Pregorexia: pregnant and obsessed with thinness
The name looks like a tongue- twister: pregorexia. New, the term is little known and is not yet part of the medical vocabulary. It comes from the junction of pregnant with anorexia, and has been used to describe the disorder that causes a woman to become obsessed with the lean body during pregnancy.
Although anorexia is duly recognized by science, the problem is still poorly studied during pregnancy. Also because, according to experts, gestation is usually a protective factor for the disorder – that is, in this period, the woman tends to have an improvement of the picture of anorexia. Very few patients develop pregorexia.
“We live a fitness wave in social networks with great exposure of the body. This leaves some women unsympathetic, thinking that they will keep their abdomen tucked even during pregnancy. This exacerbated body cult happens mainly among the younger ones, “warns Paola Fasano, a gynecologist and obstetrician at the Hospital and Maternidade São Luiz (SP).
Those who have the disorder usually adopt calorie-restricted diets and do many physical exercises to avoid getting fat. Paola points out that in pregnancy everything that is exaggerated carries risks. “A woman who feeds badly can become malnourished and present anemia, damaging the growth of the baby. A moderate physical activity is welcome to maintain muscle tone and helps prepare the body for normal delivery. But care must be taken not to go overboard and overload the lumbar. The joints of pregnant women are looser and intense exercise can lead to injuries, “explains the doctor.
Pregorexia usually affects women who are predisposed to eating disorders (such as those who have ever had the problem at some time in their lives), or those who have distorted body perceptions – they find themselves fat when in fact they are not. “This disorder during pregnancy is very rare. We do not even have statistical data, because it is not yet classified by medicine as a disease, “says Eduardo Aratangy, supervising physician at the Institute of Psychiatry at Hospital das Clínicas (SP).
According to the psychiatrist, when the woman is suffering from pregorexia, those who usually notice and seek medical help are the relatives. Signs are usually clear: obsession with physical shape, fat phobia and fear of getting fat, even though you should gain a few pounds during pregnancy. When observing the situation, it is necessary to look for professional guidance of nutritionist, therapist and medical psychiatrist with experience in gestational questions.
Dr. Yuri Busin, a psychologist and director of the Center for Attention to Mental Health – Equilíbrio (SP), says: “The doctor who cares for the woman in these cases indicates the other professionals she will need to visit.” This follows- so that it understands that what is happening is not the end of the world, but the beginning of a new phase. “
Fattening is part of
Like almost everything in life, the key to a healthy pregnancy is balance. The recommendation is to keep a balanced menu, feeding every three hours, in small portions. The consumption of fat and sugar should be moderate, but one should not eat an extremely strict diet during pregnancy.
“Some mothers think they just need to put on the three pounds the baby weighs. But this is completely wrong. In pregnancy, the blood volume increases and this has a weight. The placenta weighs, the uterus gets bigger. There is also the pouch, the amniotic fluid, the increase of the breasts and the percentage of fat in the body, “says Paola Fasano.
The recommendation of how much to put on weight varies according to the body mass index (BMI) of each woman before the gestation. Those with a proper BMI can gain from 11 to 16 kg. Even those who are overweight or obese before conception can gain weight from 5 to 9 kg.So you have to convince yourself: fattening is part of bringing a life to the world.