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Pregnancy Eating Disorders

By Angie Best-Boss, Contributing Writer

Pregnancy eating disorders can be a serious health risk. The average pregnant woman should gain between 25 and 35 pounds. A woman who is under weight as she begins her pregnancy will need to gain more (a BMI under 20 should gain between 28-40 pounds), while a woman who is severely overweight may need to gain a little less.

The following complications for moms are associated with pregnancy eating disorders:

  • Premature labor
  • Likelihood of cesarean birth
  • Delayed fetal growth
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Complications during labor
  • Depression
  • Miscarriage
  • Preeclampsia
  • Risks for Babies

Mothers with eating disorders are more likely to give birth to babies with respiratory illnesses and low Apgar scores. Babies of malnourished moms also have a 35% increase in the risk of coronary death and are 6 times more likely to develop diabetes later in life.

Mothers who do not eat right and gain insufficient amounts of weight can suffer from spontaneous abortions or stillbirth. Excessive exercise can also increase your chance for miscarriage and stillbirth.

  • Respiratory complications
  • Liver problems
  • Poor development
  • Needy personality
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Premature birth
  • Poor social skills
  • Risk of diabetes
  • Deformities
  • Lower weight in birth
  • Heart damage
  • Delayed body growth
  • Mental disorders
  • Jaundice
  • Poor learning ability


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