregnancy and it's unhealthy to gain too much. But an obsessive focus on pounds is not the solution when you're trying to grow a baby, especially because so many women who struggle with unhealthy eating are already caught up in a dangerous relationship with the scale. Doctors should be helping their patients get to the root of what is causing them to overeat or undereat. Women should feel safe enough to communicate honestly with their healthcare providers about past and current body image issues or disordered eating. Sadly, this is rarely happening.
Of the pregnant women and mothers we surveyed for Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat?, seventy-six percent of those who said they had suffered with poor body image, disordered eating or full-blown eating disorders admitted that they had not discussed these issues with their OB or midwife. If we really want to ensure the health of mothers and babies, we need to start addressing this very heavy silence.
"Pregorexia: Starving for Two" [Mom Logic]
"Pregorexia: What Happens When Moms Aren't Eating Enough?"
"Drunkorexia, Stressorexia, Orthorexia, Diabulimia: Is Healthy Eating Extinct?"
"Less Weight Gain for Pregnant Women" [New York Times]