Coping Strategies from Women who have been there
Adjusting to all the changes that come with pregnancy can be a challenging process even for women without an eating disorder or history of an eating disorder. Women who have had eating disorders identified a few areas that helped them better cope with pregnancy so that they could improve the process for themselves and their baby.
Advocate for Yourself
Be your own advocate when interacting with healthcare professionals. Regardless of whether you choose to disclose your eating disorder history, you can ask to be blind weighed or weighed backwards.
Find sources of support from friends, family, or supportive healthcare providers. Surround yourself by those who are a positive influence in your life and help you maintain your recovery. Ask for resources such as a dietitian or a therapist if they would be helpful.
Know this is Temporary
Pregnancy can be a challenging time for all women, but it is particularly so for women with eating disorders or a history of an eating disorder. Reminding yourself that this is temporary might help you adjust to the bodily changes better. Even postpartum is time-limited, although everyone experiences it differently, so keep in mind that if it is a challenge, it will not last forever.
Focus on the Child
Focusing on the child and the pregnancy experiences such as feeling the baby kick or move has been shown to help women who have eating disorders. This shift in focus can be a helpful way to keep your eating disorder behaviors at bay.
Understand the Biology of Weight Gain
Understanding how much weight gain is due to different aspects of the pregnancy can be helpful for women who have had eating disorders. This way it is easier to see the weight gain as a positive. There is a helpful resource provided on the distribution of weight due to different components of the pregnancy.