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Pregnancy After an Eating Disorder: What No One Talks About...

Here I am, years into eating disorder recovery, going through similar feelings that I did while in the thick of my eating disorders.

No one tells you that as you expand and grow to accommodate your growing baby, you may be emotionally triggered from physical feelings and emotional discomforts you once felt in the midst of your eating disorder struggle.

The cravings are out of control.

Perhaps some of these cravings include trigger foods.

Your boobs are growing. The boob sweat is atrocious.

Clothing feels tight.

You just want to lounge around naked or in a potato sack.

You may be feeling extremely uncomfortable in your body, maybe even like a stranger in your own skin.

Speaking of is tight and itchy from the stretching.

Stretch marks are more visible than ever.

You just simply feel not you.

Perhaps you fear that your body will never be the same.

I get it. This journey has brought me some of these same thoughts.

There are a lot of triggers that are not necessarily in every day life, but that are exacerbated by certain circumstances, situations and phases in life.

Pregnancy is one of these.

It is a special circumstance—no matter how beautiful it is and how badly you’ve desired to become a mama—that can be very triggering to some negative thoughts.

Even if you've been on a recovery journey for a long time, things will still trigger you. The key is to make sure those ED thoughts become just that—thoughts. Thoughts that pass through your mind and then out of it instead of allowing the rumination of thoughts to bring you into a spiral of negative emotions that determine your behavior.

Why allow ED to take control of your power?

You know discarding these thoughts that don’t serve you is the best way to keep the power in your possession.

Some things that may help you flip the script are:

  • Raising your vibrations with positive affirmations, people, music and experiences

  • Understanding that your cravings are your body's way of indicating your needsMoving your body to celebrate what it can do and to prepare for birth

  • Reminding yourself that you may never have been able to become pregnant if you hadn’t chose the path of recovery

  • Acknowledging that this phase in life is temporary... and beautiful

  • Reminding yourself that your body does not define your worth

  • Appreciating and admiring your body for knowing exactly what to do

  • Telling yourself: 'BECAUSE I am allowing my body to grow as it needs to, I am able to be a home to my baby in my womb'

Being able to change the thought dialogue in your mind is one way to know that your recovery is real and true.

Because recovery is not about not having the negative thoughts, it’s about how you manage the thoughts and triggers.

How you let them go.

To set yourself free.

Ashley Grant, RDN, LDN

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