Tales of a Local "Pregorexic" Mom
The other day at yoga class I, (and several other students), couldn't help but furtively glance at a brittle young woman (we're talking bones where hips once were) committing fragile downward dogs and back bends on her mat in a back corner. She clearly had, or is slowly recovering from, a severe eating disorder. There are others. And always I spot students stealing awe-struck, semi-worried glances at these bone-thin, painfully malnourished women.
What I've yet to spot (thankfully) are any exceedingly waifed-out pregnant women ambling into their prenatal yoga classes with visible signs "pregorexia" -- the stepchild disorder of anorexia that is as horrific and disturbing as its name. A couple of days ago Maggie Baumann, a local Newport Beach therapist, outed herself and the story of her pregorexia battles in the 1970s on the MomLogic website. The New York Times health blog also linked to the post, which tells the story of how she starved herself and exercised like she was training for a triathlon during her second pregnancy even after the doctor warned her that her baby was at risk for intrauterine growth retardation at 7 months. It's scary stuff. Her baby suffered from seizures and was later diagnosed with ADHD, something her doctor said was probably tied to the baby's poor nutrition during her pregnancy.
More haunting than her first-person retelling (which begs for more detail) are the pictures from her personal slideshow, which include pics of the mom-to-be at 7 and 9 months with barely a noticeable bump. After her daughters were born her pregorexia became full-blown anorexia. Lucky for her (and not so lucky for others), her daughters are grown, healthy and don't have eating issues; and Maggie is a self-described recovering anorexic.
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