Going through nine-months of carrying a somewhat 18-pound tummy around, is no less stressful than training for the Olympics. Pregnancy significantly changes the physiology and psychology with chronic attacks of nausea, pain, and fatigue. All factors continuously spanning over a year will leave anyone mentally exhausted. Some women bounce back from their misery, but that is not the norm. In fact, labeling it a “norm” hurts the women even more than any symptoms they suffered. Anxiety developed from taking care of a baby and bottling up the suffering eventually leads to medically significant problems, one of them being eating disorders.
Eating Disorders are estimated to affect 70 million people worldwide, mostly females. Such numbers are shocking, but unfortunately, the effects are still underestimated. Mental Health has started to gain recognition, but the stigma involving it hasn’t died out yet, especially in developing and third world countries. Cultures restraining women is also a key reason to why this happens. Mothers, as soon as delivery happens, go back to their daily chores with almost no help from their partners. In the west, a better environment is present for new mothers, allowing them to rest and seek therapy; reduces the chances of developing stress in the first place. Women also take good care of their health, which reduces their belly size and stress. However, both sides are responsible for making young girls idealize certain body types, inducing eating disorders. During and after pregnancy, it can become severe or recur.
Eating disorders can either mean increasing calorie uptake or decreasing it, both harmful in their own ways. The body becomes a sort of distorted after delivery, making women anxious. This causes women to try to reduce their food intake. During feeding, the baby is also affected by the mother’s habits and start to also lose weight.
New parents try their best for the baby, so they chart every factor in detail. People want a perfect body and baby, but there is a need to understand that such ideologies are harmful. It puts a lot of burden over an already burdened body. It is not perfect in the least.
It is perfectly normal to experience difficulties, but you should always look for help if it starts to affect your daily lives. Being a mother is no easy feat, and no one should feel ashamed about seeking help. As a community, we cannot allow our mothers to suffer in silence and lend them a hand every which way.