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April 12, 2016 | OB/GYN • Women and Children's Center
If you have struggled with an eating disorder in the past — or perhaps you still struggle with one — and you would like to start a family with your partner, you might feel worried about conception and the health of the baby you will conceive. Considering the toll that any eating disorder can take on physical and emotional well-being, your concern is reasonable. National Eating Disorders (NEDA) notes that women still actively struggling with an eating disorder (ED), particularly anorexia nervosa, face decreased chances of pregnancy.
Anorexia Nervosa & Related Eating Disorders (ANED) reports that about 20 percent of women in the United States who seek help at fertility clinics have had an eating disorder at some time. While conception, pregnancy and motherhood present physical and emotional concerns for anyone in recovery from an eating disorder, doing plenty of research and talking to your medical team — your family physician, psychologist, ED specialist, gynecologist, fertility specialist and obstetrician — will help you go into this new adventure fully aware of the risks and how you can defray those risks to protect yourself and your baby. Your honesty, commitment, and willingness to work with your medical professionals will give you the best chance of conceiving and carrying a healthy baby into childbirth.
It might help you to learn more about life on the other side of your ED and what that might look like for you and your future child, or children. Consider some of the following 15 inspirational quotes from patients, medical professionals and cultural figures about all types of recovery to help you find comfort throughout your own recovery process, as well as during your adventure in becoming a mother and teaching your child about good physical, psychological and emotional well-being.
“Forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different.” ― Oprah Winfrey
“I believe in recovery, and as a role model I have the responsibility to let young people know that you can make a mistake and come back from it.” ― Ann Richards
“Real hope combined with real action has always pulled me through difficult times. Real hope combined with doing nothing has never pulled me through.” ― Jenni Schaefer, Goodbye Ed, Hello Me: Recover from Your Eating Disorder and Fall in Love with Life
“Pain in this life is not avoidable, but the pain we create avoiding pain is avoidable.” ― D. Laing
“We take action when we have the honesty to admit that things are still broken, despite our best efforts otherwise. We take action when we hold ourselves continually open to new techniques, remaining resolutely receptive to new sources of support and new feeds of information. We take action when we are willing, in each new moment, to try again.” ― Shannon Cutts, Beating Ana: How to Outsmart Your Eating Disorder and Take Your Life Back
“We must be content to grow slowly. Most of us will still barely be at the beginning of our recovery by the time we die. But that is better than killing ourselves pretending to be healthy.” ― Simon Tugwell
“I’m here to tell you that if you get broken, it’s possible to put yourself back together. I’m here to tell you that if you get lost, it’s possible that a light will come, dancing, on the horizon, to lead you home.”
― Nick Lake, Hostage Three
“Reality may not be what you want it to be, but it is the reality you now must face. You can deny this reality and try to wish it away, or you can accept it and not waste any energy on wanting it to be different.” ― David W. Earle
“But it is hazardous and, I believe, counterproductive to become frozen in time by an obsession with past wrongs and errors.” ― George S. McGovern, Terry: My Daughter’s Life-and-Death Struggle with Alcoholism
“Recovery unfolds in three stages. The central task of the first stage is the establishment of safety. The central task of the second stage is remembrance and mourning. The central focus of the third stage is reconnection with ordinary life.” ― Judith Lewis Herman, Trauma and Recovery
The Live Better Team
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This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.