When pregnancy brings your eating disorder back to life
Eating disorders during and after pregnancy are a topic that rarely gets discussed, even by those who have been affected by eating disorders during their lifetime. It is almost as if people assume mental illnesses take a vacation during pregnancy.
Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Some experts believe as many as one in twenty women experience an eating disorder during their pregnancy, which would have serious health consequences for both mothers and their children.
The stress and exhaustion of motherhood also leave new parents incredibly vulnerable, especially with the expectations to return to their pre-pregnancy weight and body shape. All this combined can be enough to break women who have free from their eating disorders for years.
That’s what writer Anna Davies discovered six months after the birth of her daughter.
As she tells in an article for Refinery 29, Davies had struggled with eating disorders for much of her life. From her late teenage years until she was twenty-eight. By that time, she had thought she had kicked her disorder entirely on her own. Two years later, she says “I was convinced that my purging days were behind me.”
Then came the pressures of motherhood and the expectations to be a perfect model mother. With that, came the return of her eating disorder.