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Eating Disorders : Pregnancy, Postpartum and Baby Feeding

Updated: Mar 2

It's National Eating Disorders Awareness week. Disordered eating is common amongst females. Eating disorders are also very common during pregnancy. In the postpartum phase, us moms often forget to feed ourselves. We take care of our family first and then sometimes we are just too tired to even eat.


I recall my mother cooking/serving dinner and then standing up in the kitchen cleaning it up the entire time we ate. I now wonder did she eat before or after us? I don't know. But either way, I know for sure there were times when she just skipped meals completely.

As a mother myself, I did this quite a bit while my children were younger. I was a stay at home mom for about 10 years (2008 - 2018). People frequently believe SAHM/WAHM (stay at home / work at home moms) means we have all the time in the world and can eat whenever we so please. That is the furthest thing from the truth. Stay at home moms ain't all living a Peg Bundy life OK y'all!


Just because there is food doesn't mean it's getting eaten by us, the kids yes, the parents errr...

But we eat when we can and we usually become more balanced & efficient in our eating habits over time on our journey through parenthood.


And I would also say while not totally "healthy" this is all within the realm of normal life for new parents as we adjust to parenthood or even second time parenthood, which is a completely different and unique experience. For this reason, I wish meal prep services were readily affordable and available to parents. One day I'll work on this, free meals for all the parents!


However, what if we continued this pattern of not eating and it then leads to an eating disorder? OR...

What if we grew up with disordered eating behaviors and they improved--or didn't--and worsened in the pregnancy stage which is very common and without proper treatment suddenly went off the rails during postpartum phase?

It happens and there is help if you or someone you know is experiencing this. Even if you aren't sure if you have an eating disorder, it's worth finding out for the health, safety and well being of you and family.

At some point in their lives, most people have heard that they should “eat healthy.” But this means different things to different people. For some, it means eating less junk food and more nutrient-rich foods; for others, it could mean making dietary changes to reduce sodium intake or to eat foods that help lower levels of bad cholesterol.


What is an eating disorder? An eating disorder is a psychological disorder that results in serious disturbances of eating behavior. There are several different eating disorders. Some of the common ones include anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and pica. Each disorder has its own symptoms and effects.

  • Anorexia nervosa – severely restricting the amount of food eaten, resulting in very low body weight.

  • Bulimia nervosa – binge eating (eating large amounts of food in a short time and feeling loss of control over eating) and then purging (vomiting, not eating, over-exercising, misusing laxatives or diuretics)

  • Binge-eating disorder - binge eating without purging.

  • Pica – a craving for and eating of substances without any nutritional value (such as ice, clay, paper, or dirt) for at least one month. Pica, non-food items may contain something potentially harmful to the baby, such as lead.

Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental and physical illnesses that can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights. In the United States, 28.8 million Americans will suffer from an eating disorder at some point in their lives.

While no one knows for sure what causes eating disorders, a growing consensus suggests that it is a range of biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors.

Eating disorders are related t