An interesting thing that many people don’t know is that bulimia and pregnancy often go hand-in-hand more often than not – and it’s not always a bad thing. In fact, many physicians have noted that bulimic women tend to manage their condition better after they’ve become pregnant. The main reason for this is that bulimic women are often overwhelmed with concern for their baby’s wellbeing, and they also face less societal pressure to be thin since pregnant women are always beautiful – no matter their size.
There is also evidence that bulimia and pregnancy have opposite effects on the brain when it comes to mood and appetite. Pregnant women develop hormones that bulimic women often lack, which helps regulate appetite and mood. This often allows them to return to their pre-bulimic eating habits.
Women who have dealt with bulimia before they become pregnant have a statistical advantage during the pregnancy itself. They seem to have a better chance of stopping their bingeing and purging behaviors for the duration of the pregnancy. However, bulimia and pregnancy have different time restrictions. Bulimia takes months or years to subdue and conquer while pregnancy has a pretty strict time limit. Pregnancy is a high-risk time for women with bulimia, as they are at risk for postpartum depression and a severe return to their bulimic patterns of behavior after delivery. Bulimia and pregnancy might work together for a while, but it is an unstable kind of harmony, and it doesn’t even resemble a recovery.
Bulimia and pregnancy are a dangerous combination. Bulimia robs the body of important nutrients that a fetus needs. Pregnancy makes women more vulnerable to malnutrition and the dangers of bulimia. Pregnant women who regularly binge and purge put themselves and their babies in danger.
Bulimia and pregnancy are delicate situations for both the mother and child. If you or someone you know is expecting and suffering from bulimia, it’s important to seek help from a doctor or medical professional as soon as possible. They will often employ severe counseling and observation methods to ensure that the bulimic behavior is stopped and the causes of it are addressed. However, bulimia and pregnancy can also create or reinforce a cycle of guilt and shame that worsens the condition. When pregnant women engage in bulimic behaviors, they are fully aware that they may be harming their baby, but they are unable to help themselves. This can cause an intense self-loathing that only reinforces and empowers bulimic behavior.
Bulimia and pregnancy can sometimes exist together in an unstable harmony. Pregnancy can drive normally bulimic women into temporary remission. However, if a woman actively bingeing and purging while pregnant, the consequences for both mother and child can be tragic. If you are pregnant and bulimic, or know someone who is, be extra careful and observant to ensure that both the mother and child remain healthy.