The pregoressia appears during the pregnancy and consists of a certain obsession for the weight acquired during the latter. In this article, we will tell you more about pregoressia and how to act if you suffer from this disorder.
When a woman becomes pregnant, she is aware – at least unconsciously – that she will get fat, even if she eats healthy. During the nine months of pregnancy, many changes occur on a physical level: weight gain is one of them.
Although most expectant mothers accept this as part of the process, others even refuse to increase a pound compared to when they weighed before becoming pregnant.
This disorder is known as pregoressia, a word that derives from the combination of the words ” pregnancy” and anorexia. The term was first used in 2008 in the United States, but it is a problem that affects women in various parts of the world.
If a pregnant woman suffers from pregoressia, her main goal will be to not get fat and stay as lean as possible throughout her pregnancy. To succeed, he will eat less than is necessary, make prolonged fasts or spend his days on a diet, even drinking only liquids.
Excessive concern about your physical condition may cause you to force vomiting, laxative use or the practice of exercises that are not appropriate to your condition. All this, of course, with more than dangerous consequences for both his health and that of his child.
How is this disorder born?
The main cause of pregoressia is social pressure; that is, those aesthetic models attributed to “today’s woman”. Likewise, it also influences listening to news about celebrities who have maintained their weight during pregnancy and after childbirth.
Perhaps it is a bit difficult to accept that a woman puts aside the well-being of her child to take care of her body. However, this disorder is not “intentional”. Probably the mother had overweight problems or suffered from some foodborne pathology in the past, which could reappear in this delicate phase of her life.
The main symptoms of pregoressia are:
- Poor weight gain or even weight loss during pregnancy.
- Excessive fear of gaining weight or talking constantly about pounds and scales.
- Diet restrictions (elimination of many foods).
Exercise not suitable for pregnancy.
- Induce vomiting.
- Excessive tiredness, dizziness, headache.
- Do not pay attention to the famous “birthmarks” and the refusal of tasty dishes.
As previously stated, this type of disorder can have many negative consequences for both mother and fetus. In the mother, the effects are hypertension, malnutrition, anemia, arrhythmias, bone decalcification, gestational diabetes, miscarriage, depression, and low self-esteem.
As for the fetus, the main consequences of the mother’s behavior are premature birth, low birth weight, neurological changes, increased probability of suffering from cognitive problems during childhood and, in the most serious cases, death in the first months of life or before birth.
How to help a woman with pregorexia?
Surely, a pregnant woman who suffers from this disorder will not realize what is happening, as she will think that she is acting correctly.
The first to notice that something in her is not good will be the partner, her friends, and her parents. Of course, when you talk about it, the future mother rejects the problem and says that these assumptions are false.
The first thing to do when a loved one shows signs of pregoressia is to talk to your family doctor. The specialist will perform some tests and ask some questions to the future mother. If he considers it necessary, he will send it to a psychologist or psychiatrist.
The therapy can be individual, but it is advised to attend a therapeutic support group to learn about cases of other pregnant women with the same problem.
At the same time, family support is essential at all times, avoiding demonizing it or accusing it of being negligent towards his life and that of his child. Understanding, empathy, and help are needed.
If your partner or a loved one is pregnant and shows any signs of pregoressia, don’t waste time. Get help from a specialist and deal with the problem as soon as possible to reduce the risks, both for yourself and the fetus.