Having Bulimia Nervosa during pregnancy can indeed create serious complications. Pregnancy is a time wherein a woman’s body is in need of proper nutrition to sustain the life that is growing within her womb. But having the said eating disorder and mental health condition would not allow this phenomenon and will eventually cause life-threatening complications.
Bulimia is the condition wherein the human body rejects the food intake by way of taking it all out in the form of vomiting and excessive exercising. It is a mental health disorder together with anorexia and negative body image issues.
“If you are thinking about getting pregnant, already pregnant or a new mom and have any eating disorder in your past, you’re high risk for anxiety and/or depression during this time, not just a recurrence of the eating disorder,” Shoshana Bennett Ph.D. wrote.
The Serious Effects Of Bulimia
This serious condition can lead to gastrointestinal illnesses and the development of specific cardiovascular diseases. Anybody including pregnant women can experience these ill effects on one’s health. The mother is the one with bulimia; it will not only affect her. The baby will be in serious health peril if the pregnant mom won’t seek treatment for her bulimia.
With the growing baby inside, the mother is in need of many nutrients (vitamins and minerals), but with the said condition that triggers an inconsistent intake of food, it can become a severe problem in an instant. Ginger Nicol, MD and co-authors state that, “Multiple births, low birth weight and increased risk for cesarean section due to complications experienced in labor have also been reported in women with eating disorders .”
The Stress On The Woman’s Body
With a deficiency in nutrients by a pregnant mom due to her battle with bulimia, this can affect the baby’s well-being. Listed below are some facts that can happen to the baby and the mom when she is bulimic:
- Premature labor and birth
- Placenta Previa
- Weight problems for the newborn
- Big chances for caesarian section delivery
Indeed, bulimia is an alarming mental health problem for pregnant moms. Hence, women who are suffering from this disorder should see a doctor for proper medical treatment and therapy programs.
Dealing With The Shame And The Guilt
Women, pregnant or not, experience shame or guilt because of bulimia. In a pregnant woman’s case, they tend to shift their focus on their bulimic symptoms instead of their developing baby. It is not a “healthy environment” for the infant because the mother’s body is “messed up.” With this, it is best that the mother should accept that she has a grave problem and must seek professional help. The therapist and doctors will not judge you.
Finding Professional Help And Support
Once you have ascertained that bulimia is taking its toll on you, it is best that you seek professional help at once. You can first have a chat with the OB-GYNE and other medicals professional who has your health history and necessary medical records. Be honest and tell them what you are experiencing and even your fears. “It is vital for anyone who has an unhealthy relationship with food to see a healthcare professional. A qualified doctor will need to address any symptoms or other issues that stem from bulimia,” Judith Marcin, M.D. emphasized. Allow them to assess you so that they can give you precise counseling, therapy and treatment recommendation. It is usually psychotherapy and intake of antidepressants, but pregnant women are not allowed to consume the latter. If you feel that being in a hospital will help your mental state, then, go directly to a medical facility and admit yourself to a doctor’s care.
If Hospitalization Is Needed
The need for hospitalization on pregnant women with bulimia becomes imminent if the patient if overly dehydrated, experiencing electrolyte imbalances, complications in the cardiovascular aspect, and even psychiatric issues. All of these medical problems will directly affect the baby’s health. In most extreme situations, the baby can die. It is best to opt for hospitalization care to get treatment and strict monitoring.
Pregnancy is supposed to be a beautiful life journey. It is a time of love, nurture, care, and excitement. But moms with eating disorders like bulimia will experience the whole thing the other way around. However, you can still taste the joys of motherhood if you choose to accept that you have a mental health problem and that you need professional help at the soonest possible time. Your baby’s life is at stake here.