Anorexia and Pregnancy Don't Mix, Docs Say

Baumann began over-exercising to try and quell her growing belly. An hour and a half of cardio -- running, biking and even volleyball -- was typical for her up until she gave birth.

"My rigidity and control got really strong during my second pregnancy," she said. "I was so oblivious to my disorder."

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, an estimated 0.5 percent to 3.7 percent of females will suffer from anorexia during their lifetime and an estimated 1.1 percent to 4.2 percent will suffer from bulimia.

Even when Baumann almost miscarried Whitney at the beginning of her pregnancy, cutting out exercise and increasing her daily caloric intake was not an option.

Baumann said that while she always ate -- she had to in order to keep up with her exercise regimen -- she was sure she was burning more calories than she was consuming.

Believes Pregorexia Caused by Her Abortion

"Whitney is so lucky to be here and I can only say that now that I realize what I had done at the time, back then I was in such a different world," said Baumann. "You think that [nearly miscarrying your baby] would probably hit most women as a warning that they have to be careful, but for me, I just kept going on my little path."

Baumann carried Whitney to term, when she was born at just over 5 pounds. During the first few months of her life she suffered from seizures that doctors suspect were caused by poor nutrition in the womb. Later on, Whitney was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, another complication Baumann wonders whether she caused by her poor pre-natal care.

According to Zurawin, Baumann's daughter could have been much worse off than she was.

"You can seriously harm your baby by dieting and over-exercising during pregnancy," he said.

"You're setting yourself up for a growth-retarded baby and down the line, a baby with psychical and mental disabilities," said Zurawin.

Soon after Baumann gave birth to her second daughter, the anorexia spiraled out of control.

"I would work out for at least three hours a day," said Baumann. "My feet would be bleeding as I was running but I kept going. I was like a machine.

"I lived by the beach and couldn't stop and look at the waves," she said. "I wouldn't let myself. I was this machine and I had to complete the task.

"Or if my family went to church, they would go in the car and I'd run, then I'd stand at the back all sweaty, and to me, that was not abnormal," she said.

Finally suffering from chest pain, Baumann went to the emergency room and after doctors told her that her organs were failing, checked into an in-patient treatment center in Arizona.

"I weighed about 111 pounds," said Baumann, who is 5' 8". "For me, I thought I weighed so much. My husband said I looked like a skeleton."

After more than 10 years of therapy, Baumann has now faced how her adoption at just 6 months old and the abortion she had in her early 20s may have contributed to her anorexia. Baumann's birth mother, who is deceased, also struggled with an eating disorder.

Today, Baumann maintains a healthy weight and lifestyle and is proud that both her daughters live similarly healthy lives.

"It was never my intent to hurt my babies," said Baumann. "I forgive myself for what I did, but I'll never forget what I did."

-- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7768530. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7768530. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7768530. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7768530. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7768530. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7768530. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7768530. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7768530. -- This embed didnt make it to copy for story id = 7768530.
Page
  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...