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Eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia affect millions of American women each year and have a tendency to peak during the childbearing years. Anorexia is the obsessive dieting or starvation to control weight gain, and bulimia is binge eating and vomiting or the abuse of laxatives to rid excess calories from the body. When the pregnant woman's body is changing and body image concerns become more prevalent, those struggling with an eating disorder may see their issues worsen.

Eating disorders have a negative affect on pregnancy, which include: premature labor, low birth weight, stillbirth, fetal death, likelihood of cesarean birth, delayed fetal growth, respiratory problems, gestational diabetes, complications during labor, depression, miscarriage, and preeclampsia.

It is best to seek help for your physician early and often during and after your pregnancy, to main a healthy weight, not to purge, eat well-balanced nutritional meals, and seek counseling to address your particular eating disorder. Updated: 10.25.21

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