Pregorexia: the fear of gaining weight in pregnancy

Staying thin during pregnancy is an obsession that affects more and more women, although it goes directly against the laws of nature. Weight gain in pregnancy is necessary for the good health of both mother and baby, and yet a new eating disorder is breaking into the pregnant women's world: pregorexia or the fear of gaining weight in pregnancy.

Show off oneextreme thinness during pregnancy, as in the case of some celebrities, has led to a new eating disorder, known as pregorexia, which is directly related to the fear of getting fat. Despite the recommendations of obstetricians and gynecologists on the importance of a moderate weight gain in pregnancy, there are many women who feel guilty when they see that they lose the line during their pregnancy.


Eating disorders in pregnancy under examination

A study conducted in the United Kingdom on the incidence of eating disorders in pregnancy revealed that 7.6% of the pregnant women studied had symptoms compatible with eating disorders, and 23.4% were very concerned about their weight and your figure.

Another study, on this Australian occasion, found that 41% of pregnant women who do not suffer from anorexia have problems controlling their weight and 20% believe that it is during this stage of their life when they are most concerned about their weight and diet.

In Paris, another study was conducted on eating disorders during pregnancy, involving 250 women from the maternity ward of a Parisian hospital. This research showed that pregnant women want to control what they eat so as not to gain too much weight (since after delivery it is very difficult to get rid of those extra kilos) and also to cover the nutritional needs of the baby. Thus, for many it is about reaching the balance between their own needs and those of the baby, which can not be diagnosed as pathology.


However, it is estimated that, in general, 30% of pregnant women do not gain weight correctly, although an exact percentage can not be determined to the so-called pregorexia.

Symptoms to detect pregorexia

Dr. Fulvia Mancini, medical manager of Clínicas Eva in Catalonia, has observed some guidelines with which to identify women who suffer pregorexia. "These are women who obsessively count calories, always try to eat alone or skip meals, train excessively and may get vomit." In the first three months of pregnancy, these symptoms can be masked with those of the Gestation: nausea and vomiting, mainly Some women have problems with what type of food and even lose their appetite.

"The normal thing, he adds, is that these patients do not recognize their problem and, in addition, reject the treatment .. It is very rare that they spontaneously admit that they have a problem of eating behavior."


Therefore, it is advisable that "family members and people of the environment of these women are attentive, especially if they have suffered eating disorders, such as anorexia and bulimia." Any change in the relationship with food, the couple or family members they should contact the gynecologist or the GP, the doctor himself should suspect it in a patient who does not increase or lose weight during pregnancy, "says gynecologist Mancini.

Consequences of pregorexia for mother and baby

Pregorexia can result in a risk pregnancy due to inadequate weight and have the following consequences:

For the mother: can develop anemia, bone decalcification, low milk production during postpartum and hair loss, among others.

For the baby: The consequences in the fetus can be very serious. During the first trimester, if the patient does not take vitamin supplements, the risk of neural tube changes such as spina bifida increases. It also increases the rate of spontaneous abortion. During the second and third trimesters, the risk of premature birth, intrauterine growth retardation, mental retardation or cerebral palsy, bone, digestive or cardiovascular malformations increases. In very serious cases, intrauterine death can be reached.

Weight gain in pregnancy

The weight gain in pregnancy should be progressive and maintaining good maternal nutrition during the nine months guarantees a healthy pregnancy for both the mother and the baby. This weight gain in pregnancy is directly related to the constitution of the mother, always taking into account the maxim that "you do not have to eat for two, but you have to eat better."

Thus, we must gain "the number of kilos appropriate for the body mass itself.If this is done correctly, once it has given birth, the weight loss is fast and physiological, that is, you will not have to do strict diets, or go hungry, "says the gynecologist.

But how many kilos should a woman increase during her pregnancy?

1. A woman with low weight: the normal thing is that it gains between 13 and 18 kg.

2. An obese woman: between 5 and 9 kg.

3. A woman with normal weight: the standard is between 11 and 16 kg.

These values ​​change if the pregnancy is twins.

Marisol Nuevo Espín
Advice: Dr. Fulvia Mancini. Gynecologist and Medical Responsible of Eva Clinics in Catalonia.

Video: Weight gain during pregnancy after an eating disorder...


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