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Any other past anorexics struggling with weight gain in pg?

(22 Posts)
RaRa1988 Mon 10-Feb-14 10:54:53

Just that really. I eat normally now and I'm not struggling to put on weight, but I'm finding it very difficult emotionally. At 22+3, I've just found out I'm nearly 9 stone and, pathetic as this may sound, my brain just can't quite compute that. I've never been over eight and a half stone in my life, and that's always been a kinda 'cut off' for me, even once 'recovered' - fellow anorexics will know what I mean, I'm sure. When I think sensibly, I know it's just because I'm growing a baby, and I reassure myself that I'm still exercising and I don't look fat anywhere except my abdomen, but the weight gain is freaking me out. I was severely anorexic for six years in my teens and, though fully recovered by 19 (25 now), it would seem some of the old mindset remains, and I'm really struggling with my self-confidence sad. Anyone else like this?

Bonsoir Mon 10-Feb-14 10:57:33

Try to remember that you should put on 9kg if you were slim before conceiving for the health of your baby and that all that weight will drop off within 2 weeks of giving birth.

There is your weight, and then there is pregnancy on top, the baby weight. You don't weight 9 stone - you still weigh whatever you weighed before conceiving, plus baby weight.

ChicaMomma Mon 10-Feb-14 11:01:26

I've not suffered from anorexia, but am struggling also with the concept of getting bigger and not being able to do anything about it. 10 stone was always my 'cap' and now i'm 10.5.. i know i'll hit 11 soon, and i'll just be agog. So i really feel for you as someone with a history of eating issues.

didntwannagetfat Mon 10-Feb-14 11:05:48

I have name changed for my reply.

I had my son at 23. I had been anorexic since I was 15. For me my eating or not eating habits were based around routine. Like you I knew and understood the importance of eating properly while pregnant but could not get my head around the weight I was putting on. It went against everything I had taught myself.

In the end I made eating part of my routine. I didn't eat huge meals as that made me feel worse but I ate lots of small meals throughout the day. at set times. I also requested that the midwife didn't tell me my weight.
I looked at loads of pictures of what my baby looked like at each stage in my pregnancy. This worked to counter act my negativity about weight gain. I avoided knowing how much I should weigh at each stage because I would make it my goal to stay at that weight for that trimester.

I hope you can get through this as it is hugely important to the development of your baby and also for you. 10 years on I have a healthy attitude to food and I am a normal weight. Something I thank my son for because if my priorities hadn't of changed I hate to think where I would be now.

MissMilbanke Mon 10-Feb-14 11:06:57

I think that what you are feeling is totally understandable.

BUT this is not your weight, this is the weight of your baby, your child and it will increase as the weeks and months go by.

But this is a good thing isn't it ? You want the baby you are growing to thrive, to do well to put on weight and have the optimum start in life.

appletree100 Mon 10-Feb-14 11:15:19

I also had issues when I was younger. I was only 6.5 stone when I was 16 ouch! Anorexic and bulimic. I 'recovered' only about 8 years ago really I am now 32.

I am 15 weeks pregnant now and exactly like you 8.5 stone was always the max I would ever go (so weird we are the same). I weighed myself the other day and am 9.2 stone - although this took a few minutes to sink in I reminded myself of how much I have worried the past few years about fertility - I thought I would have trouble conceiving because of my past eating disorders. When I was developing into a women I didnt eat!!!.

I do feel a little self concious at the moment but am really trying to embrace my new figure. I think I actually like it... my boobs are B's for the first time ever.

I know what you are going through for sure and its nice to hear someone just like me. I fell out hugely with my Bro over Christmas as he pointed out my weight gain (Brothers 'eigh). I put on half a stone within the first two months because I really do believe I needed too... I feel great now - I felt cold all of the time at the beginning and v v tired.

I say embrace it - I will with you...

All I care about now is the little one is okay. I am a bridesmaid at 25 weeks and will probably be HUGE haha xxx

love love love

Writerwannabe83 Mon 10-Feb-14 11:19:51

I'm sorry you are feeling like this RaRa - I have never suffered with anorexia so can never understand how fearful you may feel but as has been said, it is the baby that's adding all this weight on to you, it isn't YOU.

I was slim before falling pregnant (8st 9lbs) and have been very surprised at how much weight I've put on. I'm now 33 weeks pregnant and weigh 11st and 2lbs shock I force myself to laugh at my increasing weight when I get out on the scales now because otherwise I'd probably cry smile I recently put on 6lbs in 10 days!! My monthly growth scans are showing me to have a big boy inside though so I'm telling myself that my weight gain is just him growing so well and then that makes me happy.

I also make myself strip off and look at myself naked most nights and yes, I do look huge but I can't help but smile because I know it's my baby in there and my monster boobs just look the way they do because my body is preparing to nourish the new life. It's amazing really.

People used to call me tubby, chubby, fatty etc thinking they were being endearing but I put a stop to it because it started to really piss me off. My mom is also always saying, "I never went above 10st when I was carrying you or your sister......" hmm - thanks Mom!!!!

