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Body dysmophia & pregnancy

6 replies

Cmacq32 · 16/07/2020 20:27

Curious if there are any mum's who have BDD and are pregnant. I am 22 weeks and beggining to notice some difficult feelings creeping in with regards to weight/boob size and generally feeling rubbish about this. Was reaching out to see if anyone else on here is the same? Any tips on how to get more positive thoughts welcome! 😬

OP posts:
Queenbee95 · 17/07/2020 09:41

Sorry I don’t have any advice for you, just bumping your post with my comment 🙂

Cmacq32 · 17/07/2020 10:02

Thank you Queen Bee😬

OP posts:
ajd86uk · 17/07/2020 10:09

Although i haven't been diagnosed with BDD, i know i have it and i'm now 15 weeks pregnant. For me, its slightly different, i'm more of the kind that i'm proud of my bump, the amount i'm eating and the size of my boobs. But its everything else - like my arms are getting bigger, my bum and my thighs. So i've managed this by going jogging and then the BDD disappears temporarily. I will shortly do non plyometric workouts which means no jumping and wont be doing no sit ups. As soon as i look in the mirror though, i do notice i'm a lot bigger than i was and it scares me. But right now, i am focusing on the amount of exercise i'm doing to be healthy and whether my baby is growing. Trying to divert the focus... Id suggest this. If your use to exercise then pick it up again but if not, try things such as Yoga (Hatha) or Pilates and walking. Eat less high saturated fats and more healthy fats and carbs and proteins.

UrsulaSings · 17/07/2020 10:26

I haven't been diagnosed with BDD however I did have extremely poor body image issues resulting in an eating disorder when I was a teen and thinking I was absolutely huge when I most definitely was not.

I still struggle with my body image however i do weigh a lot more now than i used to (eating issues seemed to almost flip into the opposite problem in my late 20's!). Pre-pregnancy i was doing slimming world and my BMI had gone down to 29 and I felt good that I was finally having a healthy attitude to food and nourishing my body, rather than seeing food as either the enemy or as something that I can fix my feelings with.

I have gained just over a stone at 32 weeks.

However all that is irrelevant I suppose as you're not asking about ED's etc, but BDD, although the 2 closely linked in my experience (although as I say, never diagnosed with BDD).

I have found my changing shape v difficult to cope with. I got v upset around 16-ish so weeks when my belly started to round out and my boobs grew 2/3 cup sizes and seemed to say overnight. I felt extremely unattractive and went back to covering myself up all the time and not looking in mirrors. I seemed to sort of come to terms with it a bit and started to feel a bit better and feel like I looked ok, but then any picture I'm in at the moment I honestly look twice the size of what I think I look like and then it confuses me because I feel like I dont know what I actually look like! I end up asking DP 'are my legs the same size as hers' etc. Not obsessively, only a couple of times literally just to try and gauge how 'big' I am because it's almost like my own image is blurred out and i cant see it accurately, but i can see other people perfectly fine. Hopefully that makes sense to you!

How i have tried to deal with it is making sure that i am eating healthy. If i know I'm eating healthy then i know realistically my body will not grow disproportionately than it should and my growing belly and thighs etc are 'normal' and 'healthy'. If my eating was out of hand, I would have more room to wonder if I really am getting 'too' big. Also, I know that once baby is here I can get more back to 'normal' and it's only temporary. I say 'more's back to normal because I'm aware that my body will not be exactly the same as before and I'm being realistic about this, but for me the problem is more about size rather than stretch marks etc. I also try to be compassionate towards myself and speak to myself in my head as I would to a friend who was struggling in the same way - berating myself, telling myself horrible things only serves to make the problem worse, so I try and imagine that I am talking to a friend and have empathy for myself (easier said than done and I only managed to do this after therapy!). If I'm having a bad day, I put clothes on I know I feel more comfortable in and avoid mirrors/pictures - I know that's not entirely healthy but if it helps me to get through that day then sod it, I can always work on the self empathy when I'm in a stronger position to!

Hope that's helpful and what you were looking for!

Cmacq32 · 17/07/2020 15:33

Hi @ajd86uk thank you for taking the time to comment, it's interesting yours is not diagnosed sounds similar. I walk alot as I have a lab so 2 hours a day but I would say that exercise and healthy focus will benefit me and if not at least distract as you say! I didn't feel this way at 15 weeks, I too felt proud and happy but for some reason a switch appears to have gone off and all positive affirmations a distant memory!
I will focus on healthy living and see how I get on. Great advice thank you so much🤞👌
@UrsulaSings I can absolutely relate to everything you say and snap!! I was fine right up untill last week and after my 20 week scan the sonographer told me that I was getting additional scanning. This was news to me so I followed it up and was told because my Bmi is 28 and age as I am 35. I know it sounds silly but it took me off guard as I would have expected the midwife to tell me this back at the start but its never been mentioned. I guess the scan environment with a stranger was the wrong place to land that on me. Since then it's all I thought about (God they think I am an unhealthy mum and fat and old.. The usual negative thoughts associated with BDD) I think this has been the trigger. When I called the midwife she was uncomfortable and didnt know what to say i presume she was avoiding the topic as its in my notes, but ignoring it had resulted in me really beating myself up this week. Worrying about how I look, if people are judging me, dreading being in a hospital in labour and revealing my body ect! I also hate to highlight these areas in case it draws more attention so I am good at surpresskng these worries and not saying them out loud!
I have gained 7lb over 22 weeks which is healthy but now I am panicking I shouldn't be gaining any as I have this image in my head that I am enormous after finding out my weight has triggered higher risk scanning... I know in reality I am not enormous but this is what I see and think others think. This results on me not being kind to myself.
After reading your message today I signed back up to SW and spoke to my consultant as she is great and I explained I wanted to maintain weight so that's a positive step. I have had BDD all my life although well hidden and only diagnosed 4 years ago, I have not been brave enough to discuss with any friends yet only my husband. Its just nice to reach out to other people who are perhaps going through this. I had hoped preganancy wouldn't be an issue but I clearly have some work to do!
Your kind words have really impacted me today and I hope I can repay sometime. ❤️😉

OP posts:
UrsulaSings · 20/07/2020 00:56

@Cmacq32 I'm really glad I was able to help in some way. I really wanted to reply as I related to your post and I know how difficult it is sometimes with that horrible voice going in your head! It definitely makes sense that situation triggered your BDD thoughts as I can see how you would take having extra scans as a judgement on yourself (just like I would have, whether that's the reality or not!). I dont know if you are already, but when you're able to I would really look into having some therapy. I had 3 years of therapy and it really helped me loads with how I treat myself and the self empathy/compassion. I still struggle with body image, but it doesnt impact me as emotionally as it used to. That horrible voice inside my head isnt as potent or loud as it once was. Good luck with everything, go easy on yourself!

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