"Mommyrexia" and Body Image During Pregnancy

Is the pressure to stay thin really just an "Upper East Side Obnoxious White Girl Problem"?

Mommyrexia is a relatively new phenomenon of gaining very little weight during pregnancy and then losing it all as soon as possible after delivery.  This trend seems to be quite prevalent among the celebrity set, but is it something that the average woman struggles with as well?

In an interview on The Today Show, Dr. Nancy Snyderman didn’t seem to think so.  She made the following statement, “We have become cukoo about hating our bodies and the self loathing…I think this is an Upper East Side, white-girl problem.” But, I’m not so sure I agree.


The pressure to stay thin is obviously far greater in New York or L.A. than it is here in Portland, but regardless body image pressure for women is rampant and it’s everywhere.

I would definitely not categorize myself as having mommyrexia by any means, but I must admit it’s a little disconcerting to see my body changing outside of my control and I am pretty far removed from the Upper East Side lifestyle that Dr. Snyderman was referring to, so I can completely see how someone could develop a disordered way of eating during pregnancy.

Body image is something I’ve always struggled with.  I was an overweight child and adolescent who lost about 40 pounds at the beginning of college.  It was the first time in my life I’d ever been considered “thin”, but despite my new svelte look I still had a hard time accepting my body.  Prior to pregnancy I feel like I’d finally developed a healthy way of being – no more cycles of binge eating and then skipping meals, no more super intense unsustainable workouts- just a healthy dose of moderation.

Even though my crazy workouts and eating habits have been put to rest, one thing I still continue to do is weigh myself daily.  I’m not crazy about it or anything, but it’s just become a routine for me, because honestly I can gain 10 lbs. without even noticing if I don’t have a scale.  So far I’ve only gained a couple pounds, which is healthy for being 15 weeks pregnant, but I know that pretty soon the needle on the scale will start tipping upward and I’m curious to find out how I’m going to respond.  For so long I’ve associated weight gain as a negative thing, but this is the one time in life where it should be positive.

What’s your experience with weight gain and body image during pregnancy?  What do you think about the “mommyrexia” trend – is it really just an isolated problem or could it possibly be more widespread?

photo by: {D. Sharon Pruitt}

Article Posted 5 years Ago

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