My husband is always really complimentary though, tells me I'm not fat just his very sexy wife who is carrying our baby smile

Does your midwife know about your history and your worries??

RaRa1988 Mon 10-Feb-14 11:23:57

Thanks for sharing your stories - it's really good to hear that I'm not the only one who thinks/has thought like this because I feel so alone sometimes and no-one seems to be able to comprehend how I feel confused. But whilst I love having my little girl inside my tummy and I love feeling her kick and I can't wait to meet her, I also hate the look of my figure in the mirror - I just see a fat lump sad

Thanks appletree. Funny that we're kinda the same. I was at my worst at 15: 5 stone on my 15th birthday. I was worried about infertility over the last couple of years too, not helped by the fact that I never had regular periods until, strangely enough, I got together with my current partner and the father of my child. Funny how things work out! I was seeing a counsellor for a while, and she said my menstrual cycle seemed heavily linked to my emotional state of mind: the happier and more balanced I am, the more regular things are. Guess I have DP to thank for that.

Funny thing is, I like my boobs too - they're bloody enormous atm! - and DP still finds me really attractive, and plenty of people have said you can't tell I'm pg and that I'm still tiny....but none of it matters; it's still that old voice in my head that says I'm fat and unattractive.

FredFlintstonesSister Mon 10-Feb-14 12:46:39

I'm a former anorexic and currently 38 weeks pregnant. I've found the weight gain difficult to varying degrees over my pregnancy but have managed to eat sensibly and gain an appropriate amount. Things that have helped me have been focusing on how I was measuring for my dates instead of how much actual weight I'd gained, buying maternity clothes that showed off my bump in a flattering way - much, much better than squeezing into too tight pre pregnancy stuff or trying to make do with non maternity wear in bigger sizes - and feeling the baby move. Once she was kicking and wriggling on a regular basis it all became a bit easier - particularly because she likes to move around when I eat! Good luck with everything and well done on how far you have come.

FredFlintstonesSister Mon 10-Feb-14 12:49:12

Also rubbing my bump with loads of lovely moisturisers and oils has helped! Not to try to avoid stretch marks, don't believe they work for that, but just to feel like I'm caring for my body and by extension my baby.

NearTheWindmill Mon 10-Feb-14 12:59:21

Dear OP. I am a fully recovered anorexic having spent my 20s at under 8 stone although by the time I had my children in my mid 30s I was well on the way to recovery and ate for the sake of the babies and in spite of everything. I'm 53 now and probably on the stocky side but I know I am better like this than the other way round and I also know that if I get on the dieting slope again it is very very easy for me to go overboard.

My dd had a dalliance with anorexia at about 12 and we got her referred to an excellent counsellor and got it nipped in the bud.

I'm sorry you are struggling - can you discuss with your GP/midwife and get some extra support put in place for you.

Good luck.

chasingpenguins Mon 10-Feb-14 13:11:17

Just keep eating sensibly and exercising. Every time you feel guilt about eating, remind yourself that you are supplying your baby with the nutrients it needs to grow and be healthy!!

I struggled with my weight until very recently. i recovered from bulimia two years ago but the binge tendencies came back when I had morning sickness. I'm usually never much above 8 and a half either, but I'm always reminding myself that the few lbs i've gained are essential for my baby's health.

I'm ashamed to admit I relapsed a few times in my first trimester, I did make myself vomit a few times as well and tried to pass it off as morning sickness to those around me. i was so drained. I'm 22+4 now and back on the wagon. I just hold onto the idea that I would never want my daughter to go through what I did, so why expose her in the womb?

The best advice I can give, is prepare in advance lots of healthy meals packed with vegetables, and freeze them for reheating, because you should NEVER have to feel guilty about eating. And keep up the moderate exercise, it's amazing what an endorphin rush can do for your self esteem and general wellbeing.

Stay strong lovely, you will be just fine.

RaRa1988 Tue 11-Feb-14 10:51:28

Writer and Windmill : I haven't told my midwife, no. What would she do if I did?? I'm a bit scared of making things more difficult for myself, especially as I'm having a consultant meeting on Wed to see if my risk status can be downgraded.

Fred: You're right in that I feel a lot better about being 'fat' now I can feel her wriggling about - gives me an excuse. I'm a bit scared of maternity clothes though - I'm a bit proud (in a silly anorexic way, I do understand that) that I don't need them yet at nearly 23 weeks confused. My jeans are pretty tight though - do you think I'd look and feel better in maternity ones? My self-confidence could really do with a boost!

Chasingpenguins: "I'm 22+4 now and back on the wagon. I just hold onto the idea that I would never want my daughter to go through what I did, so why expose her in the womb?" This is perfect. I'd never thought of it like that, but it makes sense to me, and I'd want to do anything I could to prevent my daughter ever feeling the way I did. Thanks for this little nugget of wisdom smile I think you're at exactly the same stage of pregnancy as me btw - 23 weeks on Thurs?

