Psychiatrists warn against 'pregorexia' phenomenon

An increasing number of expectant mothers are dieting dangerously to stay thin during and after pregnancy.

British maternity experts have dubbed it "pregorexia" and psychiatrist Sue Luty says it is a growing problem in New Zealand.

Dr Luty says more women have an unhealthy obsession with not gaining weight during pregnancy, and it is not just those who have a history of mood or eating disorders.

She believes one driving force is the recent trend to photograph high-profile women throughout their pregnancies, while they are looking thin and sporting trendy outfits.

Dr Luty says women who do not gain weight during pregnancy are more likely to have an underweight baby, which is more likely to be premature and at risk of death.

She says she is also seeing a lot of babies who are unsettled because they are not getting enough breastmilk, which she says can impact on bonding, growth and later health.

- NEWSTALK ZB

- Newstalk ZB

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