You may be glad that you’re having a baby, But your changing body can make you feel anxiety.
Eating disorders and pregnancy don’t go together very well at all! It’s not safe for your baby and it’s not safe for you either. We recommend that you do not get pregnant if you are dealing with an eating disorder. You need to have time to focus on yourself.
However, if you do become pregnant there are some very important things you must do right away. Depending on the severity of your eating disorder, you could be considered a high-risk pregnancy.
Here are 6 Things you must do if you hope to carry your baby full term and deliver him or her without any complications.
1. Find yourself a group of professionals to monitor your pregnancy and your eating disorder for the next 9 months. Right Away!
Your need to put together a team!!!
Question- What does the team do? With your permission they consult about your case and try to help you from a multimodal perspective.
Your team should consist of an:
2. Obstetrician experienced in pregnant women dealing with disordered eating (restrictive, anorexic, over-eating, bingeing, purging, over-exercising)
Go immediately! Your baby needs vitamins and you may need nutrients as well!
If your obstetrician does not know about eating disorders, suggest he consults with your own doctor who treats you for your eating disorder. It might be your family doctor.
3. Eating Disorder Psychotherapist, MFT
a. Talk about thoughts, feelings, beliefs, behaviors and past history that is underlying the disordered eating & poor body image
b. Teach your family and friends how to best support you. Learn to set boundaries
c. Learn to replace unhealthy coping skills and behaviors with more healthy ones
d. Find your voice and improve your self-esteem
e. Discover your passions and talents
f. Build healthy relationships
g. Find out who you are and find peace and satisfaction in knowing your purpose
h. Learn to be concious and communicate mindfully
4. A dietician who is experienced in working with eating disorder patients. A general dietician will not understand the intricacies of the eating disorder disease.
5. Normally a psychiatrist is a part of the team but in the case of a pregnant woman we try to stay away from including medications in treatment. However, I am not a doctor and I cannot speak to this topic. Working with a psychiatrist might be appropriate under certain conditions.
6. Eating Disorder Group: Join!
a. Support & friendship, no judgments
b. Personal self-growth
c. Education, skills & techniques
d. Interpersonal skills
e. Laughter, joy, and sorrow, but not alone…
I am an eating disorder therapist and I have a team in place! I trust and respect each one of them. If you are pregnant please reach out for emotional support but definitely go to the doctor as soon as you think you are pregnant. The degree of your eating disorder will determine the seriousness of situation.
I facilitate a Women’s Disordered Eating and Body Image Group in Glendora (details above)
If you have an eating disorder; work hard to prevent yourself from getting pregnant. Working on your recovery means you have the time to focus on yourself. You will have plenty of time later, when you are more confident and centered, and ready to be a parent.
If you are pregnant now and need emotional support and resources please call Ilissa Banhazl, marriage and family therapist, Glendora, CA at (626) 335-0903
For more information on eating disorders click here
If you know someone who is pregnant or trying to become pregnant while struggling with an eating disorder you could benefit from an individual or family session, with or without the patient. Therapy teaches you your role in this and how to support, your loved one through their pregnancy under these difficult circumstances. It’s likely that you are dealing with your own anxious feelings. (626) 335-090