Pregarexia is an eating disorder that appears during pregnancy. This term comes from pregnancy, which in English means ‘pregnancy’ and ‘anorexia’. Even if yours incidence It is more and more frequent, it has not yet been investigated or described enough about it.
According to the data of National Institute of Statistics of SpainNearly 294 out of 1,000 women of childbearing potential have a lower-than-appropriate body mass index. This seems to be indicative of the risk of suffering from pregarexia during pregnancy, due to constant concern about weight and body image.
What is Pregorexia?
Pregorexia, as we have pointed out, included in eating disorders. It appears during pregnancy and is based on the fear of gaining weight at this stage. These women want to maintain or reduce their weight during pregnancy, so they perform a variety of practices to achieve this.
For example, it is common for them to perform extreme physical exercises, reduce food intake or induce vomiting. They tend to obsessively track the calories they consume or skip meals.
Most commonly, these behaviors begin with manifest themselves more clearly from the second trimester. This is partly because many women lose weight during their first trimester due to nausea and vomiting, which is confusing.
During pregnancy, it is expected that the mother will gain weight. Indeed, it is estimated that the ideal is to take up to 12 kilograms. This depends on the woman’s body mass before pregnancy. The problem is that this is compromised due to the behaviors that pregarexia entails, putting the child at risk.
Where are you from?
According to the book Health and care during developmentprayorexia It usually occurs in women with a history of anorexia. However, it is true that it is also more frequent in those who have suffered from another type of eating disorder, such as bulimia.
This pathology can also appear without any type of antecedent. In a I study at the University of Jaen it has been confirmed that there are other factors that are frequently associated with preorexia. Some of them are as follows:
- Having low self-esteem or insecurity issues: in fact, anxiety and depression are also related to pregarexia.
- That the pregnancy was unwanted or that there are doubts about motherhood.
- A bad relationship with your partner or even not having the support of the other parent.
However, the clearest point of origin lies in the social canons of beauty. The networks, the magazines, the advertisements encourage you to form the wrong idea about the perfect physique. Many people believe that beauty lies in a slim body.
This makes it increasingly common to find people obsessed with weight and thinness. So much so that many women try to achieve this aesthetic scheme even during pregnancy.
The development of the child depends on the state of health and nutrition of the mother. When nutrition and weight are insufficient, not only is the woman’s life at risk, but they can also have very negative consequences for the fetus.
Pregorexic causes anemia, is related to endometriosis and respiratory infections in women. Likewise, the risk of postpartum depression increases if the pregnancy is managed.
During gestation itself, this disorder can lead to miscarriage and increased risk of premature rupture of membranes. The child is the loser, as there is a greater chance of suffering from hypoglycemia, infection and even death.
According to a study published in 2014, some mothers with preorexia have had to stop breastfeeding. This is because they did not have enough due to nutritional deficiency.
How can I solve this problem?
To fix this ailment, the main thing is to detect it as early as possible. Close monitoring of the mother must be maintained in any pregnancy, but even more so if a risk factor is identified.
One of the key points is to keep track of your weight during pregnancy. Also, the woman should be advised that it is normal for her to increase in this stage. You have to help her calculate the most appropriate value and prevent that fear of gaining weight from establishing itself.
If symptoms of pregarexia are detected, individualized psychological therapy should be initiated. The gynecologist will also make sure that the baby is not at risk. However, no medication is indicated. In some extreme cases, dietary supplements are administered.
Psychological support is needed
Pregarexia is an eating disorder that appears during pregnancy. The mother has an intense fear of gaining weight, so she engages in behaviors that put the child’s development at risk. It is important to treat her as soon as possible and to offer these women individualized psychological therapies.
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