Lily Allen Mourns Miscarriage, Admits Bulimia

Pop star talks about second loss and her battle with an eating disorder.

ByABC News
March 8, 2011, 10:18 AM

March 8, 2011— -- Singer Lily Allen, who has kept a low profile since her second miscarriage last year, is now speaking out about the subject on a British documentary that will air March 15.

The documentary, "Lily Allen: Rags to Riches," will be shown on Britain's Channel 4.

"It was a really long battle, and I think that kind of thing changes a person," Allen said of her second miscarriage, which happened in November.

Allen also revealed that she had suffered from bulimia, an eating disorder.

"I used to vomit after meals," she said in the documentary. "It's not something I'm proud of.

"But, I tell you what, a lot of people came up to me telling me how great I looked and I'd be on the cover of every magazine.

"I thought I looked good and it was great to be able to try on clothes and feel a million dollars," the British singer said. "But I wasn't happy, I really wasn't.

Allen was sighted recently in Paris at the Chanel show during Fashion Week, discussing her wedding dress at designer Karl Lagerfeld's studio.

Allen, 25, is engaged to her boyfriend Sam Cooper, a builder she met in 2009. They plan to marry later this year.

Their first baby died -- her second in three years -- after Allen contracted a viral infection six months into her pregnancy.

Technically, because it occurred after the 20th week, Allen's second loss was a pre-term delivery. Her first miscarriage was at four months in 2008.

The couple was expecting a boy. At the time, friends said the couple was grief-stricken by their loss.

"Lily and Sam are both devastated," a friend told Britain's Daily Mail newspaper. "She had kept quiet for three months until she had the scan and doctors told her everything was OK. She was, understandably, so nervous after having had a miscarriage before.

"This is a nightmare for her and Sam," the friend said. "It's too early to say how she will be able to cope with this. They are both heartbroken."

After Allen's miscarriage, British pop star Emma Bunton revealed her second pregnancy on Twitter, saying her thoughts were with Allen.

Former Spice Girl Bunton is now seven months pregnant.

Of the nearly 6 million pregnancies each year in the United States, about 15 percent end in miscarriage, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In about half the cases, a cause cannot be determined. Among the conditions usually linked to miscarriage are a woman's age, chromosomal abnormalities, structural problems, infections, autoimmune disorders or a condition that causes the blood to clot in the placenta, known as thrombophilia.

Only about 2 to 5 percent of all pregnant women will experience a second miscarriage, according to Dr. Wendy Chang, director of research and patient education at Southern California Reproductive Center and an assistant professor at UCLA Geffen School of Medicine.

"It's still very rare," said Chang, but that risk increases as the number of miscarriages increases.

"The odds are greater," she said. "After one miscarriage, the chances of a live birth are 90 percent. At two, the chances are still low -- a 35 percent chance of another miscarriage. But it does go up linearly."

And so does the stress.