The impact of pregnancy on anorexia nervosa and bulimia



The present study examines the impact of pregnancy on anorexia nervosa and bulimia. A survey of women with an active eating disorder involving anorexia nervosa, bulimia, or mixed symptoms 6 months prior to their first pregnancy was undertaken to gain information on attitudes toward becoming pregnancy, fears and concerns related to the unborn child, the impact on eating disorder behaviors prenatal and postnatal, weight gain and weight gain of the baby as an indicator of its health, and the obstetricians view of the pregnancy and health status of the infant upon delivery. The results indicate that pregnancy had a pronounced beneficial impact on anorexic and bulimic symptoms during pregnancy. However, lasting psychological benefit was limited to a minority of the sample in the first year after childbirth. In contrast to previous research, infants had normal birth weights and deliveries with an absence of congenital defects. The implications of these results and suggestions for future research are discussed.