PREGNANCY AND BODY DYSMORPHIC DISORDER | WHAT’S THE LINK?
It is important to acknowledge the link between pregnancy and negative body image. You might experience that your pregnancy is the cause for your body image concerns, or that your pre-existing body image concerns become worse after pregnancy.
Pregnancy can be perceived scary because of the many transformations in your body especially weight gain. Due to hormonal changes your body will make your stomach and breasts larger and you might also develop stretch marks on those body areas that grow larger.
In addition to all of this, you might also experience changes in your mood and experience tiredness, such negative mood and fatigue makes it harder to feel good about your body.
What is Body Dysmorphic Disorder?
Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) is a mental disorder which is characterised by distorted body image. You might be obsessed with the idea that some parts of your body is extremely flawed and needs to be fixed. Most people with BDD are often concerned with different areas. Some examples of common areas are skin imperfections, hair, facial features, and body weight.
Symptoms of BDD
- Repeatedly measuring and touching areas that are perceived as problem areas.
- Engaging in repetitive and time consuming behaviours e.g. looking in mirror and attempt to cover up problem areas.
- Feeling self-conscious and isolating yourself from others.
- Asking for reassurance that the problem areas are not visible for others.
- Facing problems at work or school or in relationships to others because you cannot stop focusing about the problem area.
BDD and Pregnancy
During pregnancy it is common to gain weight. Nevertheless, a drastic change in weight can be overwhelming for some and you might become obsessively concerned with weight gain during pregnancy, but also become anxious about not being able to loose weight after pregnancy which could result to body dysmorphic disorder.
History With Eating Disorders:
If you previously have a history with eating disorders such as anorexia nervosa or bulimia, you might experience greater body image problems than others during pregnancy. Mostly due to the sudden change of appearances can be difficult to adapt to and this might also lead to body dysmorphic disorder.
Our multidisciplinary team at WeightMatters is here to help you. We offer specialised care plans, combining psychotherapy with healthy nutrition, to support the transition of your mind, body and eating towards a successful pregnancy.
Body Image Treatment
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