MrsM2013 Tue 11-Feb-14 14:01:53

Perhaps getting some maternity clothes would help you to embrace the idea that you are pregnant (plus they are ridiculously comfortable) rather than trying to keep hold of your pre-pregnant size and weight?

FredFlintstonesSister Tue 11-Feb-14 15:16:56

Maternity clothes definitely made me feel much better but then wearing things that feel tight has always been a trigger for me. The good thing about them is that they are cut to flatter your pregnant figure. And whatever size you were before pregnancy is the size you will be in maternity wear so you don't have the horror of your clothes size creeping up! I could have worn much of my pre pregnancy clothes into my third trimester but they start to look odd. I am all bump but at 38 weeks that bump is pretty big!

juju283 Tue 11-Feb-14 17:17:41

I was anorexic in my teens and considered myself to have been recovered for about 13 years but pregnancy has been exceptionally hard for me. I was fine during the first and second trimester but have really struggled with the third. I am currently 38 weeks. I know i have not put on as much weight as I should and I'm not eating as much as I should but I seem to have relapsed a bit and I feel so guilty every day. I informed midwife and Dr and I'm having counselling for it and depression but its been so hard as i worry I've hurt the baby. Everyone says eating anything at all is better than nothing and to just try to eat little and often high calorie foods lbd like nuts and reassured me that the baby will take what it needs from me. But it makes me sad as I am.obviously not as recovered as I thought. I would suggest if you havent already get rid of the scales. I haven't as I thought I tend to eat less when I don't knowwhat I weigh but later on in the pregnancy when I need to put on weight I'm finding it very hard! But overall it sounds like you're doing so well so don't be too hard on yourself if you have a bad day where you can't eat much. If you start to feel like you're struggling too much, be honest with people and try to get help.

NearTheWindmill Tue 11-Feb-14 20:20:53

Why is it important to have your risk status downgraded love? I was high risk for my pgs (not due to anorexia) and welcomed the consultant care I had.

I think your midwife would be able to put you in touch with a counsellor who would be able to help you and support you through this.

Please be open to all the support that is available. I remember when my dd was born a rather awkward doctor came and had a chat and asked me if I felt OK and if I thought I needed a something psychiatrist referral and told me that it was fine if I did and I only had to ask. dd was born 51 weeks after ds2 died and they were very worried about me because I had pnd after ds1 was born.

mixi82 Tue 11-Feb-14 21:40:25

I wasn't anorexic but I have always struggled with weight gain. When I was 11 I only weighed 3.5 stone, I was tiny but not because of eating. I struggled throughout teenage years and resulted in late puberty, periods etc. Anyway, by the time I was in my 20's, maintained steady weight of around 8st so was very happy with that! Now pregnant, I've only put on about 2kg and even that fluctuates, I'm 18wks tomorrow. The thing is, everyone is so different, so long as your MW and GP are happy with your weight and baby's growth then you have nothing to worry about

RaRa1988 Wed 12-Feb-14 12:36:29

Nearthewindmill: Because it makes things more difficult in terms of how I want to give birtrh sad. I don't mind seeing a consultant; it's just that if I'm high risk, I can't have a waterbirth, I'm more likely to have male staff in the room (which I have a major problem with), and means I can't give birth in the MLU, which in turn means I can't have my partner stay with me.

I'm seeing a consultant today as I've just re-booked into a different hospital under a different Trust, so I might mention it to her if I feel able, but I am worried it will increase my perceived risk, whereas personally I'm confident I'm not doing anything to harm my daughter and the worry is upsetting only me.

Mixi: Wish I'd only put on 2kg! I'm 23 weeks now and I've put on 9 pounds and it's really bothering me. I know that's in line with the norm etc etc; it's just my own personal fear of being 'fat' or putting on weight confused

NearTheWindmill Wed 12-Feb-14 12:48:18

Good luck with your appointment today. I remember feeling very anxious about having good births where I was in control - I think that's part of the personality side of things that gives a tendency to illnesses like anorexia in the first place. I hope you feel confident in your carers today because the more confident you are in them the better your care will be. It will also be better if you can trust yourself enough to be completely honest and explain your fears. I was very high risk with dd but my partner was allowed to be with me throughout - it was a natural birth in the end because all the complications that arose through that pregnancy fell away.

Good luck.

RaRa1988 Thu 13-Feb-14 13:25:52

Yes, I think you're right. I have great difficulty with situations where I have no control - I've always been quite solution-based: if I want something to happen, I find a way to make it happen, and that doesn't really work with birth!

The appointment went well smile. The consultant was much kinder and more accommodating than I'd found at the other Trust, and she put me much more at ease. I've been downgraded, but also been reassured that the risk factors that could make me high-risk if they come up again during pregnancy would be very unlikely to rule me out of giving birth at the MLU. Feel much better now!

NearTheWindmill Sat 15-Feb-14 10:38:31

Glad you are in a better place. Hope all goes well for the rest of your pregnancy.

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