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Advances in health and medicine.
Marjorie Bekaert Thomas
Advances in health and medicine.
SW: Feature Report Channel
Reported April 20, 2010

Pregorexia: Dieting While Pregnant

LOS ANGELES (Ivanhoe newswire) -- Ten million women suffer from an eating disorder. By age 20, 86 percent of women who are anorexic will have other health issues. But it's not just a disease that strikes young women. Even moms-to-be risk it all to be thin.

You would never know by looking at the pictures that Maggie Baumann is seven months pregnant.

"I wasn't able to eat with my family," Baumann recalled to Ivanhoe. "I would run everywhere."

She hid her problem from everyone, including her husband.

"I kept everything to myself," Baumann said.

She was suffering from pregorexia, forcing herself to not eat while carrying her second child.

"I over exercised and limited my food," Baumann explained.

Doctors recommend pregnant woman should gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy. During her first pregnancy, Baumann gained 33 pounds. During her second, the 5'8" woman weighed 135, gaining just 18 pounds.

"I didn't realize how sick I was until I ended up in the ER having heart problems," she recalled.

Her daughter Whitney was born five pounds 11 ounces, but problems developed.

"At four months old, she started having seizures," Baumann said.

Research shows not getting enough food during pregnancy could cause neurological problems in the baby, lower IQ, ADHD, respiratory distress, birth defects and impaired functioning later in life. Maggie now knows the danger she put herself and her baby in. It took ten years for her to get help.

Although she still exercises, Baumann says she's chosen a healthier route, and now helps other pregnant women to make healthy choices for both themselves and their baby.

Pregnancy women are not just putting their babies at risk when they suffer from an eating disorder. Expecting moms face an increased risk of miscarriage, dehydration, cardiac irregularities, difficulty nursing, and post partum depression.

If you would like more information, please contact:

National Eating Disorders Association

The Article: Facts About Eating Disorders and the Search for Solutions

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